Senior night at South Putnam High School provided a fitting farewell to the regular season for the host Eagles as they demolished Cascade 48-6.
The home side struck early, often and with authority as the Eagles scored on all seven of their first half possessions.
Rob Gibson started the tallies with a five-yard run off the right tackle for an early 7-0 lead. Seth Hammond doubled the lead, calling his own number from five yards out.
Lucas Lorian would be next in the endzone, reeling off a 60-yard burst and spinning between two tacklers to move the lead to 21-0. Gibson scored his second on the next Eagle play, scampering 45 yards through the middle of the offensive line, closing the first quarter with a 27-0 lead.
Zach Smith would score from 46 yards out two and a half minutes into the second quarter before Gibson capped off his scoring for the evening with a 27-yard run to stretch the lead to 41-0.
Fullback Wade Custis closed out the scoring with a five yard plunge straight up the middle with 1:28 to play in the first half.
The scores wouldn't change until late in the game, when two consecutive passes from Colin Smith to Jaylon Western covered 68 yards and put the Cadets on the board with their final possession of the game.
Eagle head coach Troy Burgess said the night and the game belonged to his 14 seniors.
"Our seniors came out tonight and took it upon themselves to get the job done. They came out focused and executed on both sides of the ball. It was a great night for senior night," Burgess said.
"Our underclassmen took it upon themselves to make it a special night for the seniors. I thought up front our young guys did a great job blocking. Lucas (Lorian) got one carry in the first half and took it in for a touchdown.
"It starts with our seniors. They set the tone and made sure we were focused and ready to play."
While the first half was an exhibition of the Eagle offensive attack, Burgess said the second half proved a little tougher for some of the younger South Putnam players.
"Defensively I thought we played well. Offensively, our young guys have to be ready to play. It was an opportunity for them to play tonight and I'm not sure they were ready to get into the game," Burgess said.
"But, with that said, it's great experience for those young guys to get in there. Cascade had their varsity in there the whole game, so it gave our young guys a chance to get a taste of varsity speed. It was a good learning experience for our young guys," Burgess added.
The sectional draw gives South Putnam at least one more home game as they host South Vermillion next Friday. Burgess said he expected a contrast of styles.
"Coach (Nathan) Aker and I just watched a little game film this morning. We're going to do what we do. We're going to line it up and try to run the football. South Vermillion is going to try to spread it out and throw it," Burgess said.
"It's going to be two different styles. We're going to run the ground game like we do and they're going to try to throw it, so we'll have our hands full defensively trying to slow their passing game down."
At South Putnam
Cascade 0 0 0 6 -- 6
South Putnam 27 21 0 0 -- 48
SP -- 10:13 Gibson five yard run (Yon kick) 7-0
SP -- 6:07 Hammond five yard run (Yon kick) 14-0
SP -- 3:02 Lorian 60-yard run (Yon kick) 21-0
SP -- 0:18 Gibson 45-yard run (XP no good) 27-0
SP -- 9:28 Smith 46-yard run (Yon kick) 34-0
SP -- 5:58 Gibson 27-yard run (Yon kick) 41-0
SP -- 1:28 Custis five yard run (Yon kick) 48-0
C -- 2:29 Western 29-yard pass from Smith (XP no good) 48-6
South Putnam Stats
Rushing -- Gibson 11-147, 3 TD, Z. Smith 9-100, TD, Custis 4-29, TD, Riner 4-26, Patrick 4-(-6), Taylor 3-3, J. Waters 3-(-8), Lorian 2-59, TD, Wilson 2-10, Hammond 1-5, TD, A. Waters 1-8, Wiggs 1-(-1)
Passing and Receiving-- Hammond 2-2-60; Taylor 2-2-4; Heller 2-60, Riner 1-4, Bunten 1-0