On Friday, the North Putnam Cougars' varsity football team will take its winning season and put it on the line against North Montgomery in the first round of the sectional.
The Cougars ended the regular season with a 5-4 record. That's one thing North Putnam coach Dave Pasch is pleased about.
"To finish the regular season with a winning record was a goal we obtained, but I was worried in the beginning of the season because we were so young especially on the defensive side of the ball. But when the West Central Conference stats came out and we had the No. 1 defense, I was pleased."
The Cougars ended the regular season allowing only 18.6 points per game and 241.4 yards. Pasch knows this will be one thing they must have in Friday's game against the 1-8 Chargers.
"North Montgomery is probably the most underrated 1-8 team in the state of Indiana. They play a whale of a schedule and they have a lot of talent," Pasch said. "They play a lot of seniors and don't rely on their younger members for much. And they are coming out of the Sagamore conference, so they will be playing real hard and physical."
Being the postseason, this game Friday may seem more important than all in the regular season. However, Pasch said they will approach it the same.
"Sure there is a lot of urgency on this kind of games like there is on all tournament games, but we are going to approach this one like we have the rest of them this season," Pasch said. "We will try to be the best football team we can be this week and improve from the week before. If we are fortunate to make it out of this one, we will do the same thing the following week. And that has been our goal this entire season -- get better every week."
Leading the Cougars into Friday's game will be quarterback Brayden Dahlstrom. Dahlstrom has completed 80 of his 164 passes for 1,378 yards, has 13 touchdowns on the season and is averaging 153.1 yards passing a game.
The Cougars had the third best offense in the conference, averaging 349.8 yards per game and scoring an average of 24.7 points.
"Our offense is finally coming together for us and we are as healthy as we have been in a while," Pasch said.
Defensively, the Cougars are led by Tyler Trent, who is fourth in the WCC in interceptions with four. Trent also has one defensive touchdown on the season.
The Cougars will be heading into Friday's game off the heels of a win over Cloverdale. The Cougars rushed for 187 yards and threw for 192 yards for a total of 379 yards. Dahlstrom completed 15-of-19 passes for four touchdowns.
The Chargers will be heading into Friday off a 36-13 loss to Frankfort.
"The team knows that they will have to give their best this week and give four quarters of effort to win this game," Pasch said.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at North Montgomery.