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ROACHDLAE -- A parade of seniors preceded the North Putnam and Cloverdale football game as the two squads awaited their final regular season matchup of the 2012 season.
Once the Cougars finished honoring their upperclassmen, the Cougars came out with a first half scoring blitz that effectively sealed the game in a 53-0 win.
After nearly running the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, only for a nice gain to be negated by a penalty, North Putnam struck on the first play from scrimmage on a 75-yard Jameson Brewer run.
Cloverdale fumbled on their first possession and the hosts needed two plays from the Clovers' 10-yard line for their second score, this time through a one-yard Kaleb Belcher run.
Joel Murray picked up a score on the next possession with a 38-yard run. After a pair of turnovers from both squads, North Putnam went to the air through the arm of Jake Haste, who connected with Austin Day for a 13-yard score.
Haste then added the final score of the first quarter on a five-yard run to cap off a 33-0 quarter of play.
After partially blocking a Cloverdale punt, North Putnam started the second quarter with a 17-yard score by Ben Quates.
Cloverdale fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Cougars needed three plays for Trevor Smith to get his name on the scoresheet on a 15-yard run.
The visitors finally got a chance to get the offense rolling after a 49-yard pass from Wade Warren to Cody Stout put the Clovers deep into North Putnam territory.
The Cougar defense forced a turnover on downs and the half ended with the hosts leading 47-0.
With the game well in hand, North Putnam began to use substitutes freely as the two sides played a shortened second half of football.
The hosts added one more score in the second half on a 10-yard Tucker Lowe run that finalized the score at 53-0 early in the fourth quarter.
Cloverdale had one final drive to attempt to score on and drove deep inside Cougar territory, but ran out of time and downs before they could find the end zone.
For North Putnam and head coach Greg Barrett, it was the kind of result the squad needed heading into sectional play.
"I thought it was a good night for our guys. We needed to get a win and to build upon this for the sectional next week. We have a tough opponent, but one we're familiar with," Barrett said.
"Our whole key today was playing Cougar football. We needed to take care of the things that make us better and I think we did a good job of that tonight.
"We still have some timing to get better at but overall, our kids played extremely hard, they played with class and we're excited about some of the things our younger kids got to do tonight," Barrett added.
Barrett said the current seniors have had a different road than some of their predecessors, but that they found some focus Friday night.
"In the last three years, they were surrounded by a lot of guys that played a lot. Some of these seniors haven't played a lot. Some didn't gain as much experience with the talent that was ahead of them," Barrett said.
"These guys came in this season and had to be leaders and get the guys around them to come together as one. We did that tonight and we need to build on that and keep that flowing into next week."
Cloverdale head coach John Butler said the squad couldn't get into a flow on offense and needed to find a way to stay in the game.
"With the quarterback situation, we had to take the offense and manufacture some deceptiveness in the backfield. There were moments when things worked, but it wasn't consistent enough," Butler said.
"We're inconsistent with our effort right now and you can't be inconsistent with that. That's something we can't teach them; it's got to be something they want all the time.
"If we're in an adverse situation against Riverton Parke next week, we need to keep playing through it and not fold," Butler added.
Traveling to winless Riverton Parke next week in sectional play, Butler said the squad was still ready to go for the first round of the postseason.
"The competitive nature of our conference has prepared us for the tournament. It's going to come down to mindset. We've told the kids all year long we're preparing for week 10," Butler said.
"They've been excited since the draw. They want to play in week 10. I expect them to practice well and I think they'll respond well to playing a team similar to themselves."
North Putnam will meet an old friend in Speedway next week in Indianapolis. Barrett said that the competition between the two schools has geared the squad up already.
"We know what we're going to get in Speedway. We've had some good battles with these guys. We know what to expect from them and we have to be on our 'A' game, control the ball and not turn it over," Barrett said.
"When we got the draw, I don't think any of our kids were upset about playing them. With the rivalry we've had over the last few years, they're excited to get out there and play."
At North Putnam
Cloverdale 0 0 0 0 -- 0
North Putnam 33 14 0 7 -- 53
NP -- 11:36 Brewer 75-yard run (Zaring kick) 7-0
NP -- 10:28 Belcher 1-yard run (XP no good) 13-0
NP -- 8:00 Murray 38-yard run (Zaring kick) 20-0
NP -- 4:15 Day 14-yard pass from Haste (Zaring Kick) 27-0
NP -- 1:20 Haste 13-yard run (XP blocked) 33-0
NP -- 11:40 Quates 17-yard run (Zaring kick) 40-0
NP -- 10:20 Smith 15-yard run (Zaring kick) 47-0
NP -- 10:24 Lowe 10-yard run (XP no good) 53-0
Cloverdale -- 130
North Putnam -- 364
Cloverdale -- 32-68; Howard 13-54, Warren 11-3, Stout 4-9, Jou. Smith 3-3, Jon Smith 1-(-1)
North Putnam -- 34-335; Belcher 9-48, TD, Riggen 5-30, Haste 4-24, TD, Land 3-13, Quates 2-30, TD, Smith 2-30, TD, Green 2-21, Flynn 2-11, Brewer 1-75, TD, Murray 1-38, TD, Lowe 1-10, TD, Davis 1-3, Everts 1-3
Cloverdale -- Warren 3-9-62
North Putnam -- Haste 2-4-29, TD
Cloverdale -- Cummings 2-13, Stout 1-49
North Putnam -- Brewer 1-16, Day 1-13, TD
Cloverdale -- 3-20
North Putnam -- 7-45
Cloverdale 3 (3 Fumbles)
North Putnam 1 (1 Fumble)
Cloverdale -- 5
North Putnam -- 10
Next Game: North Putnam travels to Speedway and Cloverdale travels to Riverton Parke next Friday.