SPEEDWAY -- The Cougars opened the scoring in the first quarter with Tyler Shorter capping off a seven play drive on a jet sweep from 11-yards out to give the Cougars an early 6-0 lead.
A Nate Bryan interception set up North Putnam for their second drive deep in Speedway territory. It took three plays before Hank Spencer hammered in from six yards out to give the visitors a 13-0 lead.
After stalling out the Sparkplugs on the next possession, the Cougars went to the air in the second quarter.
Kolten Everts completed three out of four passes on the drive, including a 47-yard touchdown pass to Jake Smearge for to give North Putnam a 20-0 lead.
The visitors further extended the lead in the second quarter after a 10-play drive ended with Everts hitting Shorter for a 20-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 27-0.
Speedway got on the board with 25 to go in the half with a 38-yard field goal from Thomas McHenry, which looked as if it would be the final points of the half.
Instead, the Cougars took three straight passes and moved 70 yards, scoring as time expired when Everts again hit Shorter to cap the half with a 34-3 lead.
The hosts tried an onside kick to start the second half, with Hunter Logan recovering. On the next play, Shorter scored again with a mirror image of his first rushing touchdown, this time covering 56 yards to give the Cougars a 38-3 lead.
North Putnam's defense then got a score of their own. Smearge picked off Austin Angela and ran the interception in for a 32-yard score to extend the lead to 48-3.
Speedway stalled out on the North Putnam 8 yard line on their next possession, only for Everts to throw an interception to Kevin Lonzo three plays later.
The Cougars again held firm deep in their own territory, and as time drew down, both squads traded possessions, grinding down the clock.
Speedway would add one final score when Josh Manion rattled off an 81-yard score, but the ensuing kickoff led to the final horn and with it, the Cougars advanced to the second round of Class 2A sectional 30.
Afterward, Cougar head coach Brian Crabtree said it was a very good game from his squad.
"Hats off to Speedway. They're a good football program. I feel like our kids took it to another level this week. We had a great week of preparation and we're going to have to do it again because Ritter's a heck of a ball club, too," Crabtree said.
"The offensive line did a great job tonight. They controlled the line of scrimmage. I also thought our tempo was pretty good. Overall, the execution was close to where it needed to be tonight."
Unlike most games so far this season, North Putnam's big plays revolved mainly around the passing game, which Crabtree attributed to Speedway's game plan.
"They were bringing a lot of guys up to the line of scrimmage to sit on the run. That opened up the passing game for us," Crabtree said.
Conversely, the Cougar pass defense was solid against a Speedway squad that threw often. Crabtree said the defense had improved as the year progressed.
"It's been a process throughout the entire year. The defensive coaches have done a great job of getting them better. We're going to have to have another great week of getting better, because Ritter will throw the ball as well," Crabtree said.
"We'll need another great week of preparation. Doing the mental work, getting good reps in every drill they run and doing the right things are key."
North Putnam will play Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter next Friday at home. Crabtree said the game should be exciting.
"When Speedway played Ritter earlier in the season, Ritter had several kids suspended for that game. If they had played 1's against 1's, Ritter probably wins that game.
"It ought to be an awesome atmosphere at our place, with Ritter and ourselves. It'll be a great game to be at."
Class 2A Sectional
North Putnam 13 21 14 0 -- 48
Speedway 0 3 0 7 -- 10
NP -- 6:57 Shorter 23-yard run (XP no good) 0-6
NP -- 3:56 Spencer 6-yard run (Freund kick) 0-13
NP -- 10:01 Smearge 47-yard pass from Everts (Freund kick) 0-20
NP -- 2:58 Shorter 20-yard pass from Everts (Freund kick) 0-27
S -- 0:25 McHenry 38-yard field goal 3-27
NP -- 0:00 Shorter 17-yard pass from Everts (Freund kick) 3-34
NP -- 11:44 Shorter 56-yard run (Freund kick) 3-41
NP -- 10:33 Smearge 32-yard interception return (Freund kick) 3-48
S -- 0:01 Manion 81-yard run (McHenry kick) 10-48