NEW MARKET – A storm moved through the area prior to Southmont hosting North Putnam Friday evening, which pushed back the start of the game 45 minutes.

However, the muddy conditions didn’t cause a shortage of big plays or excitement as the Cougars scored with 1:51 left to come out with the win 12-6.

“I think our effort was better this week.” Mountie head coach Desson Hannum said, “We played hard, we played together, and we played with passion.”

North Putnam (2-0) drew first blood, capitalizing on good field position, as junior Gage Bell busted out a 7-yard touchdown run. After a missed extra point, the Mounties found themselves down early in the first quarter 6-0.

“After their first score, we made some adjustments both offensively and defensively.” Hannum said. “The kids executed and played much better.”

Those adjustments would pay off in the second quarter when Mountie running back Kyle Nunemaker made a miraculous catch off the hands of a Cougar defender. That 21-yard reception, good enough for a first down, set up his 19-yard touchdown run. A blocked field goal would even the game at 6, late in the first half.

In the third quarter, North Putnam would be forced to punt from their own 10 yard line after a defensive stop. The snap was mishandled and the punter was brought down at the seven.

“I was very pleased with our defensive effort tonight. They showed a lot of heart and it makes a coach proud.” Hannum said.

Southmont took over on the North Putnam ten and fumbled the ball into the end zone, where it would be recovered by the Cougars for a touchback.

“Our turnovers didn’t help us tonight; especially the ones deep in their territory.” Hannum said.

With 1:51 left in the game, North Putnam running back Corbin Judy connected with Luke Mitchel on a 24-yard pass to put the Cougars ahead 12-6.

“This game definitely meant a lot to the players and that is what you want to see as a coach.” Hannum added. “They were both physically and emotionally invested in the game and there isn’t much more you could ask from them.”

The Mounties racked up 218 yards of total offense while holding the Cougars to 190 yards. Hunter Chadwick was efficient from the quarterback position completing 7-of-9 for 133 yards. His favorite targets were Kaleb Swick, three catches for 70 yards and Boone Welliever, two catches for 40 yards.

“I was very proud of Hunter tonight.” Hannum said of his sophomore QB. “He has a lot of responsibilities on the field and he handled those well.”

Kyle Nunemaker led South’s rushing attack with 65 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Chadwick carried the ball nine times for 14 yards.

The Mounties (0-2) will open county and Sagamore Conference play next Friday when they host North Montgomery.