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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cougars ready for semistate

Thursday, November 16, 2006

North Putnam will play its first semistate game in 16 years Saturday when it hosts Southridge.

The Cougars (13-0), ranked No. 3 in Class 2A, claimed their second regional championship in school history last week with a 23-18 victory over Speedway on the road to earn its first semistate berth since 1990.

North Putnam's win over the Sparkplugs was its second come-from-behind win in a row, as the Cougars gave up a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give Speedway a one-point advantage, 18-17.

NPHS's Adam Vondersaar came through with a late score to seal the regional win.

One week earlier the Cougars entered the fourth quarter of their sectional finals match-up with Cascade trailing 33-27 before a late touchdown put NPHS on top.

The Raiders enter Saturday's game with an 11-2 record, having just won its second regional crown in four years.

Southridge, ranked No. 8 in 2A, was a state finalist in 2002.

Southridge earned its spot in the semistate with a 32-7 win over Brownstown Central last week.

The Raiders' defense clamped down hard on Brownstown, limiting the Braves to just 55 rushing yards in the game.

Brownstown Central entered last week's game averaging 250 rushing yards per game in the postseason.

Southridge's defensive line also contributed to the win, as Brownstown quarterback Alex McPike was sacked five times for losses of 38 yards.

Offensively, the Raiders gained 302 yards against the Braves, including 236 on the ground. Quarterback Brad Roesner passed for 66 yards in the game, converting four of six attempts.

Ross Kunkler led the Raiders' rushing attack with 76 yards on 13 carries.

North Putnam rushed for 165 yards against Speedway last week, with Vondersaar leading the way with 89 yards on 16 carries.

But it was quarterback Brayden Dahlstrom that held the Cougars' offense together. The senior converted 11-of-17 passes for a gain of 272 yards.

Dahlstrom threw for two touchdowns in the game, including a 72-yard toss to Jarrett Ban for a touchdown on the Cougars' first play of the game.

North Putnam and Southridge will square off Saturday with a trip to the state finals in the balance.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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