Local teams begin sectional play tonight

Friday, October 23, 2009

Four county schools begin their quest for the 2009 football sectional tonight. And it only seems fitting that the night is calling for rain.

Three county teams, Greencastle, South Putnam and Cloverdale will be hosting sectional foes, while North Putnam will be on the road. Although the teams involved has varying records, the great news about tonight is they all start fresh.

Cloverdale (1-8) vs. Monrovia (9-0)

When these two squads hooked up in the third game of the season, Monrovia put up 29 points in the first quarter and went on to win the contest 50-0.

Cloverdale was without starting running back Dillin Gray, so the Bulldogs will have to contend with the senior back this time around. The Clovers had an impressive outing against South Putnam, but have struggled to find the end zone in the final two games of the season.

Monrovia has punished teams on the ground throughout the season, and with rain likely, they will undoubtedly stick with what works.

Cloverdale will have to mix a strong ground and aerial assault to keep the Bulldogs off balance. Minimizing turnovers and sustaining drives will be key to the Clovers' success.

In their last 15 meetings, Monrovia holds a 11-4 advantage and is coming off a 17-0 win over Indianapolis Lutheran, while the Clovers fell to North Putnam 20-0.

Greencastle (1-8) vs. Tri-West (4-5)

Greencastle began the season with six straight losses, but showed over the last four games of the season, they can hang with the best of teams.

The Tiger Cubs began their strong stretch with a seven-point loss to North Putnam on Sept. 25, followed it with a win over Cloverdale, and then closed out the season with two losses by a total of 21 points.

One asset Greencastle will look to exploit is its speed. They have quick running backs and wide outs, but they will have to limit turnovers and make every possession in the red zone count.

GHS and the Bruins have faced each other three times in 15 years, with Tri-West winning all three contests. Greencastle came up short to Owen Valley 21-14, while Tri-West defeated Danville 24-6.

North Putnam (7-2) at Cascade (2-7)

North Putnam's 21-7 win over Cascade on Sept. 4 began a four-game winning streak and helped the secure their 7-2 season.

North Putnam is able to utilize its outside speed with some bruising rushing from Hank Spencer up the middle. In their initial meeting, the Cougars' quarterback Kolton Everts tossed for 121 yards on 13-of-28 passing.

The Cougars only loses came in their second game against Southmont and in their seventh contest against Monrovia. The good news for North Putnam is they hold a record of 4-0 on the road this season.

North Putnam leads the series 13-6 during the past 15 years. They are coming off a 20-0 win over Cloverdale, with Cascade entering the contest after a 28-6 loss to South Putnam last week.

South Putnam (7-2) vs. South Vermillion (8-1)

The South Vermillion Wildcats are an enigma for Putnam County fans. The last time fans saw the Wildcats was back in the 2007 season where they were 0-2, falling to Greencastle and North Putnam.

South Vermillion will look to spread the Eagles defense and toss the ball around. Quarterback Andy Walsh has thrown for 24 touchdowns this season and more than 1,500 yards. He also leads the team in rushing with a per game average of 70 yards.

South Putnam boasts one of the top rushers in the state in Drew Cash, who has amassed 1,229 yards and 16 touchdowns thus far. It will be interesting to see which brand of offense will excel in the damp conditions.

The Greencastle and Tri-West game will be carried on 94.3 WREB, while the South Putnam and South Vermillion game will air on DePauw's 91.5 WGRE. There will be no Putnam County Primetime this week on WGRE.