QUEEN CITY, Mo. – The Midgets defense held Schuyler County to just 103 yards of total offense as PC scored three rushing touchdowns and beat the Rams, 20-8.
As the fourth quarter got underway it looked as though Putnam was going to get out of QC without a challenge. On the third play of the final quarter Jared Parker ran it in from two yards out to give the Midgets a 20-0 lead after the two-point try failed.
The door of opportunity opened for Schuyler when with 5:57 left in the game Parker went down with a lower leg injury.
PC was forced to punt the ball away two plays later and after a big return the Midgets punt netted just 12 yards and the Rams were set up in Putnam territory. Schuyler tried to blow the golden chance as they fumbled the shot-gun snap on first down, and picked up a delay of game penalty before the second down snap. After walking off the five yards, Zack Schmitter took the ball up the middle for a minimal gain. However, PC was called for a personal foul facemask penalty and Schuyler picked up a first down. On fourth down from the PC 18, Dan Haley found Schmitter who got in for the Rams score. The two-point try was good and SC had a pulse.
That pulse turned into a heartbeat when the Midgets fumbled on their ensuing possession and Schuyler once again had the ball near mid-field. This time the PC defense wouldn’t break as they sacked Haley on three consecutive plays and took over on downs to run out the clock.
“It is pretty sweet that we picked up a win tonight. We knew it was going to be a tough game and that they would be ready for us,” said Putnam County head coach Dave Cavanah.
The Rams were just unable to take advantage of their opportunities against the PC defense.
“We didn’t execute very well tonight. Putnam did some good things against us tonight and we weren’t able to overcome that,” said Schuyler County head coach Nick Wooldrick.
Outside of the fourth down play when the Rams scored, the Midgets defense controlled the game. They sacked Haley seven times and twice in the third quarter kept SC off the scoreboard after special teams mistakes of fumbling a kickoff and having a punt blocked.
“A lot of our problems were due to us not executing. However, they did do a good job of blitzing us and our offensive line couldn’t figure it out,” said Wooldrick.
Parker fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and set up SC with the ball on the PC 28. After a Morgen Watson sack and a false start the Rams were faced with a fourth and 23 and had to punt.
“We tweaked our defense this week a little bit and we felt like what we were doing was going to work. We did something right, for once,” said Cavanah.
Although Parker fumbled on the kickoff, he did play extremely well for the Midgets in all three facets of the game. He rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown. He sacked Haley and caused a fumble late in the third, after the blocked punt. He also was big in the return game as he had a 25-yard punt return that set up the second PC score.
“Jacob is a good football player. We expect that out of him it’s not like ‘oh, wow, look at him,’ we feel like he does that every week and we need that from him,” said Cavanah.
Parker believes that he should be ready go to for next week and he was pleased with his performance, except for one mistake,
“This win was huge. The Trenton and Marceline games didn’t matter, this is the start of the games where we have to come up with victories. I was proud of what I was able to do tonight, except for the one fumble. Any fumble is unacceptable,” said Parker.
Both coaches felt coming in that the two teams were evenly matched and that played out as the two teams combined for 11 punts. Putnam grabbed control of the game when they scored on back-to-back possessions to close the first quarter and open the second. Montana Schoonover got PC on the board when he bolted through the SC defense for a 25-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion gave the Midgets an 8-0 lead.
After the big punt return by Parker, Cody Quint put PC up 14-0 when he scored on a five-yard touchdown run.
As a team Putman rushed for 221 yards to go with the three scores.
Schuyler ran for 62 yards and Haley threw for 41 and the one score. Schmitter gained 80 of the 102 yards himself as he rushed for all 62 of the SC yards.
The Midgets have now doubled their win total from last season as they sit at 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the TRC.
Schuyler drops to 0-5 and 0-1. They will travel to North Shelby next week searching for win No. 1. PC returns home to host Knox County.