South Putnam clinches share of WCC with win over Monrovia

Saturday, October 12, 2013
South Putnam senior Wes Riner scores a touchdown during a game earlier this year. Riner had four catches for 56 yards and a long kickoff return at Monrovia on Friday. (Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN)

MONROVIA--Bottled up in the first half, Lucas Lorian ran for four touchdowns in the second half including a game-clinching 56-yarder to lead South Putnam to a 34-21 victory over Monrovia in a West Central Conference game at Gordon Hadley Field on Friday.

Lorian had 14 yards on five carries in the opening two quarters, which ended with the Bulldogs leading 6-0. The swift 5-foot-9, 180-pound junior ended with 143 yards on 18 carries. Lorian entered the game averaging 200 yards per game.

Ranked No. 6 in the Class 1A coaches poll, the Eagles (7-1, 4-0 WCC) won their sixth straight and clinched at least a tie for the conference title with one game, against Cascade next week, remaining in the regular season.

Monrovia (3-5, 3-2 WCC) came to play on Senior Night. For added incentive, the Bulldogs could have shared the WCC title with the Eagles and Greencastle with a victory. They trailed 28-21 after Trevor Ellis broke loose for a 53-yard touchdown run with 6:49 to play.

South Putnam recovered an onside kick that rolled dangerously on the ground within reach of a couple of Bulldogs.

The Eagles took over at their 44-yard line and coach Troy Burgess called time out to install a formation and run a play Monrovia had not seen.

"We ran the option and they hadn't seen it the entire game," Burgess said. "It was the one-back formation."

The back was Lorian. Senior quarterback Sawyer Arnold took the snap and ran to the right on the line of scrimmage. Monrovia had one defender to guard to players. Arnold pitched the ball to Lorian, who turned on the afterburners and bolted past the defenders on the sideline for the 56-yard touchdown.

Lorian also had touchdown runs of 5, 17 and 11 yards. But what happened to him in the first half demonstrated that it takes teammates to make any runner, even one with Lorian's speed and quickness, put up big yards.

"Monrovia did a good job in the first half loading up the box," Burgess said. "It was their goal to stop our running game. We needed to spread them out. We completed some passes and Joe Waters played a whale of a game. Our fullback is glorified lineman, he blocks most of the time.

"He's a good athlete and when he had opportunities tonight, he took advantage of them. He was a difference-maker tonight."

Waters, 5-foot-10 and an undersized 170-pounds, ran 10 times for 66 yards, 62 on nine carries in the second half. He had a 35-yard run on the drive that culminated with his 8-yard touchdown that put South Putnam in the lead for the first time, 13-6, with 8:11 remaining in the third period.

Senior Wes Riner's 68-yard return of the second half kick sparked the Eagles.

"It was very big for us," Burgess said.

The Eagles started the second half at the Monrovia 14. Lorian scored from the five on fourth-and-one with 10:43 for a 6-6 tie.

Next came the 67-yard four-play drive. Lorian started it with a 24-yard run, followed by Waters' runs of 35 and 8 yards for the touchdown

Monrovia regained the lead, 14-13, on fullback Jeremiah Welty's one-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run by Jaden Rhea with 4:12 left in the third period.

South Putnam responded with a 60-yard drive highlighted by Arnold's 37-yard completion to Riner. It put the Eagles on the Monrovia 21 and they scored in three plays, ended by Lorian's 17-yard run. Riner ran for the two-point conversion for a 21-14 lead.

The Eagles stretched their lead to 28-14 on Lorian's 11-yard run and Yon's kick with 7:12 to play in the fourth.

Monrovia kept within striking range on Ellis' touchdown and Lorian put the game away with his final touchdown.

"We started to execute a little bit in the second half," Burgess said. "Our offensive line came to play in the second half."

At Monrovia
South Putnam......0 0 21 13 -- 34
Monrovia.............0 6 8 7 -- 21

Scoring summary
Second quarter
M 3:33 -- Hale 1-yard run (C. Stader kick), 0-6

Third quarter
SP 10:43 -- Lorian 5-yard run (kick failed), 6-6
SP 8:11 -- Waters 8-yard run (Yon kick), 13-6
M 4:21 -- Welty 1-yard run (Rhea run), 13-14
SP 1:43 -- Lorian 17-yard run (Riner run), 21-14

Fourth quarter
SP 7:12 -- Lorian 11-yard run (Yon kick), 28-14
M 6:49 -- Ellis 53-yard run (C. Stader kick), 28-21
SP 6:35 -- Lorian 56-yard run (kick blocked), 34-21

South Putnam (7-1, 4-0 WCC)
Rushing (36-238): Lorian 18-143, Waters 10-66, S. Arnold 7-30, Riner 1-(-1).
Passing: S. Arnold 6-12-0 83.
Receiving: Riner 4-56, Vittetow 1-23, Rutter 1-4.

Monrovia (3-5, 3-2 WCC)
Rushing (48-159): Ellis 8-71, Rhea 19-44, Welty 12-41, Hale 9-3
Passing (6-13-1 1): Hale 5-11-1 109, Rhea 1-2-0 1
Receiving: Sichting 2-34, Taylor 1-49, Wright 1-23, Ellis 1-3, Hale 1-1

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