The South Putnam Eagles football team traveled to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis Saturday to play the Monrovia Bulldogs in the second game of the West Central Conference "Day At The Dome."
The Eagles entered the game with high hopes of getting back into the win column after suffering a disappointing loss to WCC rival Speedway last Friday night, 31-28.
South Putnam's running game was hitting on all cylinders and the Eagles earned their fifth victory of the season over the Bulldogs, 31-0.
South Putnam drove down the field on its first possession of the game, running the football with great efficiency. Drew Christy carried the ball five times in the drive, rushing for 39 yards, the final run, a three-yard touchdown with 6:42 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles led at the end of the first quarter, 6-0.
South Putnam's offense continued to over-power Monrovia's defense in the first half, gaining 87 yards on the ground and 35 yards in the air, but two fumbles by the Eagles kept them from scoring again in the half.
South Putnam's Bryce Birkemeier personally broke the game wide open in third quarter. He returned Monrovia's second half opening kick-off 85 yards for a touchdown, and two plays later, he recovered a Bulldog fumble.
The Eagles drove the ball down the field and Matt Hicks kicked a 29-yard field goal to give South Putnam a 17-0 lead with 7:47 left in the period.
With 13 seconds left in the quarter, Anthony Tomasino hit Hicks with a 15-yard touchdown pass, giving the Eagles a 24-0 lead going into the final stanza.
Christy scored his second touchdown of the game, a 14-yard run, and after Hicks kicked the extra point, South Putnam led 31-0.
Monrovia's final serious scoring drive of the game was ended by an interception by Eagle Ben Anderson.
"Monrovia played hard, like we knew they would," South Putnam coach Mark Wildman said following the game.
"We stopped ourselves in the first half with turnovers and penalties."
"The kickoff return for a touchdown at the start of the second half was a big boost for us. Then we got a turnover from them right after that and we were able to get on track," said Wildman.
Christy gained 169 yards on 21 carries to lead the Eagles in rushing. Birkemeier followed with 37 yards on 5 carries, and had the 85-yard kickoff return.
As a team, South Putnam gained 237 rushing yards on 37 carries compared to Monrovia's rushing for 44 yards on 29 carries.
The Eagles were 5-for-11 through the air for 75 yards. Quarterback Tomasino hit Hicks with three passes totaling 54 yards and Birkemeier with one for 12 yards.
The Eagles (5-3, 4-1 WCC) will host Cascade, while celebrating Senior night, next
Friday in the final game of the regular season. The game begins at 7:00 p.m.
At The RCA Dome
South Putnam - Christy 3 run (Kick failed) 6:42
South Putnam - Birkemeier 85 kick-off return (Tomasino run) 11:49
South Putnam - Hicks 29 field goal 7:47
South Putnam - Tomasino to Hicks 15 pass (Hicks kick) 0:13
South Putnam - Christy 14 run (Hicks kick) 4:16
First Downs - South Putnam (13), Monrovia (8)
Punts-Yards - South Putnam (0-0), Monrovia (5-130)
Fumbles-Lost - South Putnam (5-3), Monrovia (5-1)
Penalties-Yards - South Putnam (5-60), Monrovia (6-45)
Rushing - (37 Carries, 237 yards) - Christy 21-169, Tomasino 5-11, Birkemeier 5-37, McCallie 1-8, McKinney 1-10, Green 1-2, Blanton 1-2, Terry 1-3, Sebanc 1-(-5).
Passing - (5-11-1-1, 75 yards) - Tomasino 5-11, 75 yds., 1 TD, 1 INT.
Receiving - (5 catches, 75 yards) - Christy 1-9, Hicks 3-54, Birkemeier 1-12.
Rushing - (29 Carries, 44 yards) - Martin 9-38, Monteleone 5-1, Nunguster 6-17, Sampson 5-(-21), Standeford 4-9.
Passing - (7-16-0-1, 88 yards) - Sampson 7-15, 88 yds., 0 TD, 1 INT, Standeford 0-1, 0 yds., 0 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving - (7 catches, 88 yards) - Martin 1-27, Monteleone 1-10, Nunguster 1-5, Steward 2-16, Bowers 1-7, Dillon 1-23.
Next Game - The Eagles (5-3, 4-1 WCC) will host Cascade, while celebrating Senior night, next Friday in the final game of the regular season. The game begins at 7:00 p.m.