Cougars lose late lead to Monrovia in 36-22 loss
ROACHDALE -- The North Putnam football team welcomed Monrovia to its home field for a Friday night, West Central Conference showdown. The game was full of drama and big plays as the Bulldogs pulled it out 36-22.
The Cougar defense, despite giving up 36 points, played very well. All of Monrovia's touchdowns came on big plays of more than 28 yards, excepting one, an 11-yard run.
"We are playing assignment football, we let a couple get by us tonight and we got beat on some big plays," NPHS coach Greg Barrett said.
Early in the first quarter the game looked to be headed in Monrovia's favor after junior Trevor Ellis found a hole and scampered into the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs two-point conversion was good, gaining them a 8-0 lead less than two and a half minutes into the game.
The Cougars were forced to punt on their next possession and senior Beau Green booted a perfect punt that was downed inside the Bulldog one-yard line.
"Beau did a great job tonight putting us in some good field positions. Field position was key tonight," Barrett said.
The next play resulted in points for the Cougars. Senior Garrett Plessinger got in the backfield quickly and dropped Jordan Rhea for a loss in the end zone that resulted in a safety. The Cougars had some momentum but still trailed 8-2.
North Putnam allowed another score in the first half but answered right back when senior Tyler Land ran around the right side and flew into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown run. Junior Jordan Sarr made the extra point to cut the lead to 14-9 and on the ensuing kickoff Sarr crushed it 62 yards in the air and the ball landed in the end zone on the fly for a touchback.
The Cougars had an excellent chance to score late in the half with the ball on the two-yard line but just could not get the ball off and they went into the locker room down 14-9.
"It was unfortunate we did not score. I think if we get in there and receive the kick to start the second half, it would have been a different story," Barrett said.
The Cougars took their first lead of the night on a perfect pass by senior Gabe McFadden to fellow senior Coy Flynn for a 35-yard touchdown to take the lead 16-14.
The Cougars lost the lead on a 11-yard run by Monrovia's Ellis on fourth-and-five, the two-point conversion was good again and the Bulldogs were up 22-16. The next possession for the Bulldogs resulted in another score and the Cougars were in the hole 28-16.
McFadden threw another great pass to senior Grant Bryan and the Cougars were back in the game 28-22 with 3:49 left in the game.
The Bulldogs iced it when Rhea broke through the Cougar defense and scored a 49-yard touchdown run to gain a 14-point advantage, 36-22, with just over a minute to go.
The Cougars turned the ball over on downs and the game ended with a Cougar loss but lots to hang their hats on. The offense performed better and the defense played solid despite a few errors. The Cougars displayed grit through the entire game and had their chances to win.
"We are playing a lot more aggressive and offensively we got better tonight but we had too many penalties," Barrett said. "I was proud of the kids, they fought and we are getting better.
"Unfortunately we are not where we want to be and they understand that."
At North Putnam
Monrovia..............14 0 0 22 -- 36
North Putnam.........2 7 7 6 -- 22
MO 9:35 -- Ellis 54 yard run, (Ellis run), 8-0
NP 6:54 -- Plessinger tackles Rhea in end zone for safety, 8-2
MO 0:13 -- Hale 30 yards to Sichting, (2pt pass intercepted), 14-2
NP 7:57 -- Land 19 yard run, (Sarr kick), 14-9
NP 5:54 -- McFadden 35 yard pass to Flynn, (Sarr kick), 14-16
MO 8:45 -- Ellis 11 yard run, (Rhea run), 22-16
MO 4:13 -- Hale to Sichting 28 yards, (2 pt pass incomplete), 28-16
NP 3:49 -- McFadden 24 yard pass to Bryan (Sarr kick no good), 28-22
MO 1:15 -- Rhea 49 yard run, (Ellis run), 36-22
Passing: McFadden 6-13, 100 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT.
Rushing: Land 16-85, Bryan 5-12, McFadden 5--6, Belcher 4-0, Green 1-3, Plessinger 1-3.
Recieving: Land 2-32, Dean 2-21, Flynn 1-35, Plessinger 1-12.
Tackles: Bryan 9, Wiatt 2, Pollock 5, Plessinger 6, Ensor 3, Riggen 4, Green 1, Scheele 1, Conlin 5, Buchanan 1, Wunderlich 1, Bingman 1, Land 2, Smith 2, Pearl 2.