BAINBRIDGE -- North Putnam Head Coach Dave Pasch knew that Southmont would bring their best effort to Saturday's rescheduled contest. He told his players so after the game. After all, Southmont was fresh off a solid performance in a close, overtime loss to over highly-regarded 1A Fountain Central last week, and the Mounties seemed to be playing with a great deal of emotion and intensity under first-year Head Coach Dessun Hannum.
The fourth-ranked Cougars took a while to adjust defensively to the Mounties' option attack, and were plagued by penalties throughout the game, amassing more yards in penalties (119) than Southmont would gain offensively (97) in the contest.
The Mounties and North merely traded fruitless possessions in the first quarter, with only Southmont able to get any significant forward movement.
After a JT Francies' punt pinned Southmont deep in their own territory early in the second quarter, momentum began to shift North Putnam's way when the Mounties were unable to get a punt off in their own end zone, resulting in a safety that put the Cougars ahead 2-0 with 9:40 to play.
Dahlstrom led the next Cougar possession to the end zone as well, as he kept on an option play, resulting in a 21-yard score that led to a 15-0 North Putnam lead at the half.
North seemed to come out on a mission after the break, made obvious by Rooker's 85-yard TD return of the second half kickoff. It was the first TD return of a kickoff in Dave Pasch's tenure at the Cougar helm. Dahlstrom's PAT upped the Cougar advantage to 22-0 with only 15 seconds having expired from the third quarter clock.
Another safety resulted when Rooker blocked a Southmont punt through the end zone with 9:37 remaining, and the Cougars led 25-0.
North capped their scoring for the evening when Dahlstrom hit JT Francies with a 26-yard TD pass at the 1:40 mark. Dahlstrom's kick facilitated the 32-point final margin.
Southmont was able to advance to the Cougar 31-yard line on their final possession of the game, but any chance the Mounties had of scoring was dashed when Brock Jones intercepted a Logan Petry pass at the three-minute mark.
North Putnam was able to run out the clock utilizing its second team offense, and the Cougars emerged humbled slightly, but nevertheless victorious.
Adam Vondersaar led all rushers on the night with 51 yards on 9 carries. Southmont was led by Jake Moore's 45 yards. Dahlstrom was 4-15 with 68 yards and a TD, but was not particularly sharp, as many of his passes fell short of his intended receivers.
Pasch acknowledged that Dahlstrom is still growing into his position at the game's conclusion.
"Griff's playing like a first-year quarterback." Pasch stated. "The upside to that is there's tremendous room for growth. He's working hard on the mental aspects of his position.
"It took us a while to regain our composure tonight, but once that returned, we were ok," Pasch concluded.
At North Putnam
Southmont 0 0 0 0 -- 0
North Putnam 0 15 7 10