By MIKE CLODFELTER, For the BannerGraphic
NOBLESVILLE --The Class 2A, 5th ranked, North Putnam Cougars football team traveled a great distance to Noblesville Friday night to open the 2007 season against the Guerin Catholic Golden Eagles.
After a slow start, North Putnam broke the game open in the second stanza, defeating the Golden Eagles, 33-0.
Both teams opened the game playing as one would expect for the first game of the season as passes were bobbled and interceptions slipped the hands of defensive backs.
Dahlstrom rushed for a 35-yard touchdown and Kyle Rooker added another score four minutes and 46 seconds later after Rooker recovered a bobbled catch of a Cougar punt, giving North Putnam a 12-0 lead going into the locker room at half time.
In the second half, the Cougar defense throttled Guerin Catholic's opening drive and five plays later, Dahlstrom scored his second touchdown of the evening, this time a 58-yard run, with 3:47 showing on the clock in the third quarter.
Once again North Putnam's defense forced the Golden Eagles to punt the ball back to the Cougars. Five plays later, Dahlstrom hit JT Francies with a 23-yard pass, giving the visitors a 26-0 lead.
One play later, Justin Ensor intercepted a Guerin Catholic pass, then on the next play from scrimmage, Dan Boruff scored the final points of the game on a 2-yard run with 0:02.7 left in the third quarter.
With the victory assured, Cougar head coach Dave Pasch substituted his starters in the fourth quarter.
"It was a good team victory tonight," Pasch said following the game.
"The key to the win tonight was our composure and focus on the task at hand."
"To come out in the first week and get a victory after a long bus ride against a team as good as Guerin was an outstanding effort by our kids," said Pasch.
Dahlstrom gained 201 yards on 12 carries to lead the Cougars in rushing. Adam Vondersaar followed with 37 yards on seven carries, and Rooker had 29 on 10 carries,
As a team, North Putnam gained 273 rushing yards compared to Geurin Catholic's 64 yards on the ground.
The Cougars were 4-for-6 through the air for 64 yards. Quarterback Dahlstrom hit Rooker and Francies with passes totaling 27 and 23 yards each.
North Putnam passed for 64 yards compared to Geurin Catholic's 89 yards.
Defensively, the Cougars were led by Vondersaar with 13 tackles, followed by Dahlstrom and Austin Malayer with 12 and 11, respectively.
Ensor had an interception, and Rooker had a fumble recovery.
The Cougars (1-0, 0-0 WCC) host Montgomery County rival Southmont in the first home game of the season next Friday night, with the game beginning at 7:00 p.m.
At Guerin Catholic
North Putnam 0 12 21 0 -- 33
Guerin Catholic 0 0 0 0 -- 0
North Putnam -- Dahlstrom 35 run (Kick failed) 7:48
North Putnam -- Rooker 12 run (Kick failed) 3:02
North Putnam -- Dahlstrom 58 run (Dahlstrom kick) 3:47
North Putnam -- Dahlstrom to Francies 23 pass (Dahlstrom kick) 0:21.6
North Putnam -- Boruff 2 run (Dahlstrom kick) 0:02.7
First Downs -- North Putnam (9), Geurin Catholic (10)
Punts-Yards - North Putnam (2-68), Geurin Catholic (6-244)
Fumbles-Lost - North Putnam (1-1), Geurin Catholic (2-1)
Penalties-Yards - North Putnam (8-60), Geurin Catholic (3-25)
North Putnam (1-0, 0-0 WCC):
Rushing - (37 Carries, 273 yards) -- Dahlstrom 12-201, Vondersaar 7-37, Rooker 10-29, Ban 1-2, Francies 1-0, Boruff 1-2, Ford 2-4, Jones 1-(-5), Adams 2-3.
Passing - (4-6-1-0, 64 yards) -- Dahlstrom 4-5, 64 yds., 1 TD, 0 INT, Jones 0-1, 0 yds., 0 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving - (4 catches, 64 yards) -- Vondersaar 1-7, Rooker 1-27, Ban 1-7, Francies 1-23.
Guerin Catholic (0-1):
Rushing - (35 Carries, 64 yards) -- Titus 1-3, D. Iafrato 22-30, Dailey 1-3, Carpenter 2-1, Murphy 5-15, B. Iafrato 4-12.
Passing - (12-28-0-1, 89 yards) -- Titus 12-28, 89 yds., 0 TD, 1 INT.
Receiving - (12 catches, 89 yards) -- D. Iafrato 1-1, Carpenter 7-70, Murphy 4-18.
Next Game: The Cougars (1-0, 0-0 WCC) host Montgomery County rival Southmont in the first home game of the season next Friday night, with the game beginning at 7:00 p.m.