BOWLING GREEN - An incredibly stingy Napoleon defense gave the Northern Lakes League a sneak preview of what it will bring to the table when the Wildcats join the conference next year.
Napoleon limited Bowling Green to just two first downs and 53 yards of offense in a 21-0 shutout Friday night.
The Wildcats did not allow a completed pass. Napoleon junior Jordan Myles also blocked a punt and intercepted a pass.
Offensively, Napoleon rushed for 199 yards and two scores.
"I always say if you bring your defense and running game, you have a good chance to win a game," Napoleon coach Tory Strock. "If you don't have a running game, you'd better have your defense."
Senior Devon Sonnenberg led Napoleon with 68 yards on 19 carries. He got the Wildcats on the board in the second quarter with a two-yard TD tote.
The Wildcats had six different ball carriers. Senior Travis Burdue ran for 66 yards and sophomore Charlie Harris rushed for 31 yards.
"They're real physical," BG coach Steve Aungst said. "They run right at you. They say, 'Here we come, you have to stop us.' They were more physical up front."
Napoleon (3-0) amassed 14 first downs, while BG (1-2) punted seven times.
Up 14-0 after two quarters, Myles intercepted a BG pass on the second play of the second half. Seven plays later the Wildcats went up 21-0.
"You can't give a good team like that a short field," Aungst said.
The Wildcats put together a 13 play, 61-yard drive that lasted 5:14 to get on the board first. Sonnenberg rushed for 28 yards on the drive and capped it with a two-yard TD run.
Myles blocked a punt to set up the Wildcats' second score. Napoleon took over at the BG 23 and scored five plays later. Junior QB Jacob Plassman connected with Tyler Miller on an eight-yard TD pass play for a 14-0 edge with 1:39 left in the first half.
On the blocked punt, it appeared as though BG had recovered a subsequent fumble. But the officials ruled it was Napoleon ball.
BG senior quarterback Derek Batt showed plenty of athleticism in rushing for 42 yards on 19 carries. Junior running back Dylan Ringer rushed for 11 yards.
The Wildcats stuck strictly to the ground in the second half.
"We have some depth and we had fresh legs pounding at them," Strock said. "At times I thought we controlled things up front."
In the first half, Napoleon tallied 89 yards, but held BG to just 35 - all on the ground.
"We had to get dialed in," Strock said. "Mentally we were out of sorts to start."
In a scoreless first quarter, the teams combined for five punts.
The Bobcats lost 30-0 to Central Catholic in the season opener. But BG knocked off Fostoria 35-0 last week.
"Our kids fought hard and did not give up," said Aungst, who is in his first year. "It's a process."
Napoleon is seeking a Greater Buckeye Conference title in its last season before joining the NLL. Coming into the game, Napoleon had defeated Defiance (18-7) and Wauseon (28-7).
"Give Bowling Green credit," Strock said. "They have some very good players."
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