The Class 3A No. 10-ranked Tiger Cubs posted their fourth straight shutout in a 20-0 West Central Conference win over Putnam County rival South Putnam. Playing the same defense coach Josh Buis installed three years ago when he was defensive coordinator, Greencastle has not been scored on in 19 straight quarters.
"Our kids line up, they know what they're doing, they're assignment sound and fundamentally sound. This is the first time on our defense we have 11 guys that will hit you. In the past you might have eight and nine, but our (defensive backs) will hit you. So they've done a good job getting 11 guys to the ball, pursuing the football," Buis said after the win over his alma mater.
South Putnam coach Troy Burgess said the Tiger Cubs we well prepared for the now 3-2 Eagles.
"(Greencastle) played well. They did a great job. Coach Buis did a tremendous job, prepared his team and his kids and he outcoached me tonight and we got beat," Burgess said.
South Putnam's defense did not play poorly. The Eagles forced the Tiger Cubs to kick two field goals, the second coming after a goal line stand from the one-yard line.
"(Our) defense played real well. Coach (Nathan) Akers and the defense did a great job. We just put them in a tough position in the first half. I don't think we ever got past the 50-yard line and our defense had to play on a short field. And when you play a team as good as they are you can't give them a short field like that and we did that offensively," Burgess said.
South's offense played shorthanded the second half. Starting quarterback Sawyer Arnold was hit in the face on two plays in the second quarter and coach Burgess elected to play Justin Bumgardner at quarterback.
Buis was particularly proud of the play of offensive linemen Tanner Wood, T.J. Bollman, Dustin Williams, Jorden Froderman and Grant Mundy right tackle. Greencastle rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
"Those guys have been challenged all week. We challenged our offensive linemen all week a practice and they rose to the occasion tonight. All five of them together. They did a tremendous job," Buis said.
Greencastle's points came off big plays behind a stellar performance by the offensive line and quarterback Troy Scott. And Sedrick Weinschenk accounted for six points with two field goals.
Greencastle's took the lead on its first possession of the game. The first time center Dustin Williams snapped the ball, Nate Christy, who finished with 48 yards on 11 carries, found a huge hole on left side of the line for a 36-yard run to the South Putnam 25-yard line.
South Putnam's defense dug in and after Ryan Chestnut and Morgan Grunlock sacked Scott for a loss, the Greencastle settled for a 26-yard field goal from Weinschenk and a 3-0 lead.
Greencastle went ahead 10-0 on its second possession, covering 57 yards in seven plays. On first and 10 from the South 34-yard line Scott threw a high bullet of a pass over the middle of the first that Christy leaped high into the air to pull down for a 19-yard gain. On the next snap, Scott ran a quarterback draw straight up the middle for a 15-yard touchdown.
Greencastle went ahead 17-0 on a play that surprised everyone but coach Buis. Scrambling to his right with South's defense closing fast, Scott threw the ball 30 yards in the air and Mac Shuee pulled in the ball for a 50-yard pass play to the South Putnam 14-yard line.
Scott was 5-8 passing for 121 yards and Shuee finished with two catches for 60 yards and ran for another 22.
Scott scored his second touchdown of the night on a quarterback sneak. "Our offensive line did a good job running the football, which had them put more guys in the box. Tyler Scott is a tremendous quarterback and if you got one-on-one with our receivers and our offensive line gives him time he's going to find a way to get the ball to those guys." Buis said.
South Putnam's best offensive drive came tin the second quarter on Arnold's last series. With Greencastle's keying on South's leading ball carrier Lucas Lorian, who was held to 30 yards, Arnold ran for 11 and 18 yards on back-to-back plays to the Greencastle 42-yard line. Arnold found Bumgardner for a six-yard gain and the Eagles reached the Greencastle 33-yard line.
The Tiger Cubs dug in. On fourth down and one, Greencastle's Hunter Smith and Pettit stopped South for no gain. The Eagles did not threaten again and had only one first down the second half.
South Putnam 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Greencastle 3 14 3 0 -- 20
G -- Sedrick Weinschenk, 26 field goal, 4:12, 3-0.
G -- Tyler Scott 15 run (Weinschenk kick), 8:52, 10-0.
G -- Scott 1 run (Weinschenk kick), 4:11, 17-0.
G -- Weinschenk 22 field goal, 3:46, 20-0.
First downs 4 13
Rushes-yards 29-88 35-169
Passing yards 33 121
Comp-Att-Int 3-6-0 5-8-0
Total offense 35-121 43-290
Return yards 39 30
Punts-Avg. 5-34.4 2-21
Fumbles-lost 3-0 0-0?
Penalties-yards 5-40 4-38
Rushing -- South Putnam: Lorian 15-30, Arnold 6-50, Bumgardner 7-5, Riner 1-3. Greencastle: Pettit 13-72, Christy 11-48, Scott 27, Shuee 3-22.
Passing -- South Putnam: Arnold 2-2-0--11; Bumgardner 1-4-0--22. Greencastle: Scott 5-8-0--121.?
Receiving -- South Putnam: Franklin 1-22, Bumgardner 1-6, Snow 1-5. Greencastle: Christy 3-8, Shuee 2-60, Brown 1-49, Pettit 1-4.
Next game -- Next Friday, South Putnam (3-2, 1-1 in WCC) plays at Cloverdale (0-5, 0-2 in WCC) and Greencastle (5-0, 2-0 in WCC) travels to North Putnam (3-2, 1-1 in WCC).