Tiger Cubs improve to 3-1 with win
Offense gets untracked in 49-7 win
Offense has been a problem to start the season for the Greencastle Tiger Cubs’ football team only putting up 31 points through the first three games. They put up 49 Friday night on the road against the South Putnam Eagles in a 49-7 victory.
Good field position all night helped the Tiger Cubs have easy possessions, but their longest possession of the night was their opening one, starting at their own 23-yard line. It took almost seven minutes and a fourth-down conversion, but junior running back Damon Moody punched it in from two yards out to give his team the early nod.
“We made some nice plays,” Tiger Cub coach Mike Meyer said. “It was a good night.”
Three straight kickoffs went out of bounds against Greencastle, so the Eagles got good starting position on all three of their first possessions at the 35-yard line. They turned it over on both the first two possessions without getting a first down. Senior quarterback Christian Zeffel fumbled twice with Brayden Bollman and then Jacob Meyer recovering deep in Eagle territory.
“I think we paid for some things that maybe we brought upon ourselves,” Eagle coach Nathan Aker said. “They were ready to go. It was a very physical football game. Hats off to [the Tiger Cubs] for bringing that.”
Those two Eagle turnovers led to touchdowns on a three-yard run by Moody and a 10-yard run by junior running back Aaron Buttery.
“The defense has been keeping us in ball games and keeping us where we need to be,” GHS coach Meyer said. “They continue to play at a pretty good level and we’ve got to stay that way.”
Down 21-0 the game was quickly getting out of hand for the Eagles and the sideline was silent. They needed a quick burst of energy and they got it in the form of a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by junior running back Aidan LeBlanc. It was the only positive offense they had all night other than a 20-yard completion on a fake punt.
“It gave us a little shot in the arm,” Aker said. “Things weren’t going right. The kids stepped up on the kickoff return. Everybody got a block and Aidan is a fast kid. He is a great kid and took advantage of it. I’d like to see us not take so long for those momentum builders, but we had the chance to make a play and we made a play.”
Greencastle put up one more touchdown late in the first half when Moody scored his third touchdown on a three-yard run. That made the score 28-7 at the half.
With the Eagles struggling on offense, they hoped to get the ball back to start the third and gain some offensive momentum. The Tiger Cubs then opened with an onside kick by Evan Crowe as he followed the ball the whole way and fell on it to give his team possession.
After missing a field goal on their opening drive, sophomore quarterback Brayden Baxter did a nice job leading the Tiger Cubs and scored his first two varsity touchdowns running the ball from one yard out and then five yards out.
Buttery would add one more score for the Tiger Cubs late in the game on a 17-yard run.
Although it was the offense that impressed for the first time this season, the Tiger Cub defense might have had its best outing as well. Greencastle held the South Putnam offense to total output of minus seven yards on the night.
Offensively, the Tiger Cubs had 324 yards rushing and another 49 yards through the air. With smaller running backs, the offensive line opened up several holes that helped them get open space and sustain drives.
Another positive was multiple rushers having good nights with Buttery rushing for 131 yards, Moody rushing for 99 yards and Baxter adding 62. They combined for all seven of the Greencastle touchdowns.
Greencastle 14 14 14 7 — 49
South Putnam 0 7 0 0 — 7
G—Moody 2-yd run (Crowe kick) 1Q 5:42 7-0
G—Moody 3-yd run (Crowe kick) 1Q 1:19 14-0
G—Buttery 10-yd run (Crowe kick) 2Q 9:24 21-0
SP—A. LeBlanc 78-yd kick return (Hodge kick) 2Q 9:09 21-7
G—Moody 3-yd run (Crowe kick) 2Q 22.3 28-7
G—Baxter 1-yd run (Crowe kick) 3Q 5:53 35-7
G—Baxter 5-yd run (Crowe kick) 3Q 2:47 42-7
G—Buttery 17-yd run (Crowe kick) 4Q 4:32 49-7
First downs 18 4
Turnovers 1 3
Penalties 9-67 3-20
Punts 1-37 5-89
Rushing — Greencastle (54-324): Buttery 16-131 2TD, Moody 20-99 3TD, Campbell 6-62, Baxter 6-26 2TD, Thomas 1-3, Carrington 1-0. South Putnam (28-(-27)): A. LeBlanc 5-6, M. LeBlanc 10-3, Adams 5-2, Wood 1-2, Gregory 1-(-8), Zeffel 6-(-32).
Passing — Greencastle: Baxter 4-10 49. South Putnam: Cashion 1-1 20, Zeffel 0-6 INT.
Receiving — Greencastle: Meyer 2-31, Bollman 1-10, Campbell 1-8. South Putnam: None