BENNETT'S MINUTES: Cubs, Cougars to vie for county grid crown
Numbers point to close contest for championship
Greencastle will be seeking its second straight Putnam County football championship tonight as the Tiger Cubs host North Putnam in the final regular-season game before the Western Indiana Conference crossover matchups and first-round sectional games take place the next two weeks.
Both teams are 2-0 in county action this season, setting up a winner-take-all championship game.
Yearly scores are available only back to 1994 on John Harrell’s Indiana high school football website, so tracking results before that time will take more much more extensive research sometime in the future.
But since 1994, North Putnam leads the pack with 11 county titles – including a stretch of six straight from 2006-11. The Cougars have only won one of the last five, though, with that victory coming in 2015.
Greencastle and South Putnam each has won six county titles over the past 23 years, while Cloverdale has not won the county title during that time period.
South Putnam won consecutively in 2013-14 to break a seven-year drought. Greencastle’s titles have been the most spread out of the bunch, with last year’s title breaking a three-year drought and its previous crown in 2012 eclipsing a seven-year title vacancy.
So tonight, will the Tiger Cubs repeat or will North Putnam add to its recent victory total?
There are obviously contrasting features between the two teams. North Putnam’s games, on average, have had a final score of 32-29. Greencastle’s games have been much lower scoring with an average score of 21-14.
Both teams have beaten Cloverdale and South Putnam, while both squads have lost to Sullivan and Northview. Dissection of those games shows that the Cubs played Northview closer, losing on a last-second field, while the Cougars lost to Sullivan by a smaller margin than Greencastle.
The only common opponent with split results is West Vigo, which blanked the Tiger Cubs 14-0 in week three and lost to North Putnam 28-21 last week.
North Putnam’s opponents have collectively won six more games than Greencastle’s.
As explained in a column last summer, Harrell chooses a winner of each game despite not having seen many of them play.
His predictions are based upon numerous statistical variables including past performance, opponents’ winning percentages and home field – and in this one Harrell is predicting a 28-24 Greencastle win.
Since three points are normally given to the home team in such projections, Harrell is predicting a really close game that could go either way.
Considering that the teams are 16-16 over the past 32 meetings, that’s something we may all get to see.
Recent champions Putnam County football
2016 – Greencastle
2015 – North Putnam
2014 – South Putnam
2013 – South Putnam
2012 – Greencastle
2011 – North Putnam
2010 – North Putnam
2009 – North Putnam
2008 – North Putnam
2007 – North Putnam
2006 – North Putnam
2005 – South Putnam
2004 – Greencastle
2003 – Greencastle
2002 – South Putnam
2001 – North Putnam
2000 – South Putnam
1999 – South Putnam
1998 – North Putnam
1997 – North Putnam
1996 – Greencastle
1995 – Greencastle
1994 – North Putnam
NOTE: Information courtesy of John Harrell’s Indiana high school football website. Winners prior to 1994 unavailable.