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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Cougars edged by Speedway at sectional

Saturday, November 1, 2008

North Putnam's Griffen Dahlstrom fights for extra yardage in Friday's matchup with Speedway.
SPEEDWAY -- The undefeated North Putnam Cougars football team, currently ranked 2nd in the Indiana Football Coaches Association Class 2A poll, traveled to Speedway Friday night to play the Sparkplugs in the second round of the Class 2A, Sectional 30 tournament.

The Cougars knew entering the game they would have a tough job on their hands, having narrowly defeated the Sparkplugs three weeks earlier, 35-32. Speedway scored more points against North Putnam in that game than the combined total output of the Cougar's nine other opponents this season, 22 points.

This game turned out to be as terrific a battle between two great teams, as the one three weeks earlier.

However, this game will be remembered for a North Putnam team decision made at the end of the game that affected the final outcome of the game, ending the Cougars' season, 28-27.

The first quarter went scoreless as defense would be the story in this period as each team was limited to less than 48 yards in total offense.

North Putnam's Seth Vondersaar blocked a Speedway punt, and teammate Rob Ford scooped-up the loose ball and returned it 14 yards to the Speedway 17 yard line.

Unfortunately, the only turnover of the night for North Putnam ended the Cougars first scoring opportunity of the night.

The rest of the game would be different story, as Speedway was able to score twice in the second quarter, and North Putnam drove 89 yards down the field, ending the drive with a Scott Hunt 1-yard run for a touchdown with 14.8 showing on the clock. After Griffen Dahlstrom kicked the extra point, the Cougars trailed 7-12 and halftime.

North Putnam took the lead with 5:57 left in the third quarter on a 10-yard pass from Hunt to Kyle Adams, giving the Cougars a 14-12 advantage over the Sparkplugs.

The next Speedway drive was halted as Tyler Osborn intercepted a Sparkplug pass, but North Putnam's ensuing drive stalled, and a fluke play while punting the ball away.

A low snap forced the Cougar punter to bend down to catch the ball and his knee barely touched the ground, before he kicked a terrific punt.

However, the officials called the ball back to the point where the punter's knee touched the ground.

On the next play from scrimmage, Speedway ran the ball in for a score, and a 20-14 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

The Cougars responded by driving the ball down the field, this time 74 yards and another Hunt to Adams pass for a 7-yard touchdown, and Dahlstrom's kick gave North Putnam the lead again at 21-20.

North Putnam's defense again rose to the occasion, stopping Speedway, but a questionable pass interference penalty gave the Sparkplugs a first down, instead of having to punt the ball back to the Cougars.

On the next play from scrimmage, Speedway scored a 45-yard touchdown on pass play, and a 21-26 lead over the Cougars.

The Sparkplugs next decision would play a major role in the outcome of the game as Speedway chose to attempt a successful 2-point conversion, which would be their final points of the game, and a 28-21 lead over the Cougars.

North Putnam roared back, driving the ball 69 yards down the field with Hunt scoring a 2-yard run with 1:12 left in the game.

Then came a decision that was being debated on the sideline, in the stands, and on the radio broadcast. Should the Cougars kick the extra point to tie the game and force overtime, or attempt a 2-point conversion to win the game?

After a timeout, North Putnam unsuccessfully attempted a pass play for 2-point conversion, ending the Cougars undefeated season, 28-27.

After the game ended, North Putnam head coach Greg Barrett explained the team's decision to go for the conversion and the win.

"Our team motto all year has been 'one heartbeat' and when you have your group of seniors come to you and tell you they want to go for the 2-point conversion for the win instead of kicking the extra point for a tie, you put your trust into them, and we thought we were going to get it, and I had all of the faith in the world that we were going to get it, "Barrett said.

"Our guys played great and they played hard. We didn't play as well as we would have liked to in the first half. It's what happens sometimes."

"It's not definitely the way these wanted seniors to go out because of the careers they've had."

"Football is a game of life and our guys will take this and learn from it. We don't just teach them football. Our guys understand that. We have a great group of 20 Seniors that I can't say enough about," Barrett concluded.

Dahlstrom gained 116 yards on 23 carries to lead the Cougars in rushing. Hunt followed with 32 yards on 14 carries, Darr Boruff had 27 on three carries, and Jerrett Ban had 24 yards on seven rushes.

As a team, North Putnam gained 187 rushing yards compared to Speedway's 47 yards on the ground.

Defensively, Dahlstrom led the Cougars with 11 tackles, followed by Vondersaar with five.

Vondersaar also blocked a Speedway punt, Ford and Adams each recovered a fumble, and Boruff had an interception.

This was the final football game for 20 Cougar Seniors.

At Speedway

North Putnam 0 7 7 13 -- 27

Speedway 0 12 8 8 -- 28

Second Quarter

Speedway -- West to Linville 20 pass (Walton kick) 8:33

Speedway -- Avance 2 run (run failed) 3:21

North Putnam -- Hunt 1 run (Dahlstrom kick) 0:14.8

Third Quarter

North Putnam -- Hunt to Adams 10 pass (Dahlstrom kick) 5:57

Speedway -- McGavoch 10 run (2 pt pass conversion) 2:48

Fourth Quarter

North Putnam -- Hunt to Adams 7 pass (Dahlstrom kick) 8:43

Speedway -- West to Linville 45 pass (2 pt run conversion) 6:34

North Putnam -- Hunt 2 run (pass failed) 1:12


First Downs -- North Putnam (20), Speedway (9)

Punts-Yards -- North Putnam (1-33), Speedway (1-36)

Fumbles-Lost -- North Putnam (3-0), Speedway (1-0)

Penalties-Yards -- North Putnam (10-95), Speedway (3-35)


North Putnam (10-1, 6-0 WCC):

Rushing -- (50 Carries, 187 yards) -- Dahlstrom 23-116, Hunt 14-32, Boruff 3-27, Diebold 2-0, Ban 7-24, Enders 1-(-12).

Passing -- (11-19-2-1, 132 yards) -- Hunt 11-19, 132 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT.

Receiving -- (11 catch, 132 yards) -- Dahlstrom 4-47, Diebold 1-13, Ban 4-55, Adams 2-17.

Total Offense -- (69 plays, 319 yards)

Speedway (8-3, 5-1 WCC):

Rushing -- (21 Carries, 49 yards) -- Linville 1-2, Law 1-(-1), Avance 3-6, Hubbard 9-20, West 4-0, McGavoch 3-22.

Passing -- (11-17-2-1, 184 yards) -- West 11-17, 184 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT.

Receiving -- (11 catches, 184 yards) -- Linville 4-112, Avance 1-1, Shaw 2-29, McGavoch 1-8, Faith 3-34.

Total Offense -- (38 plays, 233 yards)

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Great try Cougars. That is what it is all about, TEAM WORK! It was decided as a team to do the 2 pointer. You did your best and that is all that can be asked of you.

-- Posted by mad-mom on Sat, Nov 1, 2008, at 8:13 AM

The team chose that but the coach is the one that has the final decision. Speedway could not stop that offense (NP had 20 first downs to their 9). The coach let the kids' emotion influence the outcome. Kick the extra point, go to overtime, and NP wins.

-- Posted by iloveblacks on Sat, Nov 1, 2008, at 2:59 PM


You are correct that the coach needs to think clearly at that juncture of the game. NP is the #1 team in 2A, you kick the PAT and go on. I will disagree though with your comment they couldn't stop them. NP may have had twice the first downs, but when it mattered Speedway stopped them. By the way if anyone could answer who is the D-coordinator for NP? Linville is the kid that makes that whole team tick for the Plugs. That is the way it has been all year. How does he go for over a hundred yards recieving. Teams like this years NP squad don't happen very often with small class schools. Too bad it ended early. Good luck next year hopefully next time the coaches will make a good decision.

-- Posted by lakeresident on Sat, Nov 1, 2008, at 3:23 PM

First and Most Important:

Congratulations to this team for a great year.

To the coach...you are in this fans mind our version of Trent Dilfer (when Baltimore won the Super Bowl)...just hand the ball off and don't make mistakes. SIMPLE!

You are in the position to make the final call and you can not base your decision on a group of young men who are on an emotional high at that point in the game. You are the "calming" factor and the "voice of reason". You simply don't make the mistake of letting emotion take over....you kick the extra point and keep the head of steam of emotion that you have and take the game into overtime. You still would have had two timeouts left and maybe even a chance to do something during the final seconds of the 4th qtr.

You make a call like that in the regular season and if it does not work, you go on and lace em up for the next week and the second guessing would not be near as harsh as when you make that call and if you fail (which YOU did), there is NO next week.

This coach took over a Team that my child could have coached to a winning season and he simply made the mistake that "Trent Dilfer" didn't, he forgot his role in this whole thing.

Regardless, nothing will change the outcome of this game now. What I do know about this "small community", is this coach will never be forgiven for this brain freeze. His fate was sealed with this lack of judgment and "arrogance". The chance of seeing a group of "special" kids like this doesn't come around very often, if ever.! It is just a shame that good judgement did not take a front seat here.

Thank you Cougars for a great season. If not for the Coach making the wrong call, worst case, we go overtime and yes NP wins and this season is "to be continued".

Not Forgiven!

-- Posted by spitfire109 on Sat, Nov 1, 2008, at 4:35 PM

What was even more disturbing is he mentioned the creedo of the team instead of owning up to the mistake he made. I hate to have this overshadow what great things these kids did accomplish, but this one was big and it hurts. You see Peyton Manning every week begging the coach to go for 2, or go for it on 4th and inches. But the coaches are there for a reason, to call the game. This team had championship written all over it. Err goes to the coach. Great job NP football players. You gave us a great show these past few years. Good luck in college and give us more to be proud of as you mention where you came from, and who you are. You are North Putnam.

-- Posted by iloveblacks on Sat, Nov 1, 2008, at 4:49 PM

These kids were inspirations to all. They were well coached and to suggest otherwise shows incredible ignorance of what it takes to win.

The final decision was made by those in the arena and they believed iy was right. Those who don't know or understand can easily ctiticize. It truly is a case of "you have to be there to understand".

Congrats to all involved. Thanks coaches for your time and efforts. You guys never stopped believing.

-- Posted by justasking on Sun, Nov 2, 2008, at 1:24 PM

Congrats on a great season, Cougars. However, all the congratulations won't erase the hurt the team and coaches are feeling (even here on Sunday). It's easy for us fans to play Monday morning quarterback. I'm not going to blame the coaches for putting their trust and faith into a the team. When you go through the months of training camp and a season worth of games and practices, the coaches can look into the players eyes and feel that confidence they have. It could have very well been a play that was going to lead to momentum into the rest of the playoffs, but it didn't work out that way. If the game went into OT, it could still have had the same outcome. I'm a NP grad and I've sat in the stands watching teams that have had bad season records. I agree also, that a group of special kids don't come along that often. It's been a very long time since we've seen that at NP. The best thing we can do is now move on, no matter how hard that may be and how much it hurts.

-- Posted by purple_heat on Sun, Nov 2, 2008, at 1:35 PM

Just asking...

I have said what I feel and it is not just me....

However; I take great exception to the fact that you "elude" to this team as "well" coached and to suggest otherwise is...."in your words".."shows incredible ignorance of what it takes to win".

This team was well coached for almost ten years. that would be correct. Are you aware that this team had 15+ TD's called back due to penalties, for calls as holding, motion, etc....to make the statement that this coach did a good job is absurb! How many times did the "voice" of the team end up with unsportsmanlike penalties and this coach do "NOTHING" about it...NO.NO.NO. the incredible ignorance is the belief that this coach made the right decision and your defense of such a call.

A case of "simply having to be there to understand"! Really, how does that change the fact that the wrong call was made?

My last post on this matter. GO N.P.

-- Posted by spitfire109 on Sun, Nov 2, 2008, at 3:43 PM


-- Posted by blonde bombshell on Sun, Nov 2, 2008, at 5:17 PM

Ok, so after reading all of these responses to all of you people dissing on the coaches,I am in awe. I have been to just about every game since i started elementary school and have seen just about everything possible in football.This past Friday night v.s. Speedway was an amazing game in which i shall never forget. So no matter what the outcome was, it was by far the best game all year. I personally believe that Coach Barrett is a GREAT coach! I think it was a very good decision on the TEAMS part. Everyone knows that if our guys would have succeeded in the two point conversion then everyone would be talking about how great of a decision it was. I am very close to a lot of the football players and know that the majority of them feel the same way i do. so anyways to all you parents that cant quit living through your children, if the football players are ok with it then why cant you be?

Everyone dissing on coach needs to take a step back and look at how good of a coach he is and how GREAT of a season he had

AWESOME first year coach, and great year guys

Your #1 FAN

-- Posted by #1_north_put_fan on Sun, Nov 2, 2008, at 6:46 PM

Great season and good luck seniors on what ever path you take in life. The remainder of the team stay sharp work hard in the off seasons and we will be there to support you guys next season.

"one HEART one BEAT"

-- Posted by north_proud on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 6:45 AM

It amazes me how people come on here and say what a great coach he is. Give it a few years before you start throwing the guy a parade in downtown Roachdale. He took over a winning program. He took over a program that was 25-2 in the two previous seasons. THEY WERE EXPECTED TO WIN. In my opinion this was still Paschs team. Players he groomed and molded into the seniors they were this year. You could of had a Pee Wee coach out there and still win 9 games this year with the talent they had. A great coach is someone like Bud Wright at Sheridan. 16 sectional championships, 11 regionals, 9 semi-states & 9 state championships. He has put in his time and struggling season to become the three time defending state champ. That is a great coach. Or someone like Mark Lefebvre at Southern Wells. He took a 2-7 team from a year ago into an undefeated 11-0 team playing for a sectional championship this Friday. Or the coach down the street that when a CAPTAIN gets too out of hand and get multiple unsportsmanlike penalties in one game sits that player for a week to set an example to the others that actions like that will not be tolerated. That is a great coach. Give coach Barrett a few years before you start planning his bronze statue in the North endzone.

And I don't disagree with the decision to go for two and the win. Just disagree with the play call. You have an allstate running back that has been the work horse for your team all season. Give the ball to him. They had been a running team all year. Then when the season is on the line they turn into a passing team? Bonehead call of the year.

And furthermore, a good coach wouldn't put the blame on the kids for going for two. If they would have got it, then yes, give all the credit to the kids for wanting to go for two. But since they didn't, man up and take the blame. That is the coaches job. NOT to throw the kids under the bus when something doesn't go as planned.

-- Posted by fannatic on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 8:17 AM

("I am glad I decided to go to this game, I figured this would be the best game to attend in the State, and I wasn't disappointed at all!

This was a game filled with a lot of hard hits and good play from both sides of the ball and I hope these two teams meet again in Sectional play, this really could be a battle of titans again.

I would like to comment on one aspect of the game that I found disturbing... "the ref's", by not calling the HOLDS / Blocks in the back I witnessed at this game. I have been to many HS. Games of all levels of play and I have to say, this game is one of the worst I have seen in the "Ref's" not calling these or other obvious calls on both sides of the ball.

Some advice for the "Cougars", I feel your team could go along way, but they must work on one thing, the types of HOLD's I was seeing they will not be able to get by with later on in Sectional or future Tournament Rounds. The HOLDS I saw were a taught/technique and could cost your team and possibly early elimination from Tournament play.")

Good Luck in future play...(Just being Honest)

* This is the exact comment I left after the first meeting between these two teams, and I'm telling you now, penalty's that weren't obivously addressed after the first meeting bit your Cougars in the rear! Your "Coach" made the right call in supporting your team, he is there for them, not you fans! He has to face those players, that's his family for the season...again not you fans / parents. You actually had another chance at this game, if you wouldn't have gotten a personal foul call due to hitting after their QB. knelt to down the ball...(that was a bone head play), and then your player (maybe the QB?) throws his helmet down on the sideline in field of play...come on oops! (Unsportsman like conduct) "GAME OVER". What really makes matters worse was hearing the parents / fans of the players yelling at the Coach and taunting the Referee's who I think did an outstanding job, compared to the crew I witnessed at North Put. I'm pretty sure your school has heard from the ISHAA due to the comments / slures hurrled at the refree's, (Speedway's Atheletic Director happened to be standing on that side of the field and witness this himself as well.) Crying Shame...I was at the best football game for sure that Friday Night, but maybe next time bring ear plugs. H. S. Fan! ps. Speedway's momentum after observing the event's leading up to the decision for going for 2pt., this was the right choice, but if they would have kicked the extra point, you stood more of a chance of getting it blocked or missed. Dalhstrom was struggling... but if they would have run it... Speedway's defense was set to stop the run and their penatration late in the game, you would have lost that battle as well. Be proud of the Seniors and this ball club and relish the season they had!

-- Posted by masterchief82 on Mon, Nov 3, 2008, at 10:16 AM

Dear all ridiculous opinion givers,

I happen to play on this team and have an insiders view. I know you all have an opinion and want to give it, but the fact is most of you have no idea what you're talking about.

A coach has to show trust in his team in crunch time, and if they want to go for the W then let them. It's not his team it's the players' team. So you go w/ what they want.

Coach Barrett is the best coach I've ever played under and he knows how to get the most out of his team. I have the utmost respect for him and would lay my body down on the line for him when it comes to football. NP is lucky to have a great coach like him and shouldn't take him for granted.

I want to give a shout out to all the great parents that have supported us all year. Great group of parents. And to all you crazy cheerblockers, thanks for being awesome all year. It was a blast for me this year and I hope the underclassmen keep the tradtition alive and dominate again next season.


-- Posted by NPQB#7 on Wed, Nov 5, 2008, at 8:06 PM

It does not matter what type of play was made or by whom it was chosen, it just was not meant to be or NP would have won. Please stop putting down the coach or the team....they did the best job that they could do. No team or coach is flawless...everyone has room for improvement. Thanks for a great season, guys---you should be proud of yourselves! GO COUGARS!

-- Posted by John3:16 on Thu, Nov 6, 2008, at 11:46 AM

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