Good things came to a team that waited. That's the motto the Peoria Panthers (2-0) played by in Friday night's 4A matchup against the Independence Patriots (0-2) as it overcame a quiet first quarter at home to win 41-0. "We just started out slow," said senior running back Ezra Sanchez. "We weren't getting anything going against them. We were just in a funk. But the ?D' did it's job and pulled us back up, and we fed off that." The Panther offense went three-and-out on its first two drives, as Peoria fought to find its rhythm against the Patriots, especially during its second drive. Quarterback Vinnie Spano fumbled a snap on second-and-seven, and running back Jamal Miles fumbled after breaking through the defensive line, giving the ball back to the Patriots midway through the first quarter. They hadn't earned a first down by that point, nor did they cross into Independence territory. However, Peoria's defense, which also forced two straight three-and-outs to start, stood strong allowing two short completions and forcing Independence's third punt of the quarter on its third consecutive three-and-out. "Our defense really stepped up tonight," said Peoria Head Coach Doug Clapp. "When you have 10 new kids playing on one side of the ball you don't know what you're going to get." The Panthers offense took it from there, capping a 12-play, 86-yard drive on Sanchez's 10-yard run to the right corner of the end zone. Sanchez rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries with the touchdown. The drive was paced by Miles, who had runs of 26 and 15 yards to setup the scoring strike. Miles led all rushers with 170 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 46 yards, 6 yards, and 2 yards. Over the season's first two games, Miles has rushed for 274 yards and scored seven touchdowns. "Those two guys (Miles and Sanchez) really complement each other," Clapp said. "Ezra is a slasher while Jamal is a hard runner, getting the tough yards." The momentum gained by the offense played into the defense which stalled a 14-play, 47-yard Patriot drive when they couldn't convert on on a fourth-and-17 pass from quarterback Jeff Sielliger to Tyquan Wilson who fell three yards shy of a first down. Wilson led the Patriots with 84 yards rushing on 19 carries. After that it was the Panthers ground attack that kept Independence at bay. Peoria racked up 304 yards rushing and converted 10 first downs on the ground. Meanwhile, the defense held the Patriots to 159 total yards (126 rushing, 33 passing). It finished with one interception, a fumble recovery on a poorly snapped punt and blocked a punt that was recovered by Xavier Morley, all setting up scores. In fact, six of the Panthers' last seven drives ended with a touchdown. "(Independence) are a much better team than what the score shows," Clapp said. "We just followed our game plan, which was to run the ball and wear them down in the second half. We did a good job executing that plan."