Cougars put damper on GHS homecoming
GREENCASTLE -- What homecoming would be complete without a tight game on the gridiron? For Greencastle fans, they got just that, as the host Tiger Cubs held tight with North Putnam before falling 21-14 in sloppy conditions Friday.
Despite the rain, fans crowed both sets of stands and Greencastle head coach Mike Myer noted the lift the crowd provided the game.
"We had a great turnout, an enthusiasm crowd; it was a great homecoming game. Unfortunately, we came out on the wrong end of it. But I'm proud of the guys," Myer said. "They played hard."
As with any heated contest between county rivals, the game came down to the fourth quarter.
Entering the final quarter, North Putnam held a 21-14 advantage and had to fend off an attacking Tiger Cub squad. On the first play of the quarter, freshman Mac Shuee penetrated the backfield and brought down Cougar quarterback Kolton Everts, forcing a fourth and 25.
The Tiger Cubs received the ball and began the drive that defined the game.
Greencastle moved the ball down the field and received some help from the Cougars when they were signaled for a personal foul, giving GHS good field position. Following a fumbled snap and two rushes from Jesse Ford and Jesse Vermillion, Greencastle faced a crucial fourth and one.
Tanner Battin ran to the huddle with the call, approached the line of scrimmage, snapped the ball and bullied his way forward. The initial spot indicated the drive was to continue, but a few moments later, Greencastle saw what would be their last, best chance to score slip away.
While the Tiger Cubs were formulating their game plan, the ball was respotted, against the protest of Myer. The chains were brought out and the truth stared the Greencastle bench square in the face -- one yard short. The drive was over.
The remainder of the contest was a back and forth of stalled drives, with the Cougars coming out on top 21-14.
North Putnam drew the first blood of the night, scoring on their second drive when Hank Spencer powered in from one yard out at the 3:57 mark of the first quarter.
Greencastle's fortunes changed at the start of the second after the Cougars were pinned at the eight yard line after a 53 yard punt from Dakota Campbell. Things got even better for GHS when Ryan Battin intercepted Everts to end the drive.
The Cougars responded and drove 69 yards for their second score of the evening. Spencer capped the charge with a four yard run with 3:26 remaining before the half. Shawn Diebold converted the two-point conversion, giving North the 14-0 lead.
Renegade Vandiver took the ensuing punt and sliced through the Cougars' special teams squad, giving the Tiger Cubs good field position at the North Putnam 31 yard line.
Facing a fourth and 12 with 2:14 remaining before the break, Tanner Battin hit a streaking Keegan Remsberg, who fought his way to the end zone, providing GHS its first score of the night. Kyle Parker's point after made it 14-7 North Putnam.
Greencastle scored again before the half when Battin threaded a 12 yard pass to Ben Hesler in the end zone with 37 second left.
GHS received the second half kick off, but three plays later put the pigskin on the turf, allowing North Putnam to seize possession. Nine plays later, Darr Boruff gave North Putnam the lead for good when he scored at the 7:36 mark of the third quarter.
"We're getting better. Unfortunately, we had a turnover in the second half that gave them points. I feel bad for the kids -- they played hard," Myer said.
Barrett knew how important it was to get the score early in the second half.
"It was good," he said. "We came back and responded quick, which we needed. They went three and out, we got the ball and scored. I thought we could have had another score in there, but penalties hurt us tonight. We have to do a better job at not getting so many penalties called on us."
The Tiger Cubs provided some heroics on their next possession, converting on two fourth down plays, but they remained out of the end zone for the rest of the contest.
After the contest, Myer was pleased with the fight in which his Tiger Cubs played Friday. He knew the task was going to be a big one, but the team responded and almost prevailed.
"We're 0-5 and we're coming in here playing North Putnam who's waxed us the previous three years and what do we do? We played with them for four quarters and had opportunities to beat them. We had opportunities," Myer commented.
Barrett also alluded to Greencastle's record, but doesn't believe it to be a barometer of how good his opposition actually is. He acknowledged his team faced a big challenge and met it head on to get the win.
"Mike does a great job coaching those guys and they came at us and stuck it to us right from the start," he said. "Overall, I'm happy to get out of here with a win. It's a big win."
Greencastle will host Cloverdale, while North Putnam will host Monrovia next Friday at 7 p.m.
North Putnam 7 7 7 0 -- 21
Greencastle 0 14 0 0 -- 14
Spencer 16-75 2TD, Boruff 4-25 TD, Diebold 7-87, Everts 3-20, Kratt 3-9, Osborn 3-5
Hickam 10-22, Remsburg 5-16, Ford 3-6, Vermillion 1-6, #23 5-(-5)
Everts 5-17-0-1 90 yards
Battin 10-26-2-0 108 yards 2TD, Hickam 1-3-0-0 8 yards
Franklin 2-49, Diebold 2-28, Boruff 1-13
Remsburg 9-102 TD, Hesler 1-12 TD, Hickam 1-2
Next game -- Greencastle will host Cloverdale, while North Putnam will host Monrovia next Friday at 7 p.m.