CLAYTON -- The South Putnam Eagles football team traveled to Cascade Friday night to play the Cadets in the final game of the regular season, and the last opportunity to prepare for the start of the sectional tournament next weekend.
Cascade proved to be a worthy opponent, but the Eagles controlled the game on both sides of the ball, defeating the Cadets, 17-2.
In the first quarter, Cascade recovered an Eagle fumble on the 8-yard line, but South Putnam's defense rose to the occasion, keeping the Cadets out of the end zone on four consecutive rushing plays. The final one, on fourth down, on the 1-yard line.
The Eagles then drove the ball 99 yards down the field to score the first points of the game, a 2-yard run by Drew Cash. After Jake Gould kicked the extra point, South Putnam was up, 7-0.
In the second quarter, the Eagles scored another touchdown, but it was called back because of a penalty. However, two plays later, Gould kicked a 22-yard field goal to give South Putnam a 10-0 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
In the first half, South Putnam generated 154 yards in total offense, while the Eagle defense limited the Cadets to 9 yards in offense.
Neither team was able to score in the third quarter, but that would change in the final period.
South Putnam's defense again stopped Cascade on the 1-yard line, but the Cadets tackled an Eagle player for a safety on the next play, closing the score to 10-2.
However, the Eagle defense continued to dominate Cascade's offense throughout the rest of the game.
South Putnam's offense was able to generate another scoring drive, this one, a seven-play, 84-yard series, which ended with Cash scoring his second touchdown of the evening, a 50-yard run.
Gould kicked the extra point, for the final score of 17-2.
South Putnam played a solid game on offense, defense, and special teams, but the Eagles committed six fumbles, four of which were recovered by the Cadets, and that limited the visitors' scoring opportunities.
"I have to give credit to Cascade, "South Putnam head coach Troy Burgess said following the game.
"They played their hearts out, but good football teams find a way to win, and that's what happened to us tonight."
"Our kids played hard, made great plays defensively, and found a way to win," Burgess concluded.
Cash gained 176 yards on 24 carries to lead the Eagles in rushing. Derek Tomaw followed with 58 yards on 10 carries, and Trent Knight had 10 yards on two rushes.
Hunter Edwards was six for seven in passing for 50 yards, hitting Conor Frame with two passes for 32 yards and Cash, Tomaw, Antonio Hernandez, and Nathan Welty with one pass each for nine, three, two, and four yards, respectively.
As a team, South Putnam rushed for 233 yards compared to Cascade's 75 yards, and passed for 50 compared the three yards for the Cadets.
The Eagles (3-6, 2-4 WCC) travel to North Putnam to open the Class 2A Sectional Tournament Friday night. The game begins at 7:00 p.m.
South Putnam 7 3 0 7 -- 17
Cascade 0 0 0 2 -- 2
South Putnam -- Cash 2 run (Gould kick) 1:04
South Putnam -- Gould 22 yard field goal 5:34
Cascade -- Safety 10:51
South Putnam -- Cash 50 run (Gould kick) 2:25
First Downs -- South Putnam (12), Cascade (5)
Punts-Yards - South Putnam (2-67), Cascade (8-219)
Fumbles-Lost - South Putnam (6-4), Cascade (1-0)
Penalties-Yards - South Putnam (8-56), Cascade (2-10)
South Putnam (3-6, 2-4 WCC):
Rushing - (40 Carries, 233 yards) -- Edwards 4-(-11), Cash 24-176, Tomaw 10-58, Knight 2-10.
Passing - (6-7-0-0, 50 yards) -- Edwards 6-7, 50 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving - (6 catch, 50 yards) -- Cash 1-9, Tomaw 1-3, Frame 2-32, Hernandez 1-2, Welty 1-4.
Total Offense - (47 plays, 288 yards)
Cascade (0-9, 0-6 WCC):
Rushing - (45 Carries, 75 yards) -- Arthur 21-14, Hensley 8-11, Helmick 14-52, Younge 1-1, Arnes 1-(-3).
Passing - (1-6-0-0, 3 yards) -- Arthur 1-6, 3 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving - (1 catch, 3 yards) -- Arnes 1-3.
Total Offense - (51 plays, 78 yards)
Next Game: The Eagles (3-6, 2-4 WCC) travel to North Putnam to open the Class 2A Sectional Tournament Friday night. The game begins at 7 p.m.