Cougars roll 53-0 in sectional opener; Rematch with Speedway awaits next Friday
BAINBRIDGE - The undefeated, Class 2A second-ranked, North Putnam Cougars hosted the South Vermillion Wildcats, in the opening round of the of Class 2A Sectional 30.
The teams entered the game from opposite ends of spectrum, success-wise this season. The Cougars had worked hard to overcome diversity and injuries to achieve their second consecutive 9-0 record, while the Wildcats, after opening the season with two victories, had lost their final seven games of the regular season.
The Cougars controlled all aspects of the game to improve their record to 10-0, and advance to the second round of the State Tournament against Speedway by defeating the Wildcats, 53-0.
North Putnam exploded out of the gate, with their defense recovering a South Vermillion fumble on the second play of the game. Two plays later, Adam Vondersaar scored on a 10-yard run and after Rob Ford kicked the extra point, the Cougars led 7-0 with 10:28 showing on the clock in the first quarter.
North Putnam would score twice more in the first quarter, a 1-yard run by Kyle Rooker, and another touchdown by Vondersaar, this time an 8-yard run with 0:7.2 left in the opening stanza.
The Cougars did not let-up in the second quarter, as Justin Ensor tipped a South Vermillion and Jerrett Ban grabbed the interception while lying on his back.
Four plays later, with 9:33 showing on the clock, Rooker scored his second touchdown of the night, and after Ford kicked the extra point, the Cougars led 27-0.
North Putnam head coach Dave Pasch substituted his starters on the next North Putnam offensive series, but the reserves continued to move the ball against the Wildcats.
Darr Boruff scored on a 7-yard run with 1:40 left in the half to give the Cougars a 33-0 lead going into the locker room.
North Putnam’s JT Francies returned the South Vermillion third quarter kick-off 79 yards to score for the Cougars with 11:42 showing on the clock, and after the Cougar defense again stopped the Wildcats, Ban returned the North Vermillion punt 64 yards, to increase North Putnam’s lead to 46-0.
North Putnam scored one final time in the game on a 3-yard run by Travis Kratt, and the extra point kick by Matt Shearer, with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Cougars the final margin of 53-0.
Ethan Stephenson and Aaron Vondersaar recovered South Vermillion fumbles in the final two Wildcat offensive drives of the game to end Wildcat’s season.
It was another terrific team win for North Putnam, as the offense, defense, and special teams all contributed key plays in the game to defeat the Wildcats, keeping the Cougars’ chances alive in the State Tournament.
“We’ve had some slow starts this season, and our defense had not been creating a lot of turnovers early in the game,” coach Pasch said following the game.
“We got that tonight, and got a quick score, and we were pretty efficient in the first half.
“Some of our goals this week were to get off to a quick start and to try to stay healthy, and were able to accomplish those tonight,” added Pasch.
Adam Vondersaar gained 99 yards on eight carries to lead the Cougars in rushing. Boruff followed with 47 yards on 10 carries, Rooker had 42 on seven carries, Kyle Adams had 28 yards on nine runs, Francies ran for 24 yards on one carry, and Brock Jones had 15 yards on eight carries.
As a team, North Putnam gained 269 rushing yards compared to South Vermillion’s 43 yards on the ground.
The Cougars were 4-for-7 through the air for 59 yards. Quarterback Griffin Dahlstrom hit Francies with a pass of 15 yards and quarterback Brock Jones hit Shane Diebold, Ban, and Steven Mitchel with passes of 28, 10 and 6 yards respectively.
North Putnam passed for 59 yards compared to South Vermillion’s 48 yards.
Defensively, the Cougars were led by Ensor and Jim Davis with five tackles each, followed by Ban and Rooker with four each.
Adam Vondersaar, Ethan Stephenson, and Aaron Vondersaar each recovered a fumble, and Ban grabbed an interception.
The Cougars (10-0, 6-0 WCC) travel to Speedway next Friday night in the second round of the Class 2A, Sectional 30. The game begins at 7:00 p.m.
At North Putnam
North Putnam - Adam Vondersaar 10 run (Ford kick) 10:28
North Putnam - Rooker 1 run (Ford kick) 4:40
North Putnam - Adam Vondersaar 8 run (Run failed) 0:7.2
North Putnam - Rooker 1 run (Ford kick) 9:33
North Putnam - Boruff 7 run (Kick failed) 1:40
North Putnam - Francies 79 kick-off return (Ford kick) 11:42
North Putnam - Ban 64 punt return (Kick failed) 8:00
North Putnam - Kratt 3 run (Shearer kick) 6:50
First Downs - North Putnam (16), South Vermillion (4)
Punts-Yards - North Putnam (1-32), South Vermillion (5-145)
Fumbles-Lost - North Putnam (2-0), South Vermillion (4-3)
Penalties-Yards - North Putnam (5-55), South Vermillion (2-10)
North Putnam (10-0, 6-0 WCC):
Rushing - (56 Carries, 269 yards) - Rooker 7-42, Adam Vondersaar 8-99, Francies 1-24, Jones 8-15, Boruff 10-47, Diebold 2-9, Ford 1-0, Adams 9-28, Franklin 1-6, Kratt 1-3, Aaron Vondersaar 3-5, Watson 2-(-9).
Passing - (4-7-0-0, 59 yards) - Dahlstrom 1-2, 15 yds., 0 TD, 0 INT, Jones 3-4, 44 yds., 0 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving - (4 catches, 59 yards) - Francies 1-15, Diebold 1-28, Ban 1-10, Mitchel 1-6.
South Vermillion (2-8, 2-1 WRC):
Rushing - (24 Carries, 43 yards) - Walsch 9-10, Peelman 2-0, Mitchell 7-22, Mumaw 3-0, Perschbacher 2-9, Vandivier 1-2.
Passing - (4-16-0-0, 48 yards) - Walsch 4-16, 48 yds., 0 TD, 0 INT.
Receiving - (4 catches, 48 yards) - Caylor 2-17, Peelman 1-8, Jackson 1-23.
Next Game: The Cougars (10-0, 6-0 WCC) travel to Speedway next Friday night in the second round of the Class 2A, Sectional 30. The game begins at 7 p.m.