North Putnam rolls to first victory

It was only a matter of time.

After several good showings in losses to start the season, it all clicked Friday night for the North Putnam Cougars, as they ruined Cloverdale's homecoming, rolling past the Clovers, 48-0.

A stingy defense, which held the Clovers to a yard on the ground and 51 total yards in the first half, along with the play of quarterback Christian Kramer proved to be too much for the Clovers to handle. 

With the win, the Cougars improved to 1-4, while Cloverdale dropped to 2-3. 

All of the scoring took place in the first half for the Cougars, as a running clock brought about a rapid second half and end of the contest. 

North Putnam struck first as the Cougars found life on a fourth and long and two plays later, Caiden Hankins cashed in with a plunge from a yard out. A penalty on the point after attempt moved North Putnam closer and the Cougars opted to go for two, which it converted to go up 8-0. 

Moments later, North Putnam's Kramer would call his own number for a 47 yard that would set up a pitch and catch touchdown play between Kramer and Brogan Woodall to give the Cougars a 15-0 with six minutes left in the first quarter. 

The lead would swell before the end of the first quarter, as Kramer converted on two fourth down plays before handing it off to Braden Glaze, who found paydirt from 11 yards out to put the Cougars ahead 22-0 with just under two minutes left in the opening frame. 

Cloverdale's best chance to score came in the final minutes of the first quarter, as they took advantage of three 15 yard penalties by North Putnam before turning the ball over on downs moments into the second quarter. 

The Clovers would benefit from their defense on North Putnam's ensuing possession, as Cloverdale forced and recovered a fumble deep inside North Putnam territory. 

The opportunity would be short lived as backup quarterback Tre Henderson would come in to take over for Tayt Jackson. On his first play under center, Henderson was hit hard and fumbled the ball away to the Cougars. 

Moments later, Glaze would find the end zone again from a yard out. The point after attempt would extend the lead to 29-0. 

North Putnam would again find the end zone, as Kramer, who entered as North Putnam's leading rusher on the season, found a seam and hit the afterburners from 72 yards out. The point after attempt would push the Cougars ahead 36-0 midway through the second quarter. 

The Cougars would pad its lead with two more touchdowns late in the second quarter. 

On the first, Kramer connected with Wes Murphy for a touchdown pass. Moments later, North Putnam's defense would force another turnover by the Clovers and Paxton O'Brein would make Cloverdale pay, as he rumbled from 25 yards, flipping into the end zone to push the lead to 48-0.

Despite facing a large deficit, Cloverdale managed to put together a solid drive in the closing minute of the first half, highlighted by a huge catch by Tyson Bridges, who hauled in a catch at the North Putnam 17 yard line. The drive would come to an end with a Jackson turnover. 

Kramer ended the first half with 139 yards on the ground and over 100 yards through the air. He would end the game with 10 carries for 138 yards and was 14-of-19 for 191 yards through the air. As a unit, North Putnam ended with 213 yards on the ground. Murphy finished with 8 catches for 78 yards and a score. North Putnam forced four turnovers in the contest.

The Clovers finished with 73 yards on the ground and were 5-of-42 for 50 yards and two interceptions through the air. 

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