Tiger Cubs enter season with familiar face as new coach

While she may be in a new role, Jessica Lenihan is no stranger to the Greencastle girl's basketball team. 

The former assistant has moved a little further down on the bench and will take over the reigns for the Tiger Cubs, inheriting a team that went 23-5 and fell to Forest Park in the Class 2A semi-state. 

"The transition has overall been pretty smooth. Having coach Greenlee around for any questions has been a big help and made the transition easier. I think it’s been a tremendous help already being familiar with the program and the players. In practice we have been able to just pick up where we left off the last few years. There’s no awkward period of the players needing to get to know me or vice versa," Lenihan told The Putnam County Post. 

According to Lenihan, the Tiger Cubs had a "very productive offseason," participating in the South Putnam Summer League. 

Lenihan said the experience allowed Greencastle to see what it had for the first time as a new group without its top two scoring seniors.  

"Our emphasis has been simple, play hard and empty the tank every game. We are going to be a defensive minded team who will out work and out hustle other teams to pull out wins," Lenihan said.

When she looks back on last season, Lenihan admits it was an "amazing run," as Greencastle achieved things it had not done in a long time. However, she is quick to acknowledge this year will be different.  

"We have to understand as a team and a program that this year will be much different. We lost over 47 points a game in scoring so this year we are going to have to have some players step up and look to score more than they have in the past few years. The goal every year is to win the County and the Conference championship. This team can do that if we execute and play our game," Lenihan said. 

Greencastle brings back three seniors in Evelyn Briones, Madi Plew and Aleeyah Johnson, who will be counted on to step up as leaders. 

"Evelyn was the 3rd option last year on a really good team averaging 10-12 points a game, this year she will be asked to be a top scoring option and we know that she can do it. We have to find ways to get her open shots and she will knock them down," Lenihen said.

The first year coach said she will look to Plew to score more, as she averaged two to four points a season ago. 

"Madi has really worked hard on her shot and we have seen it pay off in the offseason. Madi will be playing the 4 and 5 this year and we expect her to take advantage of her size and be dominant on the boards. She should lead this team in rebounding," she said.

As for Johnson, Lenihan said she is "really excited to see Aleeyah back this year and see her step up in a more prominent role." 

"The common theme here is replacing that scoring that we lost last year. We are looking for Aleeyah to be another player to do that. She is going to need to look for her shot a lot more than she has in the past. Aleeyah plays really hard on both sides of the ball, I never have to question her work ethic," Lenihen said. 

In addition, Greencastle will look to junior guard Ali Dobbs and sophomore forward Bailey Brown to also play big roles. 

"Ali is super athletic and works very hard on the defensive end. This year we will need that aggressiveness not only on the defensive side of the ball but the offensive. We are asking Ali to handle the ball a little more this year and of course look to score. She has been working on her shot this offseason and we are excited to see what she can improve on. I believe Bailey will be one of the girls that takes the biggest leap this year from last year. Bailey has worked really hard over the summer and is ready to take on a much larger role as a scorer for this team. She will be a big focal point in this offense. We will look to get her the ball down low and let her look to score a lot this year," Lenihen said. 

A season ago, Greencastle averaged 59.2 points per game, something Lenihen said won't happen this year, but that doesn't mean her squad won't compete and be ready. 

"This team will most likely not put up the type of scoring we had last year but what you will see is a team that is going to work their tails off and is never going to quit. This team has some potential to be really good. It will all depend on who steps up to take on those larger roles that we are asking of them. If we can get the girls to buy in we will have a really successful season. I’m excited to get started and see what this great group of girls can do," Lenihen said. 

South Putnam looks to contend this season

A season ago, South Putnam featured a girl's basketball team that was long on promise and short on experience, and it showed at various times. 

After a strong 2-0 start, the Eagles endured a six game skid in the middle of the season en route to an 8-16 record last season. 

"Last season was a good year with a very young inexperienced team at the varsity level.  We were able to grow a lot as the season went on and became a lot more comfortable with the speed of the varsity game," head coach Brian Gardner told The Putnam County Post.

Heading into this year, Gardner and South Putnam are coming in with lofty goals after a strong offseason that featured a lot of games and a Division I team camp in Fort Wayne, along with the Eagles playing in their summer league. 

"This allowed us to get a better feel for everyone in new roles. Several of the girls played in fall sports and had good seasons, which I believe will benefit the basketball team a lot. I believe well rounded athletes are who you need on your teams," Gardner said. 

South Putnam brings back some talent and experience this season, beginning with senior forward Joscelyn Pilcher, who played a lot of big minutes last season. Joining her will be junior point guard Danae Cline, junior guard Chlara Pistelli, junior post player Madison Gardner and junior guard Lilly Emmerich. 

When it comes to goals, Gardner believes his squad can compete for various titles this year.

"This season, I believe we will look to compete in the county, conference and sectional. For us to do that, our team has to be able to take care of the ball, play at a pace that works for us and does the little things well. Our goals are to get better every day and be playing the best basketball at sectional time to give us the best chance to win a sectional," Gardner said. 

South Putnam opens season with commanding victory

With a goal of improving daily, the South Putnam girl's basketball team took the first step towards achieving that Tuesday night, opening the 2023-24 season with a commanding 61-10 home win over South Vermillion. 

"We played well for the most part.  I thought we did a good job of attacking the rim and defensively did a good job of playing position defense.  Lots of girls got to play, which was great for the first night," South Putnam coach Brian Gardner told The Putnam County Post after the win. 

With a talented roster that features senior forward Joscelyn Pilcher, as well as junior point guard Danae Cline, junior guard Chlara Pistelli, junior post player Madison Gardner and junior guard Lilly Emmerich, the Eagles wasted little time imposing its will and was able to shake off the rust, according to Gardner. 

"It was good to get the rust off of playing in a game setting.  Lots of young girls got to play," Gardner said.

Leading the way for the Eagles was Pistelli, who scored 16 points, while Lyla Rissler added 11. Cline contributed with nine points. 

Next up for the Eagles is a road date Friday against Cloverdale, who opened the season at Riverton Parke Tuesday. 

According to Gardner, there is plenty for his team to work on as it prepares for the Clovers.   

"The focus for Friday is to get better at small things.  We had some unforced turnovers that we need to clean up. I have not seen Cloverdale play this year.  I know they have had some injuries early so they may not be playing at full strength.  County games are always very hard fought and I look for the game to be a hard fought contest.  JJ does a great job of getting his girls to play hard," Gardner said.

Greencastle pushes top-ranked 2A Linton-Stockton to the limit in sectional semifinal

In a battle of big plays versus sustained drives, the outcome is usually favorable for the team that can put together plays, move the chains and sustain drives.

Photo: Owen Huff celebrates a touchdown early in the game against Linton-Stockton. The Miners held off Greencastle 26-21.

Photo courtesy of Luke Morey/Greene County Daily World

Such was the case in the Greencastle-Linton-Stockton game, as the Tiger Cubs used big plays to race out to a quick lead, but in the end, it was the Miners, who held the ball for over 38 minutes, compared to Greencastle's 9:18 was the difference, escaping with a 26-21 come from behind win. With that time of possession, Linton-Stockton was able to grind out 357 yards of offense all on the ground, as well as 24 first downs. In addition, the Miners were 9-of-16 on third down opportunities. Greencastle, on the other hand, had 208 total yards and 9 first downs. 

With the win, Linton-Stockton improved to 10-1 and will host Southmont for a sectional title, while the Tiger Cubs ended their season at 8-2. 

Leading 21-14 in the closing minute of the first half, Greencastle looked to extend its lead by going for a 39-yard field goal from Ian Williamson, which he missed. 

The momentum swing extended further to Linton-Stockton in the early moments of the third quarter as Greencastle went for it on fourth and eight and turned it over on downs.

From that point on, Linton-Stockton exerted its will on the Tiger Cubs, as the Miners went to its ground attack, keeping the ball in quarterback Paul Oliver's hands early and often and with 4:14 left in the third, Oliver found pay dirt from the goal line. Linton-Stockton's two point conversion attempt failed, leaving the Miners ahead 21-20. 

The Miners would continue to wear down Greencastle in the early moments of the fourth quarter, as they got the Tiger Cubs to jump offsides on a crucial fourth and one at the Greencastle 32. Moments later, Oliver would find the end zone again, but the two point conversion failed, leaving the Miners ahead 26-21. For the game, Oliver carried 31 times for 187 yards and three touchdowns. 

Greencastle looked to respond immediately on its next possession, as Lamar Moore took a handoff and raced 66 yards for a touchdown, only to have it negated by a penalty. That was a sign of things to come, as Oliver intercepted a tipped pass, putting an end to any chance Greencastle had of retaking the lead and scoring a victory. 

Early on, it was all Greencastle, as Moore picked off Oliver inside the Greencastle 40 yard line, and a play later, Moore took a handoff from Cole Stephens and raced 66 yards to put the Tiger Cubs ahead 7-0. Linton-Stockton, however, would hold Moore to minus two yards the rest of the game. 

Linton-Stockton would respond, as Oliver capped a 16-play, 80-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown. The point after attempt failed, leaving the Miners trailing 7-6. 

Greencastle would respond with a 42-yard touchdown pitch and catch from Stephens to Owen Huff to stretch the lead to 14-6. 

Linton-Stockton would answer right back with Oliver and Jesse Voightschild moving the Miners down the field, before Voightschild found the end zone from six yards out. The two point conversion was good, knotting the two teams at 14-14. 

Stephens and Huff would connect once more right before halftime, this time from 48 yards to give Greencastle a 21-14 advantage. 

Greencastle heads to Linton-Stockton for sectional semifinal

After opening the postseason with a road win at North Putnam last week, the Greencastle Tiger Cubs find themselves on the road again Friday night, traveling to second ranked Linton-Stockton (9-1) in the Class 2A Sectional 37 semifinal. 

The winner will play the winner of Cascade and Southmont for the sectional title next week. 

Last week, Greencastle (7-2) had to come from behind to knock off county and Western Indiana Conference foe North Putnam, 30-29. 

Trailing 29-27 with 8:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, Greencastle methodically moved the ball down the field on the legs of Owen Huff and Lamar Moore to set up a 35-yard field goal attempt from Ian Williamson. With 2:47 remaining in regulation, Williamson drilled the field goal, putting the Tiger Cubs up 30-29 for a lead they would not relinquish. 

Greencastle's defense would hold on North Putnam's ensuing possession, forcing the Cougars to throw three straight incomplete passes to turn it over on downs and allow Greencastle to run out the clock for the win. 

In the win, Greencastle rushed for 244 total yards, and got a huge game out of Moore, who rushed for 206 yards and four touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Cole Stephens was 7-of-14 for 116 yards and two interceptions. 

North Putnam, on the other hand, amassed 219 yards on the ground, with Kramer accounting for 30 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Christian Kramer was 14-of-27 for 147 yards and a touchdown through the air.  

Greencastle coach Dave Stephens admits there was a sense of relief when the final seconds ticked off the clock. 

"It feels great, more of a relief. We knew that they were going to have something new to add to their scheme. We were able to overcome that and our own mistakes," Stephens told The Putnam County Post. 

Moore's four touchdowns helped pace the Tiger Cubs last week, but Stephens said that only shows what makes the Greencastle offense. 

"The great thing about our offense is you never know whose night it is going to be. We have faith in all of our guys. Lamar was huge," Stephens said.

As for the Miners, Linton-Stockton comes into Friday with a 9-1 record and average 38 points per game and surrender 12 points a contest. The lone loss was a 27-26 double overtime thriller against Monrovia. Since that loss, the Miners have surpassed the 40 point mark five times, including last week's 48-14 sectional opening win at North Knox last week. 

Linton-Stockton ran 65 plays in the game and raced out to a 27-7 halftime advantage before cruising in the second half. 

Quarterback Paul Oliver was 3-of-10 for 90 yards and an interception through the air, while adding another 100 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. 

Running backs Christian Shonk and Jesse Voightschild rushed for 46 yards and two touchdowns and 94 yards and two touchdowns, respectively. 

The Miners surrendered 109 yards of total offense to North Knox. 

According to Stephens, Greencastle has to clean up its defense ahead of Friday. 

"We have to do a better job with our defensive assignments. We are often not executing the call that is being sent in. We have to clean that up," Stephens said. 

Eagles look to shock Lutheran in sectional tourney

When South Putnam and Class A top ranked Lutheran lock horns Friday night, it will have been 371 days since the two teams last played in the sectional tournament. 

On Oct. 21, 2022, Lutheran knocked off South Putnam, 42-0, in the second round of the Class A, Sectional 47 tournament and South Putnam coach Chuck Sorrell has looked forward to another opportunity against the Saints. 

He and his team now have it, as the Saints (8-0) invade Wildman Field for a date with the Eagles (9-1) Friday. 

Sorrell has talked about the possibility of facing the Saints since the beginning of the season, and the Eagles earned it after knocking off North Central (Farmersburg), 52-0 last week in the sectional opener. Lutheran drew the bye and last played on Oct. 6 when it defeated Speedway, 28-9. 

The winner of Lutheran and South Putnam will take on the winner of Covenant Christian (6-3) and Riverton Parke (5-5) in next week's sectional title tilt. 

While he is ready to see his team play Lutheran, Sorrell does with it was under a different format. 

"Well, we would love the sectional or tournament to be seeded so the best teams play in championships. We know winning titles runs through Lutheran. We played well last Friday and were able to clean up a few things on both sides of the ball," Sorrell told The Putnam County Post. 

The Saints have not lost a game since Nov. 6, 2020, posting back to back 15-0 seasons and capturing the Class A state title. 

Lutheran comes in averaging 43.5 points per game and allows an average of 10 points per season. 

The offense is paced by running back Braydon Hall, who is averaging 151 yards a game on the ground and 19 touchdowns. Quarterback Jackson Willis is 87-of-126 for 1,634 yards and 24 touchdowns through the air and has rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown. 
"They run the ball extremely well this season, so our front six has to slow the run and deep guys stay deep versus the pass," Sorrell said. 

In addition, Sorrell acknowledges his defensive secondary will have to be up for the challenge from Willis. 

"We have to stay patient on the back end and not be overly aggressive versus the run, so they don't play action us and complete deep passes," Sorrell said. 

As for waiting a year to play the Saints again, Sorrell said it is vital his team stay in the moment and not get caught up in outside distractions. 

"We have to play our game. We can't do other player's jobs. We put that on the scouting report each week, Do Your Job," Sorrell said. 

And, he hopes to find out what happens if Lutheran is in a tight game or trailing. 

"They are good and know how to win, but have not been pushed too much this year. What happens if they get down a score," Sorrell said. 

Greencastle survives North Putnam with top-ranked Linton-Stockton next

A week ago, Greencastle held off North Putnam 17-9 in the regular season finale to claim bragging rights, the county championship, the Putnam County Bucket and the Western Indiana Conference Green Division title. 


On Friday, in far better conditions, the two put on quite a show for fans at North Putnam in the opening round of the Class 2A Sectional 37 tournament. However, when the dust settled, it was the Tiger Cubs again escaping with a 30-29 come from behind win. 


"Survive and advance," Greencastle head coach Dave Stephens told The Putnam County Post after the win. 


The win is the eighth in a row for Greencastle, who advance to a second round date with Linton-Stockton (9-1), who knocked off North Knox, 48-14.

North Putnam's season ends at 3-7. 


Trailing 29-27 with 8:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, Greencastle methodically moved the ball down the field on the legs of Owen Huff and Lamar Moore to set up a 35-yard field goal attempt from Ian Williamson. With 2:47 remaining in regulation, Williamson drilled the field goal, putting the Tiger Cubs up 30-29 for a lead they would not relinquish. 


Greencastle's defense would hold on North Putnam's ensuing possession, forcing the Cougars to throw three straight incomplete passes to turn it over on downs and allow Greencastle to run out the clock for the win. 


The last minute heroics summed up how the back and forth battle went all night between the two teams. 


Greencastle opened the game with Moore taking a handoff and going 37 yards to the end zone in a span of eight seconds, as the Tiger Cubs went ahead 7-0. 


North Putnam would answer right back, as Brogan Woodall intercepted Greencastle quarterback Cole Stephens and then North Putnam quarterback Christian Kramer went to work, picking Greencastle apart on the ground. However, it was the arm of Kramer that was the difference, as he hit Wes Murphy for a 24-yard touchdown. On the point-after-attempt, Greencastle jumped offsides and North Putnam opted to go for two, which it converted, moving ahead 8-7 with 2:58 remaining in the opening frame. 


The score would stay 8-7 until late in the second quarter when Kramer found pay dirt from a yard out with just over three minutes remaining in the half, giving the Cougars a 15-7 lead.

Greencastle would answer right back moments later, as a 30-yard pass play from Stephens to Brayden Monroe set up a five yard touchdown run by Moore. The two point conversion failed, leaving the Tiger Cubs trailing 15-13 at the half. 

In the first half, Greencastle only ran 19 plays compared to 39 for North Putnam. 


Whatever coach Stephens said at the half to his team resonated, as the Tiger Cubs took the second half kickoff and went to work. Stephens hit Monroe for a 35-yard gain to open the second half for the Tiger Cubs, who benefitted from a personal foul facemask call against North Putnam to set up another Moore touchdown, this time from two yards out to put Greencastle ahead 20-15.


North Putnam would not go away quietly, as the Cougars again went to a ground attack on the legs of Kramer, who punched it in to put North Putnam back ahead 22-20 with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. 


Greencastle fired right back moments later, as Moore took a handoff from Stephens and scored from two yards out, putting the Tiger Cubs ahead 27-22 to go into the fourth quarter. 


With just under 10 minutes left in regulation, North Putnam took over at its own three yard line and got a huge pass play from Kramer to Brogan Woodall for 40 yards to set up a Kramer touchdown, giving the Cougars a 29-27 lead and capping a 93-yard drive. 


In the win, Greencastle rushed for 244 total yards, and got a huge game out of Moore, who rushed for 206 yards and four touchdowns. Stephens was 7-of-14 for 116 yards and two interceptions. 


North Putnam, on the other hand, amassed 219 yards on the ground, with Kramer accounting for 30 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Kramer was 14-of-27 for 147 yards and a touchdown through the air. 

South Putnam ready for sectional tournament

With the Class A Sectional 47 football tournament beginning tonight, South Putnam coach Chuck Sorrell knows what awaits his team.
Should the Eagles get past North Central (Farmersburg) tonight, South Putnam will take on two time defending Class A state champion Lutheran, who drew the bye. The Saints sent South Putnam packing last season, 42-0, on its way to Lucas Oil Stadium. In addition to last season, Lutheran has ended South Putnam's seasons in 2018 and 2014, but the Eagles defeated the Saints in the 2013 sectional tournament, 42-28.
However, before thinking about the Saints and their quarterback Jackson Willis, Sorrell's team must contend with a North Central (Farmersburg) squad that finished the regular season 2-7. The Thunderbirds enter having lost their last two, including a 43-6 setback against Eastern Greene in the regular season finale.
"North Central gives us the same issues as Cascade. They want to slow the game down with long drives. We must tackle on first and second downs and create third and longs to get the ball back to our offense. Offensively, we must win the man coverage routes and block all their blitzing so we can run the ball," Sorrell said.
As for the Eagles, they enter 8-1, having knocked off Cascade in the regular season finale in a contest that saw South Putnam only have the ball for seven plays in the first half.
"Cascade had a great game plan to keep the ball out of our offense's hands. We were not effective at all," Sorrell said.
He said while the Eagles fell short of its goal of winning a conference title, it was still a great season, ending 8-1.
"It's still a really good year," he said.
With fall break being this week, South Putnam practiced its normal two hours and have had a good week, according to Sorrell.
"The kids are excited and have had a really good week so far of preparation. It is nice that we can possibly play two home games," Sorrell said. 

Greencastle looks to sweep North Putnam

The stage may be different, but David Stephens is strictly aware that not only are bragging rights at stake, but, more importantly, so is an opportunity to continue his team's football season when it visits rival North Putnam in the opening round of the Class 2A Sectional 37 tournament.

The winner will play the winner of top-ranked Linton-Stockton and North Knox. 

Greencastle rolls into the playoffs at 7-2 after opening 0-2 and fresh off last week's 17-9 rain soaked win over the Cougars (3-6).

"It was really good to see us win the way we did. They have proven they can win a shoot out and proven they can win a grind it out defensive game. That bodes well for us in the playoffs," Stephens told The Putnam County Post. 

The win gave the Tiger Cubs their first outright Western Indiana Conference title in 11 years, control of the Putnam County Bucket and bragging rights in the county, all things Stephens believed his team could accomplish when he became coach earlier this year. 

"It feels great. I am not surprised at all. We expected to come in this year and compete in our county and conference. We feel fortunate to have won, but definitely not surprised," Stephens said. . 

Stephens admits he knew Greencastle had the potential to do all it has done when he took over the job. 

"I knew we had athletes and size. I knew we had great coaches. I knew Cole was a stud three years ago. So, yeah, I believed it. I just had to get them all to buy in. Once they knew we were a person over player coaching staff, they bought in," Stephens said. 

While the conditions were horrid at times with wind and driving rain, Stephens said his team walked away from last week with knowledge that it has some "definite advantages." 

"Now to put together a game plan to use those advantages," Stephens said.  

One advantage came on the defensive side, as Greencastle held the Cougars to 180 yards and forced three takeaways. 

"I was proud of our guys. Their biggest gain of the game was on a gimmicky roll out across the field screen. Their one touchdown was off an interception our offense threw and gave them great field position. Our defense struggled the first two games, but once they learned our communication structure, they really have been playing exceptionally well since the South Putnam game," Stephens said. 

As for the offense, Greencastle has gotten solid production out of quarterback Cole Stephens and running back Lamar Moore this season. 

Last week, Stephens threw for 97 yards, while Moore rushed for 161 yards. On the season, Stephens has thrown for 2,322 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Moore, on the other hand, has rushed for 897 yards and 14 trips to the end zone. 

Heading into the rematch, Stephens is confident about his team's ability to win again, admitting he was "glad" the first encounter was close. 

"I'm glad it was close because now we aren't going into North Putnam after winning by 28 thinking we don't have to focus and then we get caught with a surprise in round one. Our guys know at the end of the day, you can say elements, rain, whatever, it was an 8 point game. That is one score so you have to come out focused and execute. If you want to be the team you say you are and believe you are, now you have to have a great week of practice," Stephens said. 

And, he admits the pressure is not on Greencastle. 

"Our guys have a little bit of confidence in the sense we know we can beat them. They don't know if they can beat us. It is up for us to go out and prove it again," Stephens said. 

And, what will it take to do just that?

"Play fast, play physical, win the line of scrimmage and take care of the ball. I know it sounds cliche, but it really is the truth," Stephens said. 

Cloverdale looks to pick up sectional win

The regular season may not have gone the way the Cloverdale Clovers had wanted, as they finished the regular season 2-7, but now starts the season that matters -- the sectional tournament. 

Cloverdale will open the Class A, Sectional 47 tournament against Riverton Parke. 

The winner will play the winner of Parke Heritage and Covenant Christian. 
For Cloverdale, the Clovers enter the postseason off a 53-14 loss against Owen Valley, where they played the Patriots close in the first quarter before depth and mistakes became an issue. 

"The end of the first quarter, we were up 14-13 and the boys were playing well. The offense was moving the ball, defense was giving them good shot. We had some really bad turnovers that killed us. They pounded the rock at us and wore us down. Silly mistakes killed us. We have to get out of our own way," Cloverdale coach Tyler Lotz said. 

The Clovers will have a new signal caller under center as Tre Henderson has gotten the call at quarterback, while Tayt Jackson has moved out to wide receiver, a position he started his football career at. 

"Our offense is the same, we just switched Tre and Tayt. Tre has to be locked in every play. I told him get in there and watch film this week and know this defense inside and out and you'll recognize things and do a much better job," Lotz said. 

Cloverdale has not won a game in the sectional tournament since 2012, when it knocked off Riverton Parke, 44-22, but Lotz believes his team has a chance against a team that will be of similar size. 

"Riverton Parke, size wise, is similar to us, but we know they are going to throw out some different stuff and it'll be difficult to do what we want sometimes," Lotz said. 

The keys are simple -- protect the football and stay out of their own way, according to Lotz. 

"We've gotten better and more physical. It will come down to taking care of the ball and getting out of our way. Now it's go home or advance. It's going to come down to the seniors and upperclassmen who want to keep playing football, how are they going to commit during fall break and approach this game? I am excited to see what they can do. It is a good way for our seniors to get another chance at home. If they want to keep playing at home, we have to win," Lotz said. 

The Panthers enter with a 4-5 record and have won three straight, including last week's 20-6 contest against Covington. 

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Tiger Cubs hold off North Putnam

At times the play matched the weather and was downright ugly, but through the rains and wind, the Greencastle Tiger Cubs had enough in the tank to hold off county and Western Indiana Conference rival North Putnam, 17-9.

It's the Tiger Cubs first conference football championship since 2012.

With the win, Greencastle keeps control of the Putnam County Bucket into basketball season and won the Western Indiana Conference Green Division title outright. Furthermore, the Tiger Cubs improved to 7-2, while North Putnam fell to 3-6. 

It also sets up a rematch next week at North Putnam in the Class 2A Sectional 37. 

The win didn't come without late heroics from the Tiger Cubs in the second half. Battling the rain and North Putnam's defense, Greencastle quarterback Cole Stephens connected with Brayden Monroe, who got behind the defender and then outran the North Putnam defense on fourth and 14 for a 24-yard touchdown. The point after attempt was good, pushing the lead to 14-9 for the Tiger Cubs with 2:42 left in the third quarter. 

The Greencastle defense would twice come up with big plays following the touchdown. The first would come thanks to an interception by Garrett Cooper and then a fumble recovery minutes later by Brayden Monroe. 

Greencastle would cash in with the opportunity from Monroe, as Ian Williamson's leg connected on a 29-yard field goal to push the lead to 17-9 with 7:42 remaining in the game. 

Greencastle would look to ice the clock with multiple handoffs to Lamar Moore, but the Tiger Cubs would have to punt it away. Williamson struggled to corral the snap, but managed to get a punt off that would be first touched by North Putnam and Greencastle managed to secure the football, giving the ball back to the Tiger Cubs with just under two minutes to go. 

This time, Greencastle would be successful in running out the clock to secure the victory, prompting the fans to hit the field to celebrate the victory. 

Early on, the Tiger Cubs had to deal with not only heavy rain and winds, but a North Putnam offense that came out and established itself very early. The Cougars took the opening kickoff and marched down the field on the legs of Braden Glaze and the arm of quarterback Christian Kramer. On fourth and two following a timeout, Kramer hit Paxton O'Brien for a 23-yard strike that moved North Putnam inside the Greencastle 10-yard line. The drive would stall out, however, as Kramer was stopped inside the 1-yard line on fourth and goal. 

Moments later, North Putnam would get the ball back after a Greencastle punt and it would crack the scoreboard with a 24-yard field goal, putting the Cougars up 3-0. 

The teams would trade punts to open the second quarter before Greencastle would find its offensive rhythm on the arm of Stephens, who hit Owen Huff on several pass plays to move the Tiger Cubs. On fourth-and-1, the Tiger Cubs benefitted from an offsides penalty against North Putnam and Greencastle cashed in on the new set of downs as Lamar Moore found a seam and scampered in from 12 yards out. The point after attempt was successful, giving Greencastle a 7-3 advantage it would take into the locker rooms. 

North Putnam came out of the locker room looking to make a play on defense and the Cougars did just that, as Brogan Woodall intercepted Stephens, returning the ball down inside the Greencastle 15-yard line. 

It would take a handful of run passes by Kramer before he finally crossed the goal line, giving North Putnam a 9-7 lead after the point-after-attempt failed with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter. 

The North Putnam defense would answer the bell on Greencastle's second possession of the quarter. Facing a crucial fourth and eight, Stephens connected with a receiver, but a huge hit by Woodall jarred the ball loose, forcing the Tiger Cubs to turn it over on downs; however, North Putnam's offense was unable to do anything with the ball. 

For the game, Greencastle rushed for 199 yards, with 161 coming from Moore on 36 touches. 

Stephens was 7-of-15 for 97 yards and two interceptions through the air. 

North Putnam rushed for 117 yards, with Kramer accounting for 94 yards on 23 carries. In the passing department, Kramer was 4-of-16 for 76 yards and two interceptions. 

Greencastle, North Putnam to tangle Friday

Bragging rights at Marvin's, as well as momentum heading into the postseason will be on the line Friday when Greencastle (6-2) and North Putnam (3-5) tangle at Greencastle's Harbison Stadium.

Kickoff has been moved to 6:30 p.m. with potential storms pushing a cold front into the area. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:10 p.m. on GIANT fm Sports on WREB 94.3. 

Both teams enter the regular season with wins from last week and look to gain momentum ahead of next week's rematch in the first round of the Class 2A Sectional 37 at North Putnam. 

Last week, Greencastle upended Owen Valley, 35-15, while North Putnam knocked off Brown County, 58-8.

For Greencastle, the win over Owen Valley meant a lot to head coach David Stephens, who spent the last two years as the offensive coordinator with the Patriots. 

"It was a big week, emotional, a lot of energy and homecoming. We sat seven guys the last few weeks on defense and they were eager to hit. I can't say enough about our offensive line. Cole (Stephens) has been sacked one time and it is a credit to those kids. We are a different football team because of how they perform," Stephens said. 

While Greencastle has showed an ability to throw it around with freshman quarterback Cole Stephens, the last two weeks, it has been the rushing attack of Lamar Moore that has paced the Tiger Cubs. 

According to Stephens, his team continues to take what the defense is giving them. 

"We always take what the defense gives us. Against Owen Valley, it was a light box, which made the running game good. Lamar and the offensive line did a wonderful job, and Lamar ran the ball really hard and had four touchdowns," Stephens said. 

In addition, Greencastle's defense has come on in recent weeks, forcing several turnovers the last two weeks. 

"My defensive coordinator, Coach Froderman, has done a fantastic job with our defense. The last few weeks, we had talked about the transition to the new scheme this year and that the biggest challenge was on the communication end. Our defense is really communicating well and it's showing by the results being produced on the field," Stephens said.

As for North Putnam, the Cougars have won two in a row heading into Friday's matchup. 

Against Brown County, North Putnam came out and established its rushing attack and defense and got an early score on fourth down. 

"We were able to get back to getting stops and scoring in the first half to get to the running clock. We let the varsity have one drive in the second half before getting younger guys in to finish the game and they did an excellent job," North Putnam coach Scott Moore said. 

In a rivalry, records and everything else can get tossed out the window, and Stephens said he and his team understand what is at stake for the Tiger Cubs. 

"The county rivalry is on the line, and the focus will be there. We have hardware on the line, and we have a share of the conference right now, but we don't want a share. Owen Valley was the last game for fun. Now it's county and conference. Now is the time to put a bow on both of those things," Stephens said. 

What will it take to get a win in this rivalry? 

According to both coaches, it will take a strong performance from their respective teams. 

"Greencastle is a solid football team and they have continued to improve throughout the season. You can see it on film as well as in the scores. They have a great passing attack with good skilled players and the quarterback throws a good ball. Their offensive line does a good job protecting. Their running back is a great athlete and when they run the ball, they do it effectively. We will have to play physical football on defense, fly around, make plays when our name is called and communicate our assignments to ensure our success. Defensively, they do what they do well and we will have to continue to be crisp on offense and take what the defense gives us. We are excited for the opportunity and ready for a good game on Friday," Moore said.

As for Greencastle, Stephens said he knows North Putnam would like to play the role of spoiler.   

We are not looking into the future and are focused on this game.  We will attack next week when it comes, obviously it is tough to play any team twice in a season, let alone in back to back games.  We will use what we learn Friday to adjust our game plan on both sides of the ball and be ready for round 2 at our place come next week. 

"North Putnam is very talented. Kramer is an excellent quarterback. The coaches do a good job with schemes and they have our full attention. Our goal is to treat it like it is a championship caliber game. We are seeking our first outright conference title since 2012. North Putnam would love to be the foil to keep us from winning. We have to look out for that, but I love our focus and energy and am excited about a great opportunity," Stephens said. 

Knowing they will face each other in a week, will they do anything different? 

Both coaches said no. 

" We are not looking into the future and are focused on this game.  We will attack next week when it comes, obviously it is tough to play any team twice in a season, let alone in back to back games.  We will use what we learn Friday to adjust our game plan on both sides of the ball and be ready for round 2 at our place come next week," Moore said.

Stephens echoed those sentiments. 

"I think it's really important to have momentum going into the sectional. We have really tried to peek physically with our health going into the sectional, and I like where we are at physically and where we are at with our team speed. I am a firm believer in doing what you do and doing it well. We will have a wrinkle from game one to two but nothing dramatic. We won't change much," Stephens said.  

Feature: Tayt Jackson, Cloverdale

The record may not be what Cloverdale was looking for this season, but there has been a huge bright spot this season and that is the play of quarterback/wide receiver Tayt Jackson.

As Cloverdale brings a 2-6 record into Friday's regular season finale at Owen Valley, the junior signal caller looks to do whatever it takes to help the Clovers move the ball and find the end zone. 

It's been that way since Jackson got into football as a child in kindergarten after being raised in a football family.

However, heading into high school, Jackson admits he thought he would play elsewhere on the field. 

"Going into high school, I thought I'd play wide receiver, but my coach and my team needed me to play quarterback so that's what I did. The pressure is definitely something I struggled with at first, but over the years, I've started to kind of like the pressure. I think it helps me to perform at a higher level and become even more of a competitor," Jackson told The Putnam County Post. 

Jackson said he made huge gains from his sophomore season to his junior year. 

"The transition was huge for me. The offseason helped me tremendously, and I think I also developed a lot as a leader," Jackson said. 

Through eight games, Jackson is 30-of-104 for 398 yards and a touchdown through the air. He has rushed 68 yards for 379 yards and six touchdowns and has reeled in five passes for 128 yards and a touchdown this season for the Clovers. 

Being the quarterback means all eyes are on Jackson, and it's something he has dealt with well this season, helping bring about a young program, including Tre Henderson, who has also seen time at quarterback this year for Cloverdale. 

"We're a young team. We have a lot of first time players who've never played before. This season has been rough record wise, but it's a learning curve. We've continued to improve throughout the season and we hope to end it and head into sectionals with a solid win," Jackson said. 

The Clovers will open the first round of the Class A Sectional 47 at home against Riverton Parke. 

Jackson is hopeful the Clovers can pick up a win next week.

"We're really happy with the draw. We have a chance to go out there, get a win, and then make a run at a Sectional title," Jackson said.

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South Putnam, Cloverdale look to end regular season with momentum

With regular season finales slated for both the South Putnam and Cloverdale football teams, the Eagles and Clovers are looking to end the regular season with momentum heading into next week's sectional tournament. 

South Putnam will put its 7-1 record on the mark when it travels to Cascade, while Cloverdale will look to improve on its 2-6 record with a road date at Owen Valley.

For the Eagles, Chuck Sorrell's team has won four straight after losing to Greencastle and have gotten it done on both offense and defense this season. 

In last week's 36-19 win over Heritage Christian, the Eagles got touchdowns from Kolby Harcourt, Wyatt Mullin, Zach Dorsett and a pick six by Logan Sillery, as well as a field goal from Wyatt Sweitzer. 

"We came out and established the run game early. We knew their goal was to stop our counter game. We started with our defense forcing a three and out and then we put together a 71 yard drive to start. Our offensive line hammered down. In the first half, we dominated them and were up 26-7 at the half and felt good," Sorrell said. 

Sorrell said his team needed a tough contest against a solid Heritage Christian team, noting it had been three weeks since the starters played in the second half. In addition, he said his team passed the physical test, which was something he and the coaching staff drove home.

"We talked all week about being able to dominate the trenches. They play some really good teams, but we felt we could be their most physical test. We were able to get that three and out and let our defense take over. Our offensive line helped us get seven rushes for 71 yards on that first drive to score. Wyatt Mullin and Kolby both had over 100 yards on the ground," Sorrell said. 

With another week of a balanced offense, the Eagles rushed for over 200 yards and threw for over 200 again last week. 

"We are growing up as we play. We start a lot of juniors and freshmen and each week they get reps, they get better. I think we can run on anybody and make throws when we need to," Sorrell said. 

While the Eagles have the lone blemish on their record, Sorrell said there is still a lot to prove and a lot to play for. 

"Obviously, we wanted to win county and win conference, but we let that get away from us. To have four shutouts and be playing our best football in week eight and week nine is a true testament to our players and coaching staff," Sorrell said. 

Sorrell said his team will be ready for Cascade and its Wing-T offense Friday night. Cascade fell last week against Monrovia, 42-35. 

"We've been lucky that we had two teams to prepare for this. We scrimmage Monrovia to get us ready for West Vigo and Cascade. It will come down to assignment football. Cascade got two score off turnovers last week. We have been good against the run this season. Responsibility will be the key word of the week," Sorrell said. 

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Cloverdale looks to bounce back

Fresh off a disappointing 43-18 loss against West Vigo last week, the Cloverdale Clovers look to bounce back this week, as they will put their 2-6 record on the line against Owen Valley, who lost 35-15 to Greencastle last week. 

The Patriots also enter at 2-6 on the season. 

Against West Vigo, Cloverdale committed 11 penalties that all came at the worst time. 

In addition, an inability to get a stop on a crucial fourth and long in the third quarter proved to be the difference. 

On fourth and long, West Vigo's Landon Fields connected with Karson Stark, who caught it in stride for a 50 yard bomb that set up running back Ryan Cobb's touchdown to stretch the lead to 27-12 and secure momentum for the Vikings. 

In the loss, Cloverdale got a touchdown run from Levi Johnson and a 56-yard touchdown pass from Tre Henderson to Tayt Jackson. 

Greencastle to open postseason at North Putnam in Class 2A, Sectional 37

The draws have been set and while there is a week left in the high school football regular season, attention has been turned to the sectional tournament, which kicks off Oct. 20.

Here's a look at the sectional draws. 

In Class 2A Sectional 37, Greencastle opens at North Putnam. The two teams are set to play this Friday in the regular season finale. 

Greencastle is 6-2 on the season, while North Putnam is 3-5, but has won two straight games. Last week, the Cougars knocked off Brown County, 58-8, while Greencastle defeated Owen Valley, 35-15.

Ahead of this week's meeting, Greencastle head coach David Stephens said North Putnam has weapons, starting with its quarterback, Christian Kramer. 

"Christian is a heck of a player. Our team knows that this week is for the bucket, conference championship and bragging rights at Marvin's. The Cougars look good and it will be a big test for our team," Stephens told The Putnam County Post. 

The winner of Greencastle and North Putnam will take on the winner of top ranked Linton-Stockton (7-1) versus North Knox (5-3). The Miners won at North Knox on September 29, 40-0. In the bottom half, South Vermillion (7-1) takes on Cascade (5-3) and Sullivan (4-4) plays Southmont (4-4). 

In the Class A playoffs, eyes in Putnam County are on Sectional 47, where South Putnam and Cloverdale are on opposite ends of the bracket. In addition, both avoided defending state champ Lutheran in the opening round. 

South Putnam, who brings a 7-1 record into Friday's regular season finale against Cascade, has gotten it done this season with a balanced offense and a defense that has allowed an average of 11.9 points per contest. 

The Eagles will open the sectional at home against North Central (Farmersburg), who is 2-6 heading into Friday's contest at Eastern Greene. 

South Putnam head coach Chuck Sorrell is confident heading into the sectional. 

"We like our chances to play Luthern, but we will have to play assignment football for the next two weeks against Wing-T offenses and then get ready for spread football," Sorrell told The Putnam County Post.  

The winner of South Putnam and North Central will take on Lutheran. 

In the bottom half of the draw, Parke Heritage (2-6) travels to Covenant Christian (4-3) and Riverton Parke takes on Cloverdale. 

The Clovers are 2-6 and in the midst of a five game losing skid after falling 43-18 last week against West Vigo. 

Riverton Parke, on the other hand, is 3-5 and has won two straight heading into the regular season finale against Covington. 

Cloverdale quarterback Tayt Jackson said the Clovers are "really happy" with the draw. 

"We have a chance to go out there, get a win and then make a run at a sectional title," Jackson told The Putnam County Post. 

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Greencastle picks up homecoming win over Owen Valley

Coming into Friday's homecoming contest against Owen Valley, Greencastle head football coach Dave Stephens was worried about emotions. 


And, why not?


The first year coach spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Owen Valley, has relationships with the remaining coaches and players and still thinks highly of the Patriots. 


His fears were quickly turned to reality, as emotions were high throughout the night and Greencastle was flagged early and often for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the first half, but when the dust settled it was Greencastle who walked off with a 35-15 victory that featured some chippiness while the two teams were shaking hands after the contest.  

The win is the sixth straight for Greencastle, who improved to 6-2 and will take on North Putnam in the regular season finale next week. 


The penalties showed up early for the Tiger Cubs, including two on Owen Valley's first possession of the game, which resulted in a turnover on downs. For the game, Greencastle  was called for 10 unsportsmanlike penalties.  


Despite the penalties, Greencastle was able to find its offensive rhythm as Lamar Moore, who was crowned Homecoming King at the half, found his footing and quarterback Cole Stephens connected on passes to Owen Huff and Brendle Brennan to set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Moore. The point after attempt failed, leaving the Tiger Cubs ahead 6-0 with just over five minutes left in the first quarter. 


Special teams would play a hand in setting up Greencastle's next touchdown as a punt by Owen Valley got caught up in the wind and was downed at the Patriots' 12-yard line. Two plays later, Stephenson hit Huff for a 9 yard touchdown pass and Anthony Adams ran in the two point conversion to put Greencastle ahead 14-0. 


The Greencastle lead would swell to 21-0 early in the second quarter as Moore took a handoff and hit paydirt from two yards out. 


Greencastle's offense would sputter a bit after that touchdown, as the Tiger Cubs would fumble twice on its next possession and would find themselves bogged down by penalty flags, forcing Greencastle to punt it away to Owen Valley.


The Patriots would crack the scoreboard as Calvin Dean connected with Elijah Anderson for a 25-yard pass and Anderson ran in the two-point conversion to trim the lead to 21-8. 


The Patriots would go for a squib kick on the ensuing kickoff and recover it and then would go on to benefit early in the drive by personal foul penalties by Greencastle. 


Owen Valley's drive would come to a screeching halt, however, as Kyvan Bandy fumbled the ball away inside the Greencastle 15-yard line and the Tiger Cubs were there to collect. 


After another Owen Valley fumble that was collected by the Tiger Cubs, Greencastle would tack on another touchdown, but not without a little controversy. 


On first and goal, Ian Williamson appeared to be stripped of the football just shy of the goal line and Owen Valley recovered the loose football. However, after a conversation by officials, it was determined the play was blown dead, giving the Tiger Cubs the ball back at the Owen Valley 2-yard line. 

A play later, Moore rumbled in for his third touchdown, giving Greencastle a 28-8 halftime advantage. 


After the lengthy homecoming festivities, Greencastle came out and established its will and took back momentum, Moore's legs set up passes by Stephenson to move the Tiger Cubs down inside the red zone in three plays. 

Moore would be rewarded for his efforts, taking a handoff nine yards for a score and the point-after-attempt would put Greencastle ahead 35-8 early in the third quarter. 


On its ensuing possession, Owen Valley would go to the ground with 9:56 remaining in the third quarter and would keep the ball completely away from the Tiger Cubs, taking over 13 minutes on the drive. 


On a fourth down play, Greencastle had an opportunity to get off the field as there was a bad snap, but Anderson was able to scoop it up and take it down to the Greencastle 2-yard line. 


Several plays later, Anderson would cross the goal line with 8:36 remaining in the quarter and the point after attempt would cut the deficit to 35-15. The touchdown capped a 19-play, 71-yard drive for the Patriots. 


Greencastle would look to control the clock on its next possession, but the Tiger Cubs would cough it up with five minutes remaining, and Owen Valley recovered the loose football at its own 6-yard line. 


The turnover wouldn't matter as Greencastle would force Owen Valley to punt and on its final drive, it looked as if the Tiger Cubs would tack on another as Huff found the end zone, only to have the play negated by a holding penalty. After the penalty, Greencastle would take a knee to end the contest. 


Moore finished with 102 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Stephens was 14-of-19 for 152 yards through the air. 

As a team, Greencastle recovered two fumbles and turned it over twice. 

GIANT fm to broadcast IHSAA Football State Pairings Show Sunday

Football fans interested in finding out who the first sectional opponents will be for the Putnam County schools can listen to GIANT fm Sunday at 6 p.m. to hear the live broadcast of the IHSAA Football State Tournament Pairings Show.

Aired locally on 94.3 fm (WREB), Bob Lovell, host of Indiana Sports Talk, and Paul Condry of the Regional Radio Sports Network will break down the sectional pairings for all six classes of IHSAA football.

The pairings show also will stream exclusively on

North Putnam and Greencastle are assigned to Class 2A, Sectional 37. The eight-team field includes No. 1 Linton-Stockton (6-1), Greencastle (5-2), Southmont (4-3), Cascade (5-2), Sullivan (4-3), South Vermillion (6-1), North Knox (4-3) and North Putnam (2-5).

South Putnam and Cloverdale are part of Sectional 47 in Class A. The seven-team field includes No. 6 South Putnam (6-1), Covenant Christian (3-3), Parke Heritage (2-5), Riverton Parke (2-5), No. 1 Indianapolis Lutheran (7-0), North Central (Farmersburg) (2-5) and Cloverdale (2-5).

The first round of sectional games for Class 4A, 3A, 2A and A are Oct. 20. Semifinal games follow on Oct. 27 with sectional champions being crowned on Nov. 3.

Regional championship games are Nov. 10 and Semistate champions are crowned on Nov. 17.

The six state championship games are scheduled for Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

Beadles leads the way for South Putnam defense

The South Putnam defense is one of the best in Class A, as it is surrendering less than 11 points per contest. 

A main reason why is the play of senior middle linebacker Aiden Beadles, who is the heart and soul of the South Putnam defense. 

However, the standout didn't want to get into football when he was young. 

"When I was in the third grade, my parents convinced me to play for one season. I instantly loved it though. My favorite part is the direct competition and the physicality of the sport," Beadles told The Putnam County Post. 

Through seven games, Beadles has 67 solo tackles and 107 total stops, 23 tackles-for-a-loss, four sacks, 10 quarterback hurries, and a pass deflection. 

"This season has been going really well. As a team, we have had some really good games and are currently 6-1 on the season. Individually, I have already had a big year. I have already broken our school's record for sacks in a single game," Beadles said.

He admits his stats are down this season from last, but he is fine with that. 

"Overall, my stats are down from last year, but that's because our defense has really stepped up this year. I'd say our defensive line and linebackers are our strongest groups on our team. That being said, I have to work that much harder to make plays, but I know if I'm not there, one of my teammates will be," Beadles said.

With the regular season winding down, and games against Heritage Christian and at Cascade waiting, Beadles said his team will face two good tests before the sectional tournament begins. 

"We have some big games coming up with number five ranked Heritage Christian in 2A and then a very physical Cascade team the week after. Our goals, as a team, are to win out the rest of the regular season and then make a deep run in the tournament. As an individual, I am aiming to break more records at my school and be named all-state again," Beadles said. 

When his playing days are over at South Putnam, Beadles is hopeful he can play at the next level, noting he has generated some interest from a few Division III programs, as well as Marian University. 

"Overall, recruiting has been slow, but I'm hoping to prove myself again this season and get some offers," Beadles said. 

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Cloverdale, North Putnam seeks wins Friday

A week ago, the Cloverdale Clovers came into its contest with Greencastle with a good game plan, and executed it perfectly in the initial stages. 


However, when the dust settled, Greencastle left with a 68-7 win over the Clovers, who dropped to 2-5 heading into this week's clash with West Vigo.


"We started the game off in a good way. The gameplan was to pressure the quarterback and press receivers outside. That's a really good offense," Cloverdale football coach Tyler Lotz said. 


Lotz said his message to his team was a simple one -- the best defense is a good offense and the Clovers looked to establish its offense in the contest. 


"We are not hitting on all cylinders on offense. Tayt (Jackson) is throwing well at practice, but our receivers have to catch the ball," said Lotz, who played both Jackson and Tre Henderson at quarterback last week. 


Despite the loss, Lotz notes he has seen improvement from his team  since the beginning of the season, but also admits there is still plenty of room to go. 


"We are getting better. It's the little things we have to take advantage of. When other teams mess up, we can't kill ourselves. We have to be locked in and do our job. The guys are getting better," Lotz said.


Cloverdale has already eclipsed its win total from last year and currently have the most wins since 2018. 


"Changing a culture is going to take time. I am excited to see what the future brings," Lotz said.


What the future brings is an immediate clash with the West Vigo Vikings, who enter Friday's contest with a 1-6 record and lost to North Putnam 48-0 last week. The last two weeks, West Vigo has been shut out, as they also lost to South Putnam, 63-0. The lone win came against Brown County (41-21), who Cloverdale also beat earlier this season. 


According to Lotz, the Clovers have a tall task ahead of them, acknowledging West Bigo is a "big team, size wise."


"It is a winnable game, but we can't underestimate any opponent. I'm sure they are thinking the same thing we are, that's a winnable game," Lotz said. 


North Putnam looks for win streak 

Also looking for another win this week is the North Putnam Cougars, who got win number two of the season last week under head coach Scott Moore. 

North Putnam knocked off West Vigo, 48-0. 


"It was a good win for us.  We came out sharp scoring on our first 4 drives of the game and our defense held West Vigo in check. They tried to slow the game down with running the ball and taking up the clock, but we were able to get stops and get ourselves the ball back.  In the second half, we came out and did what we had to do to put the game away.  It was one of the longer trips of the year for us but we were able to stay focused and I am proud of how we played," Moore told The Putnam County Post.  


Leading the way for the Cougars was Wes Murphy, who had over 200 total yards. Caiden Hankins led the defense and made some big tackles, according to Moore. 


This week, the Cougars look continue their winning ways against Brown County. 


"Brown County has a quarterback who can spin it and a couple of receivers that are quick and run good routes, we will have to get our mindset back to playing a spread offense as we have played different style teams the last couple of weeks," Moore said.


According to Moore, North Putnam will have to make sure its clicking on   both sides of the ball.


"We will have to make sure our pass defense is up for the task and get them in 3rd and long situations and then capitalize to get the ball back.  Offensively, we have to continue to execute at a high level and play fast.  We cannot afford mental mistakes or lapses in our effort.  We are excited for this game and it is the most important of the season as it is the next one.  We have had a great week of practice and hope to put ourselves in a position to win a football game on Friday," Moore said. 



South Putnam looks to keep winning ways going

At 6-1 on the season, South Putnam head football coach Chuck Sorrell has plenty of reasons to smile.
Especially when he looks at his defense, which has surrendered less than 11 points per contest this season. 

"Since our hiccup in the middle of the season, we are really focused defensively. Besides the Greencastle game, our starting 11 defense have only given up seven points all year, and that's pretty good. We got better and in back to back weeks, we held teams to negative rushing yards," Sorrell said. 

The success on the defensive side comes from the work South Putnam puts in during 7 on 7's and during the offseason, according to Sorrell. 

"We work really hard in 7on7's to try and get stops. We were not good on the back end in the game we lost. Heritage Christian is going to come in throwing, and we have to be really good on the back end, or it will be a long night," Sorrell said, alluding to Friday's opponent. 

The Eagles will face a test defensively Friday night when the Heritage Christian Eagles come to South Putnam. Heritage Christian is 5-2 on the year and enters fresh off a 29-15 setback against Lapel. 
Sorrell said Heritage Christian reminds him a lot of his own squad. 

"They are a really good team that is balanced. They've got a 1,000 yard rusher and a 1,500 yard passer and a lot of weapons. Last year, we went over there and smacked them in the mouth, so they'll be hungry to return the favor. As long as we do what we are supposed to do, stop the run, and force them to throw, we will be okay," Sorrell said. 

Last week, Sorrell's team went on the road and knocked off Brown County, 66-0. The last two weeks, the Eagles have surpassed the 60-point mark, as they beat West Vigo 63-0 and then Brown County. 

"We were really balanced with a lot of different guys. That's what we look for, spread it out and run the football. It is nice to see a balanced attack from our varsity and JV guys," Sorrell said. 

Perhaps, what makes it even sweeter is the fact South Putnam has done it while batting the injury bug. 

"We had nine guys out, three of which were starters versus Brown County. Guys have gotten better. We get some guys back this week," Sorrell said. 

After this week, South Putnam travels to Cascade to close out the regular season and then will wait to see who they play in the Sectional 47, which features top ranked and defending Class A state champ Lutheran. 

"We have a good team that compares to Lutheran this week, but Lutheran is in a league of it's own. This will be one of the best games in the state. They are really good, and we have to be ready to play, come out and do what we are supposed to do. We've got to be ready to go. We need this and we need a game where all three phases play well," Sorrell said. 

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Greencastle ready for 'emotional' clash with Owen Valley

Greencastle first year head coach David Stephens knows what's at stake Friday night when his Tiger Cubs roll out the red carpet and host Owen Valley. 
The tough part is going to be keeping his emotions in check, as Stephens spent the last two years as the offensive coordinator at Owen Valley before heading over to Greencastle. 
He admits it will be a challenge when the Tiger Cubs host the Patriots (2-5) at 7 p.m. with pregame coverage starting at 6:40 p.m. on WREB GIANT fm. 

"No doubt, it's a circle game for me, personally. No doubt, they will be fired up and there will be emotions on both sides. We will do what we need to do. I want us to come out and execute. Our goals are to win the county, win the conference and our job is not completed yet," Stephens said. 

Last week, Greencastle rolled past Cloverdale, 68-7. In that game, Lamar Moore found the end zone early and often, taking a handoff 27 yards for his first score and then catching a pass from quarterback Cole Stephens for an 84 yard strike. Moore would catch another touchdown pass, this time a 41 yard bomb. Moore's final touchdown came as he took a direct snap in the wildcat formation and scored. 

"Lamar played well. He only played one side of the ball and a half," Stephens said. 

The performance by Moore summed up Greencastle's offensive philosophy, according to Stephens. 

"Our offensive philosophy is to throw the ball short as many times as possible to guys who can score touchdowns. Can you get five guys who can contribute to the offense? We have confidence in everybody. There isn't a single guy who plays offense for us that we don't have confidence in. Our offensive line has done a great job and have not allowed a sack all season," Stephens said. 

The last two weeks, the Tiger Cubs have picked up wins over Brown County (84-0) and Cloverdale and were able to see a lot of different players under the lights. 

"I am really happy with the last two weeks. We played a lot of guys on defense and built a lot of depth. Guys have done a great job communicating and executing in our communication based defense. They are hungry, pursue and fly around the ball. I am excited about the maturity of our defense," Stephens said.  

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North Putnam opens boys soccer sectional play Thursday

It has been a year for the ages for the North Putnam boy's soccer team. 

The Cougars are 12-2 on the season. 

They knocked off Greencastle for the first time in program history.

They finished first in the Western Indiana Conference and claimed the first conference title in program history. 

"This has been one of the best seasons in program history. I am not surprised with how successful this season has been. The boys have put in the work. It was up to them to put it together on the field," head coach Kyle Morgan told The Putnam County Post. 

Leading the way for North Putnam has been the play of seniors Nolan Hackleman, Matt Farrington, Evan Polley, Jaylen Windmiller and Brady Barber, all of whom Morgan admitted were key to the success. 

"They are a mix of forwards, midfielders and defenders. They have provided key goals, defensive shutouts and leadership to carry us throughout the season. I have to also compliment MIkey Ali Jr. for his outstanding season in the goal," Morgan said. 

With the regular season winding down, North Putnam turns its attention to the Class A Sectional 41 Tournament, which will be held at Covenant Christian. 

The Cougars will open the tournament in the semifinals against Providence Cristo Rey. The top half of the bracket features Covenant Christian against Bethesda Christian and MTI School of Knowledge taking on Riverside. 

According to Morgan, Providence Cristo Rey will be a tough opponent for North Putnam. 

"Providence Cristo Rey is a good team who plays quality competition all year. They will be a tough team to beat, but I believe we have the talent to win on Thursday if we play to our ability. As for winning a sectional title, Covenant Christian will be a challenge. They are one of the favorites to win a state title, so we will have to play well if we run into them on Championship Saturday. That being said, I firmly believe we can play with anyone when we put our best foot forward on gameday," Morgan said.

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