Eagles rebound, pummel Rockville Rox 27-0
Rockville -- The South Putnam Eagles bounced back from their first loss of the high school football season with an impressive 27-0 non-conference victory over the host Rockville Rox on Friday night.
Led by the offensive and defensive lines, South Putnam racked up a balanced 148 yards rushing and 147 yards passing, while holding Rockville (1-2) to just 66 yards of total offense and came up with two turnovers.
"It's a win. We made some mental mistakes tonight. I was proud of kids the way the bounced back. We got to get healthy and we got to clean some things up," South Putnam coach Troy Burgess said.
And South's defense finally got a shutout.
"It could have been three in a row. Week one our JV against (Owen Valley's) varsity gives up a 91 yard run. And last week (against Tri-West) two touchdowns in five minutes," Burgess pointed out.
"Our defense has played solid all year long. That's the strength of our team right now is our defense and our big guys up front and they did a tremendous job tonight."
South Putnam has now beaten Rockville in four straight meetings and has a 12-3 record against the Rox since 1999.
Carrying the football 27 times behind veteran offensive line, sophomore running back Lucas Lorian gained 110 yards and scored one touchdown.
And quarterback Sawyer Arnold, making just his third varsity start at the position, completed 7-14 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Arnold's primary target was senior receiver Justin Bumgardner who caught five passes for 126 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown play.
Senior Brandon Smith scored running and catching the ball. He scored South's first touchdown on a three-yard run and capped the night catching a 22-yard pass from Arnold.
"We're young (in the backfield), but we're coming," Burgess said.
South was not only trying to bounce back from a loss, but also from the flu bug. The Eagles were in position to score more touchdowns, but were whistled for seven penalties covering 50 yards.
En route to their fourth straight win over Rockville and 12th win in the last 15 meetings, but the key to the game, on both sides of the football, was South Putnam's ability to control the line of scrimmage.
"The reason we can run the ball, catch the ball and throw the ball is because of our big guys up," Burgess said.
Rockville coach Herb King agreed, but from a difference perspective.
"Their line dominated the ball game. It wasn't won because of backs or anything that way. Defensively I thought we challenged them and did some good things, but our offensive line didn't block their defensive line at all," King said.
South Putnam's defense gave the offense excellent field position throughout the first half, leading to a 13-0 scored in the second quarter.
Rockville's first two offensive plays of the night went for a negative yards with Ryan Chestnut coming up with a big second down tackle for the Eagles.
The Eagles first possession of the night started at the Rockville 37-yard line after a 17-yard punt return by Lorian. Facing a third down and 12, South's Arnold hooked up with Bumgardner for 13 yards for a first down. Arnold and Bumgardner teamed up five times for 63 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
Seven later, Brandon Smith scored for South Putnam on a three-yard run.
A quarterback sack by South's Morgan Grundlock led to a Rockville punt and the Eagles took possession on the Rox 35-yard line. Just seven running plays later, on a fourth down and inches, Lorian scored on a four-yard run. Zane Yon's point-after-kick made it 13-0 with 6:11 left in the second period.
Rockville tried to catch South off guard, but the Eagles' Wes Riner intercepted the halfback pass. The Eagles took possession at their own 30-yard line, their worst field position of the half.
On second down, Lorian broke free for a 17 yard run and two plays later Arnold found Bumgardner again, this time for 28 yards. Arnold went back to Bumgardnear again the 20-yard touchdown play and 20-0 halftime lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, South put together a four-minute scoring drive. Smith, who scored the Eagles' first touchdown, capped the night when he pulled in Arnold pass for a 22-yard touchdown.
South Putnam 6 14 0 7 -- 27
Rockville 0 0 0 0 -- 0
SP -- Brandon Smith 3 run (run failed), 6-0, 4:41
SP -- Lucas Lorian 4 run (Zane Yon kick), 13-0, 6:11
SP -- Justin Bumgardner 20 pass from Sawyer Arnold (Yon kick), 20-0, :30
SP -- Smith 22 pass from Arnold (Yon kick), 27-0, 3:04
First downs 15 4
Rushes-yards 45-128 20-37
Passing yards 147 29
Comp-Att-Int 7-14-0 8-11-1
Total offense 59-295 31-66
Return yards 39 71
Punts-Avg. 2-34.5 5-38.2
Fumbles-lost 4-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-50 4-31
Rushing -- South Putnam: Lorian 27-110, Arnold 7-10, Bunten 3-2, Riner 2-11, Smith 2-7, Bumgardner 2-6, Grundlock 1-2, Wiggs 1-0; Rockville: Knoblett 9-39, Cunningham 4-10, Wilkey 1-7, Lewis 6-(-19).
Passing -- South Putnam: Arnold 7-14-0--147; Rockville: Lewis 8-10-0--29; Wilkey 0-1-1--0.
Receiving -- South Putnam: Bumgardner 5-126, Smith 1-22, Lorian 1-(-1); Rockville: Cunningham 4-17, Thurman 2-12, Knoblett 1-4, Bassett 1-(-4).
Next game -- Next Friday, South Putnam (2-1, 0-0 in WCC) will host North Putnam and Rockville (1-2, 1-1 in WRC) travels to Attica