Photo by Lori PoteetZach Worm was part of a potent Mountie rushing attack that fained 290 yards on 48 carries.
Photo by Lori Poteet

Zach Worm was part of a potent Mountie rushing attack that fained 290 yards on 48 carries.
NEW MARKET-Fundamentals work.

That was the message from Southmont coach Desson Hannum before Friday's home opener against North Putnam. The Mounties executed on those fundamentals and, after a 2-hour rain delay, beat North Putnam 28-14.

A big part of getting back to the basics involved establishing the interior run game, according to Hannum. The Mounties did that with 48 rushes for 290 yards. Nathaniel Farabee carried 29 times for 184 yards and scored twice.

"We wanted to come in and establish the interior run this week," Hannum said. "We had to play different this week from last week. They were giving us some different things and it was about coming in and grinding it out. I think we got them a little bit tired this week. We came in and played well with different tempos throughout the game. That had some effect on them."

The new focus showed from the beginning. After forcing a three-and-out, the Mounties marched 52 yards on 11 plays to score on their first possession. Senior quarterback Mitch Dehne punched it from 10 yards out to make the drive pay off. He scored again in the fourth quarter to help seal the deal.

"Our line did a fantastic job. We had a guy go down earlier this week, but we had guys step up," Dehne said. "They gave us some space to run and Farabee ran hard. Establishing Farabee is huge. About the time we get him going and everyone is focusing on him it gives me space to run. Farabee is huge."

The Mounties would hold that 7-0 lead until the half. They came out in the third quarter and put the game away.

Farabee scored from 15 yards out just inside the 10-minute mark. After the kickoff, Jarrett Todd recovered a fumble to start the next Mountie drive. Once again it was Farabee that punched it in, this time from five yards out.

The Cougars got on the board with just over three minutes left in the third, but the Mounties drove the field on the ensuing drive. Dehne scored and then picked off Cougar quarterback Bradley Hodges three plays into the ensuing drive.

"Our secondary has to be a no-fly zone if we're going to win some games. We knew the routes and knew what they were going to do. Our coaches' preparation really put us in a position with that," Dehne said.

The Mounties couldn't make the drive pay off, however, and gave the ball back to North Putnam for one last comeback attempt. The Cougars traveled 62 yards and scored, but there wasn't enough time to mount a comeback.

Southmont ran time off the clock, punted and forced a turnover on downs before lining up in victory formation.

Southmont limited the Cougar offense to 121 yards rushing on 29 attempts and prevented North Putnam from ever hitting a big play.

"I wouldn't say we were perfect defensively," Hannum said. "We made more fundamental plays. We were better defensively. It was good to see our defense come out and play as well as they did. We tackled better, especially early on."

The Mounties (1-1) will start the Sagamore Athletic Conference season with their biggest rival, North Montgomery on Friday in New Market.

"Obviously going into North, it was going to be big anyway. But to have a win and that positive vibe. There's nothing that replaces winning when you're going into a week of practice."