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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

South Putnam stumbles against Tri-West, 34-7

Saturday, August 28, 2010

South Putnam quarterback Grant Zimmerman makes the call at the line Friday night. [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- One year ago, at Tri-West Field, the Bruins were on the verge of victory against South Putnam until a wild series of events saw the Eagles steal a victory away from the hosts as the clock struck zero. The loss began a four-game losing streak, one which derailed Tri-West's season, while it continued a great South Putnam campaign.

Fast forward twelve months to Mark Wildman Field, where the Bruins were out looking to exact some measure of revenge while South Putnam looked to build off of its season opening win against Owen Valley.

After a tightly contested first half, two turnovers and two costly penalties hampered the Eagles' chances to catch the Bruins as the visitors ran rampant in routing the Eagles 34-7.

The Bruins wasted little time in punching through the first score of the game. Three plays and barely a minute into proceedings, Tri-West's Cody Coll wasn't brought down by the Eagle defense near the line of scrimmage and promptly galloped 65 yards for a touchdown.

While it was a poor start for the hosts, South Putnam began to slowly and methodically chew up yards on the ground with Brayden Freeman shouldering most of the workload. The four-minute opening drive for the Eagles stalled, however, inside the Tri-West 30 yard line.

Five plays later, Tri-West found itself in the end zone again. Coll once again ripped off a big gain, this time 39 yards, leading to a five- yard plunge the following play as the Eagle defense could not keep the sophomore from getting to the outside throughout the evening.

Down 14-0, the Eagles went back to work, this time producing an 8:40 drive that culminated with Freeman slamming in from three yards out to close the deficit to 14-7.

Tri-West then began to hammer the Eagle defense until a fumble with five minutes left stalled their drive in Eagle territory. The ball would not leave the middle of the field as both defenses stiffened up, leaving the hosts trailing heading into halftime.

Rob Gibson opened up the second half by returning the second half kickoff to midfield, but the Eagle offense could not make any inroads. The ensuing punt nearly was costly to the Bruins as it was dropped by the deep man but was recovered by Tri-West.

The visitors began another pounding drive, only to punt after quarterback Austin Hendershot was sacked by the combined efforts of Seth Arnold and Ty Hewitt.

From then on, everything went wrong for the Eagles.

Two plays into the new drive, Freeman lost the ball to defensive back Mitch Alexander. From the Eagle 32-yard line, Tri-West took slightly over a minute to score its third touchdown of the game via the legs of Hendershot.

South Putnam looked to counter but could not get out of its own way. A false start penalty, followed by a bad snap that nearly led to an interception and later a holding call forced the Eagles to punt again.

Two minutes later, in the fourth quarter, Coll scampered in on his third touchdown run of the game, this time from 14 yards out. Only a missed extra point could dampen the spirits of the visitors as they held a 27-7 lead.

Before they could even mount a fight, South Putnam lost the ball again as Zach Smith coughed up the ball.

Tri-West would mount their final scoring drive of the game, using 3:40 more of game time before Hendershot capped off the scoring with a tough three-yard run to put the Bruins ahead 34-7.

Neither offense produced much afterwards and the final whistle was a joyous one to the visiting Bruins.

Eagles head coach Troy Burgess didn't mince words after the contest.

"We're not a good enough football team to come and make stupid penalties. We couldn't make those penalties, we couldn't turn the ball over and we had to tackle on defense and we were 0-3 doing that," Burgess said. "We had silly penalties that stopped drives, we fumbled the football and that stopped drives and we had missed tackles."

"We can't do those things, especially against the level of competition we're going to play. The teams we're playing are pretty good and we can't do these things and be competitive in these games if we continue to do those things. This is what the outcome will be." Burgess continued.

"The first half was perfect. We were down 14-7, we'd moved the ball against them. We'd shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times but we were moving the football. We scored, did a nice job defensively, we had a couple of nice stops at the end of the half. "

"We got the ball to start the second half, things were going accordingly and then each time we would start to get a little bit of a drive, we would forget a snap count, fumble the snap, we would fumble the football and that just kills drives," Burgess went on to say.

Knowing that Tri-West is a sectional opponent, Burgess also harped on things that needed to happen not only then but for the next game against Rockville.

"We've got to hang on to the ball, we've got to tackle better and we've got to quit making silly mistakes offensively. We were not very aggressive tonight. That was probably the most disappointing thing. I thought our kids played hard and battled. But we didn't play aggressive and that's something that we did do last week that we didn't do this week."

"We're going to have our hands full next week. We've got to go back, regroup, we've got some things to take care of ourselves right now. Then we can start worrying about what our opponents are going to do," Burgess said when asked about next week's road game.

"We got beat by a good football team. I'm very disappointed and I know our kids are disappointed but we didn't quit. We just got beat by a better team tonight."

At Mark Wildman Field

Tri-West 14 0 7 13 - 34

South Putnam 0 7 0 0 - 7



Tri-West: 47-283 (Coll 22-193, 3TD, Hendershot 13-71, 2 TD)

South Putnam: 38-111 (Freeman 22-84, TD, Zimmerman 6- -8, Gibson 5-12, Custis 3-21, Z. Smith 2-2)


Tri-West: Hendershot, 6-10, 68

South Putnam: Zimmerman, 8-16, 47, Gibson, 1-1, 8


Tri-West: 4-35, South Putnam: 2-15

First Downs

Tri-West: 14, South Putnam: 17


Tri-West: 2 fumbles (1 lost), South Putnam: 3 fumbles (2 lost)

Next Game: South Putnam travels to Rockville next Friday.