MONROVIA -- North Putnam stayed undefeated Friday, using a stout, hard-nosed defense and a balanced offensive attack to beat Monrovia 17-0 in a West Central Conference football game at Gordon Hadley Field.
The Cougars (7-0, 4-0 WCC), the state's No. 3-ranked team in 2A, received a solid performance from quarterback Scott Hunt, who passed for 98 yards and ran for 53 including a 16-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Shawn Diebold scored North Putnam's initial touchdown on a 14-yard run in the second quarter. Rob Ford kicked a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the Cougars.
North Putnam contained Monrovia's solid running attack for most of the game, giving up only one first down in the second and third quarters. The Cougars recovered two fumbles, had an interception and blocked a punt.
"This was a big win," North Putnam coach Greg Barrett said. "Our defense played great. It's been the heartbeat of our team all season. I'm not pleased with the way we played offensively. We can play a lot better than that. Our execution was poor at times and we weren't disciplined. We had too many penalties and shot ourselves in the foot.
"That's (Monrovia) a good team. It's a young team, a powerful team, very physical," he added.
"Scott has come a long way," Barrett said. "He's become a more consistent player. He's a competitor, he wants to win , and he does a good job of keeping us together."
Monrovia (3-4, 2-3 WCC) had three first downs on its opening possession, driving 50 yards to the Cougars' 16.
But on fourth-down-and-2, a surge by the North Putnam line stripped the ball from Monrovia quarterback Tim Connor and Aaron Vondersaar landed on the ball for an 11-yard loss.
It turned out to be play that shifted the momentum for the rest of the game.
North Putnam marched 73 yards on 10 plays, culminated by Diebold's touchdown with 10:17 left in the second quarter.
Hunt hooked up with Caleb Vondersaar for a 22-yard completion on third-and-9 and with Diebold for a 13-yard gain on third-and-11 that moved the Cougars to the Monrovia 14. Diebold scored on the next play and Griffen Dahlstrom kicked the point after for a 7-0 lead.
The Cougars drove 54 yards on six plays on its opening possession of the second half to take a 14-0 lead Hunt ran 23 yards on a quarterback draw to get the Cougars going. Darr Boruff rushed for 13 on the next play, reaching the Bulldogs' 20.
Two downs later, on third-and-6, Hunt dashed 16 yards down the sideline to score and Ford kicked the point after for a 14-0 lead.
Meanwhile, North Putnam's defense had stuffed Monrovia into four straight three-and-outs in the second half.
After taking over at Monrovia's 24 following a short punt, North Putnam drove to the 1. The Bulldogs stopped the Cougars for 2-yard losses on two consecutive plays and an incomplete pass plus offensive pass interference pushed them back to the 20.
On fourth down, Ford kicked his 36-yard field goal long and straight through the uprights with 6:31 remaining.
North Putnam star Griffen Dahlstrom sat out half of the third quarter and all of the fourth.
"He was sore and we wanted to give some other guys some looks," Barrett said. "It was nothing serious."
Monrovia gained 57 yards and its two first downs in the second half on its final possession, ending up with 161 yards rushing and none passing for the night.
North Putnam 0 7 7 3 -- 17
Monrovia 0 0 0 0 -- 0
NP--Diebold 14 run (Dahlstrom kick) at 10:17
NP--Hunt 16 run (Ford kick) at 7:03
NP--FG Ford 36 at 6:31
Rushing: NP--Hunt 11-53, Boruff 7-31, Dahlstrom 7-26, Spencer 3-19, Diebold 5-11; Mon--Johnson 15-66, Parks 3-39, Hickey 11-34, Hadley 2-9, McCleerey 1-2, Watson 2-0, Connor 9- (-15).
Passing: NP--Hunt 8-16-1 98; Mon--Connor 0-4-0 0, Reeves 1-1-0 0, Johnson 0-1-1 0.
Receiving: NP--Boruff 2-20, Adams 2-20, C. Vondersaar 1-22, Diebold 1-13, Alcorn 1-12, Dahstrom 1-11; Mon--Parks 1-0.
Rushing yards: NP 140, Mon 161.
Passing yards: NP 98, Mon 0
First downs: NP 10, Mon 6. Penalties: NP 7-69, Mon 6-30.
Fumbles/lost: NP 2/1, Mon 2/2.
Interceptions: NP--Osborn, Mon--Connor.