It may have taken some time, but nobody in Putnam County is hotter right now than the Greencastle football team under first year head coach David Stephens.
After opening the season 0-2, Greencastle finds itself 2-2 heading into the midway point of the season this week against Sullivan after knocking off South Putnam, 51-49, in an emotional contest last week.
"We had a lot of emotion last week. We can't let South Putnam hangover get us. Sullivan's not coming in scared of the Tiger Cubs. We are still the ones with things to prove. We have to continue to make strides and strides include beating top tier teams like Sullivan and being competitive in the postseason," Stephens said.
In last week's win over the Eagles, Greencastle was able to overcome 14 penalties, three turnovers and a 49-35 deficit to pick up the win on the legs of Lamar Moore, who rushed for 158 yards, and the arm of freshman quarterback Cole Stephens, who was 13-of-23 for 283 yards.
Despite the win streak, Stephens is ensuring his team stays locked in, focused and doesn't let up and is drawing on the past to make sure his message gets across.
The first year coach is pointing to the 2021 season when he was the offensive coordinator at Owen Valley.
That season, Owen Valley opened 5-0 and had just picked up an emotional, hard fought win over Northview only to lose 24-14 to Sullivan, and he wants to make sure it doesn't happen with his new team.
The Golden Arrows opened the season with wins over North Knox and South Vermillion, but have struggled to score points the last two weeks in losses to Northview (46-13) and Linton-Stockton (14-12).
Despite that, Stephens knows Sullivan will be up for the 7 p.m. kickoff Friday.
"They play well. It's going to be a battle. We have to play an A type game, click on offense, continue to improve on defense and make some plays. We have to work on ourselves. It's definitely going to be a challenge. They are a good, quality opponent, and I know they can play. They do things that make it challenging. Our defense has to step up, play better and play penalty free," Stephens said.