On October 4th, 2019 the Frisco Independence Knights defeated Frisco Heritage high school 49-7 to move to an undefeated 5-0 record and more importantly 2-0 in district play.
One week later, they self-reported a violation of using an ineligible player, thus forfeting that Heritage loss. Shortly after, they fell to their in-town rival, Frisco Lone Star. Just like that, in the matter of a week, the Knights went from 5-0 to 4-2 and 1-2 in district play.
The knights sat on the outside of the playoffs looking in after six weeks of play. How did they respond? By winning four straight and showing that they’re one of the more impressive teams in all of 5A football.
The Frisco Independence Knights enter the 2019 playoff race with an 8-2 record and their only losses coming from that aforementioned forfeit and a loss to 10-0 Lone Star.
Independence has a very short history when it comes to football as they were only created five years ago in 2014. Since then, they’ve quickly grown into one of the more dominant forces in 5A. In just their 3rd year as a program in 2016, they took an 8-2 record into the playoffs before being bounced in the second round by eventual state champions, Highland Park.
After a pair of 6-4 regular seasons and one playoff appearance over the past two years, the Knights are back on the rise in Frisco and this time, they want to make it further than any other Independence team before them.
“We work hard and prepare well in practice before each game.” junior defensive back Caleb Ellis said. “We’re smart, fast and physical.”
“It starts with the offensive line,” junior quarterback Braylon Braxton said. “When the defense is clicking, the rest of the team feeds off that.”
The Knights under Braxton are averaging an obscene 46.8 points per contest. Braxton has been one of the most impressive quarterbacks in all of Texas completing more than 65% of his passes for nearly 2,900 yards with 41 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He’s also added more than 400 yards and six more touchdowns on the ground.
“In the offseason, I made it a point that I had something to prove this season,” Braxton said. “I’ve been focused on making plays.”
Caleb Ellis leads a defense that lets up only 21 points a game to go along with more than three sacks a game whilst averaging more than one interception a game. Ellis has sixty tackles on the year with a team-leading pair of interceptions.
“I credit my teammates for putting me in a great position to make good plays,” Ellis said. “I work on small things such as footwork and tracking the ball.”
The Knights are motivated to put that forfeit loss behind them and show all of Texas that this season is their year to make a run.
“People can expect us to play physical and execute during each phase of the game,” Ellis said.
“We have six games left till were state champs.” Braxton later added
The Knights match up with the 6-4 Mansfield Timberview Wolves on Friday night November 15th.
Ellis is “looking forward to the playoff atmosphere” and Braxton believes “it should be a battle till the end… I’m ready.”
The Knights represent one of the many teams in Frisco, Texas that have broken out over the past few seasons. Frisco Lone Star is 10-0, Frisco is 9-1, with Frisco Independence being 8-2 it shows that Frisco might not just be the best place to live in America but, it may be home to some of the best football that the state of Texas has to offer.
These Knights are not going anywhere either. Braxton is a junior. There three leading rushers are all juniors and a sophomore. Three of their four leading receivers? Also juniors. Six more Juniors have over 50 tackles on the season.
These Knights should be making some noise for years to come not just in Frisco, but all of Texas.
“You can expect me to consistently improve my skill set,” Ellis said.
But it was Braylon Braxton who put it simply that fans of him and Independence should expect two simple words.