Unfortunately for North Putnam, the win gave Monrovia the sectional title and ended with season with a mark of 9-3.
"I'm very proud of the way these kids played tonight," North Putnam head coach Greg Barrett said. "We didn't see anything different; they did a great job defensively. Offensively, you know, we didn't take advantage of some opportunities. We did there in the second half. We ran the ball right down here, ran a screen play and bobbled the ball and that's twice this year they've done that to us.
"I'm speechless -- that's a good ball club. I think we're a good ball club too," he added.
With fans encircling the field, the game had more of a heavyweight fight feel that a high school football game. Luckily for fans -- they got a little bit of both Friday.
Monrovia received the opening kickoff and began to march down the field, but a jarring hit sent the ball to the turf, with senior Darr Boruff covering to give possession to the Cougars.
North opened with a long pass play from Kolton Everts to Caleb Vondersaar for 23 yards, followed by Everts picking up a large chuck of real estate on a keeper. Facing fourth and five, Everts found Kyle Adams for an eight-yard gain and the first down. It didn't take the Cougars long to capitalize after that.
Hank Spencer rushed for a yard, then bulldozed his way in from eight yards out to give North Putnam the early lead. They failed on the two-point conversion and led 6-0 with 4:36 remaining in the first quarter.
Barrett explained following the game the reasoning behind going for two instead of the field goal.
"We've struggled with our kicking the game the last several weeks and we knew we were going to go for two, it's just unfortunate that we didn't make the play," he said.
North had another chance to score in the second quarter, but a fourth down pass slipped through the hands of Shawn Diebold, ending the drive. After two periods, the Cougars entered the half with a 6-0 lead -- an advantage they would hold until the fourth quarter.
It wasn't the passing or running game that highlighted the second half; it was a pair of impressive punts.
First, Monrovia's Dean Reeves blasted an arching punt that crashed into the field and skirted along the one-yard line to bury the Cougars deep. After a series back and fourth, it was North Putnam's turn.
Senior Brock Jones muscled a punt that hit the turf and ran to the nine-yard line. Two plays later, North Putnam got the ball back when Aaron Vondersaar covered a Monrovia fumble, giving the Cougars another shot at scoring.
The Cougars were able to mount another drive, but it stalled on an Everts incomplete pass. Monrovia was able to pick up a first down and run out the clock to secure the win and the sectional crown.
Following the contest, Barrett acknowledged that his team was able to take advantage of some Bulldogs miscues, but still struggled to pinpoint what happened on the interception return.
"We took advantage of their fumble and went down a scored and I thought we had another chance to score. But we didn't take advantage of it," he said. "Then this -- just a bobbled... I'll have to see it on film to see exactly what happened. It happened so fast it was a nightmare."
Everts had 74 yards on 10 carries, followed by Spencer with 65 yards on 15 carries. Everts also passed for 65 yards.
Travis Kratt led North Putnam with 15 tackles, with Nate Bryan adding 12 and Boruff 10.
The Cougars say goodbye to Brock Jones, Shawn Diebold, Darr Boruff, Kyle Adams, Steven Mitchel and Tyler Osborn. Barrett spoke about the impact the six seniors have had on the program this year and throughout their career. They have a record of 44-6 in their time at North Putnam.
"I'm sad for these six seniors right now because they've had a great career here," Barrett commented. "There's not too many guys who can walk away with the career record they've had. They've done a good job teaching these guys how to win and it's amazing how well our sophomores came in and played. Those six guys did an awesome job."
North Putnam ends the season with a record of 9-3 and 5-1 in the West Central Conference.
At North Putnam
Class 2A No. 30 Sectional
Monrovia 0 0 0 7 -- 7
North Putnam 6 0 0 0 -- 6
NP -- Spencer 8 yd. run (Conversion failed)
M -- Watson 96 yd. Int. return (Reeves Kick)
First Downs -- North Putnam (9), Monrovia (9)
Punts-Yards - North Putnam (4-146), Monrovia (1-55)
Fumbles-Lost - North Putnam (0-0), Monrovia (2-2)
Penalties-Yards - North Putnam (1-15), Monrovia (1-15)
North Putnam (9-3, 5-1 WCC):
Rushing - (32 carries, 149 yards) -- Everts 10-74, Spencer 15-65 (TD), Kratt 3-10, Diebold 1-(-1), Boruff 3-1.
Passing - (6-15-0-1, 65 yards) -- Everts 6-15, 65 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT.
Receiving - (6 catches, 65 yards) -- Caleb Vondersaar 1-22, Spencer 1-3, Adams 2-17, Kratt 1-7, Boruff 1-16.
Total Offense - (47 plays, 214 yards)
Monrovia (12-0, 6-0 WCC):
Rushing - (46 carries, 161 yards) -- Conner 4-(-5), Hadley 17-63, Johnson 12-48, Parks 12-45, Clements 1-10.
Passing - (1-4-0-0, 41 yards) -- Conner 1-4, 41 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving - (1 catches, 41 yards) -- Jaynes 1-41.
Total Offense - (50 plays, 202 yards)