Eagles flying on all cylinders in routing Owen Valley

Saturday, August 25, 2018

SPENCER — The South Putnam Eagles scored often and in a variety of ways as they dominated the Owen Valley Patriots 57-14 in high school football action on Friday night.

The visiting Eagles rolled up 480 yards of total offense, while limiting the Patriots to just 84 offensive yards and improved to 2-0 on the young season.

South scored rushing the ball four times, passing the ball twice as well as two defensive touchdowns in basically just three quarters. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

“We need to do a lot of different things to be successful. We scored twice in the passing game and had two defensive touchdowns. That was really nice for us,” South Putnam head coach Nathan Aker said of his Class 1A 22nd-ranked Eagles.

The Eagles wasted little time in asserting their dominance. Their defense forced the Patriots into a three-and-out on the first series, then drove 42 yards in just five plays to open the scoring with an Aiden LeBlanc 14-yard run.

South again forced a quick Owen Valley punt and began to mix its offense a bit, this time scoring on a Devin Cashion to Kain Gregory 22-yard touchdown pass. Cashion found Hayden Switzer for the two-point conversion and the Eagles held a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“This was a really nice win for us. We did a lot of things well and the kids were ready to play,” Aker said.

The scoreboard began to light up in the second quarter. Dalton Scott scored early in the quarter from six yards out then ran in the two-point conversion to stake the Eagles to a 22-0 lead.

The Eagle defense began to take over the game in the period. Switzer first picked up a Patriot fumble and returned it 49 yards for a score. Then he almost picked up a second defensive touchdown two plays later, but his interception return for a score was nullified by a blocking penalty.

The Eagles didn’t slow down, though. Two plays into the possession, Cashion found Steven Schnepp for a 26-yard scoring strike and the Eagles led 36-0.

Owen Valley finally got on the board as Glen Hinshaw returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards and cut the lead to 36-7, but not so fast…

The Eagles opened their next possession from their own 20-yard line and LeBlanc showed his speed by taking the first play 80 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

“We showed we had some speed tonight. It was a special win,” Aker said.

Owen Valley showed some life to end the half as it put together a 60-yard drive and scored on an Anthony Ramsey to Noah Roberts pass from three yards out and ended the half down 44-14.

The Eagles left no doubt early in the third quarter. Connor Cain exploded for a 30-yard touchdown run on the first series of the second half, then Scott made a shoestring interception of a Ramsey pass and returned it 40 yards for his second touchdown of the night. The Eagles led 57-14 and coasted from there to win their second game in as many chances.

The balanced Eagles churned out 376 yards rushing on the night with LeBlanc getting 139 yards, Cain 129 (on just 7 carries), while Scott had 82 rushing yards. Cashion was efficient by hitting on 4-of-5 passes 104 yards and two scores.

“This team is really unselfish. They don’t care who gets the credit or who scores,” Aker said.

The defense was just as dominant. Owen Valley could only muster 84 yards on the night. The Eagle defense only gave up two plays of more than 10 yards, excluding the kickoff return.

“It all starts up front. Our offensive and defensive lines were great. Our linebackers almost never got blocked, our defensive line was really good,” Aker said.

The Eagles only struggled in one area all night. They committed 15 penalties, but overcame them to get their second win of the season.

“We need to cut down on the penalties. That is on me, but we were able to do a good job of playing through those penalties,” Aker said.

The Eagles will play their home opener next Friday in a battle of undefeated county schools. South will host the North Putnam Cougars.

South Putnam1430130–57
Owen Valley01400–14

1st Qtr

SP – LeBlanc 14 run (kick failed), 6-0 7:29.

SP – Gregory 22 pass from Cashion (Switzer from Cashion), 14-0, 2:28.

2nd Qtr

SP – Scott 6 run (Scott run), 22-0, 10:28.

SP – Switzer 49 fumble recovery (kick failed), 28-0, 6:26.

SP – Schnepp 26 pass from Cashion (Scott run), 36-0, 5:26.

OV – Hinshaw 82 kickoff return (LaCoursiere kick), 36-7, 5:14.

SP – LeBlanc 80 run (Scott run), 44-7, 4:56.

OV – Roberts 3 pass from Ramsey (LaCoursiere kick), 44-14, :08.

3rd Qtr

SP – Cain 30 run (kick failed), 50-14, 9:41.

SP – Scott 40 interception return (Bemish kick), 57-14, 7:55.

First Downs196
Passing Yards10414
Total offense47-48043-84

Individual statistics

Rushing – South Putnam: LeBlanc 12-139, Cain 7-129, Scott 10-82, Goodpaster 5-21, Gilliland 2-10, Cashion 4-(-5). Owen Valley: Bault 8-40, Abney 15-15, Meek 2-8, Ramsey 6-7, Hinshaw 2-1, LaCoursiere 3-0, Stephens 1-(-1).

Passing – South Putnam: Cashion 4-5-0 104. Owen Valley: Ramsey 2-6-2 14.

Receiving – South Putnam: Switzer 1-42, Schnepp 1-26, Gregory 1-22, Scott 1-14. Owen Valley: Welch 1-11, Roberts 1-3

Next game: South Putnam (2-0) hosts North Putnam next Friday.