Cougars, Eagles both eager to continue sectional action
North Putnam and South Putnam will both continue their quests toward high school football sectional championships tonight, as the Cougars will host Cascade and the Eagles will travel to Indianapolis to play the Howe Hornets.
The Cadets enter tonight’s game at North Putnam 5-5, while the Cougars are 7-3.
Both teams lost to Sullivan by the exact same score of 48-21.
The only other common opponent between the teams is Cloverdale. Cascade beat the Clovers 14-8 in a rainstorm, while North Putnam owns three wins over its county rivals by margins of 35, 34 and 14.
North coach Sam Carnes noted the Cadets run a “fly sweep” offense.
“Stopping them means not only containing the jet, but also eliminating the cut back lanes and the inside runs set up by the jet,” he said. “We need to trust our keys and do our job.
“On offense, we need to continue to find ways to get the ball to our playmakers and give them space to run.”
The winner will play the survivor of tonight’s other semifinal between top-10 ranked Western Boone and Tipton.
South Putnam and Indianapolis Howe met last year in the sectional semifinals, and the Eagles are hoping to repeat that win.
They had no common opponents this year.
South coach Nathan Aker noted that Howe has a “very explosive” offense.
“Their kids are very athletic and can take it the distance any given play,” Aker said. “Defensively, we must contain their athletes and make them string together long drives. We can’t let them have anything easy. On offense, we must be able to pick up the blitz while establishing the run game.”
Aker credited his team’s offensive line with helping senior Dalton Scott to gain 230 yards last week and score five touchdowns as the team compiled 362 rushing yards.
“Our line of scrimmage had an outstanding game last week,” he said. “If we can maintain that momentum, we will have a successful evening at Howe. In the passing game, we have to continue to take what the defense is giving us and take advantage of the opportunity to haul in a big catch.
“Our pass protection has been really good and look forward to seeing that continue,” Aker added. “On special teams, we must continue to take advantage of our depth while making plays in the kicking game.”
The winner will play the Tindley-Traders Point Christian winner in the finals.
Game day previews
Cascade (5-5) at North Putnam (7-3)
The coaches: Steve Spinks is in his third year at Cascade. Sam Carnes is in his second year at North Putnam.
On the airwaves: WREB-FM 94.3 will broadcast the game.
So far: Cascade beat Danville 28-21, lost 38-0 to Monrovia, beat Brown County 42-20 and Cloverdale 14-8, lost 49-26 to Greencastle, beat Owen Valley 61-0, lost 45-14 to Indian Creek, 34-7 to Edgewood and 48-21 to Sullivan before beating Park Tudor 44-7.
North Putnam beat North Montgomery 28-12, Southmont 48-42 and South Putnam 20-2, lost 48-21 to Sullivan, beat Cloverdale 49-14, lost 41-21 to Northview, beat West Vigo 26-20, lost 19-7 to Greencastle and beat Cloverdale 34-0 and 21-7.
Per-game scoring averages: Offense — Cascade 25.7, North 27.5. Defense — Cascade 27.0, North 20.5.
Opponents’ records: Cascade 44-54, North Putnam 47-53.
History: North Putnam won 50-7 in the WIC crossover game in 2016.
Next round: The winner will play at the Tipton-Western Boone winner in the sectional finals next Friday.
John Harrell prediction: North Putnam 38, Cascade 21.
South Putnam (4-6) at Indianapolis Howe (8-2)
The coaches: Nathan Aker is in his fifth year at South Putnam. Terry Pendleton is in his second year at Howe.
So far: South Putnam defeated Cloverdale 6-0 and Owen Valley 57-14, lost 20-2 to North Putnam, 12-0 to Greencastle, 40-16 to Edgewood, 44-8 to West Vigo, 47-14 to Sullivan and 63-8 to Northview before beating Owen Valley 42-0 and Indianapolis Shortridge 44-13.
Howe beat Osceola Grace 27-12, Rock Creek Academy 53-20 and Indiana Deaf 40-18, lost 45-0 to Guerin Catholic, beat Indianapolis Washington 19-14, Indianapolis Manual 45-40 and South Bend Clay 21-19, lost 38-20 to Heritage Christian and beat Lighthouse East 26-12 and Indiana Deaf 37-6.
Per-game scoring averages: Offense — South 19.7, Howe 29.8. Defense — South 25.3, Howe 22.4.
Opponents’ records: South 47-52, Howe 33-51.
History: South Putnam won 19-12 in the sectional semifinals last year.
Next round: The winner will play the Traders Point Christian-Indianapolis Tindley winner next Friday in the sectional finals.
John Harrell prediction: South Putnam 31, Howe 24.