UPDATE (9:45 p.m.): Independence High School has won the 5-AA state football semifinal, defeating Venice High School, 19-14. Independence will face San Marin in the state championship game next week.

SCORE: Independence 19 – Venice 14, Final

CIF 5-AA state semifinal

VENICE, Calif. (KGET) — Independence High School is taking on Venice High School in a CIF 5-AA football state semifinal Friday night. A win sends either team to the state championship game.

Independence is looking for its first ever state championship in football. The Falcons needed to turn their season around to do it winning eight straight after beginning their season 0-6.

“When you don’t have all that time in camp to prepare, that really set us back for those first few weeks of the season,” Independence football head coach Tyler Schilhabel said. “We had our work cut out for us, but the boys rallied and responded.”

Independence won the CIF Central Section Division IV championship over Mendota 28-21 last week — the school’s first football Valley championship.

The Falcons will need to answer the call again on the road traveling to Venice to take on the Venice team that has a similar path to Friday’s matchup. The Gondoliers have not lost a game since Oct. 1 and beat Canoga Park in their CIF section title game.

Follow Chris Burton and FFX on KGET as Chris live tweets game updates from Venice. Full highlights of the game tonight on 17 News at 11.

UPDATES:

  • 2nd quarter, after 2 strong Indy stops Robert Lamar punches it in from the 1. Venice 7, Indy 0
  • 2nd quarter, Ladon Denmark can’t find anyone, so he calls his own number. Running right, he powers through a huge hole for 6. Venice 7, Indy 7.