This is the second look at season openers for local football teams and this time we will look at the success of the North Montgomery Chargers.
The Chargers open their 49th season owning a very respectable 33-15 record in its past openers. That includes a 7-2 record this decade.
That may seem impressive this decade, but will not be the best in the program’s history. That mark belongs to the 1980s when the team posted an spectacular 9-1 record losing only to Southmont 26-0 in 1981 (the year the Mounties went 10-0 for the second time). After that loss, the Chargers ran off 10 wins in a row — all coming at the expense of Covington.
The Chargers started its program with three straight wins — beating Turkey Run 14-7 and 24-0 and then Southmont 26-18. The Mounties handed the Chargers its first loss in an opener in 1975 when Southmont won 20-16.
The Chargers and Mounties played one another five more times to end the 1970s and the Chargers won just one and ended the 1970s with a 6-4 record in openers.
The Mounties and the Chargers played in the opener 1980-82 before Covington took over that spot on the schedule and that led to the 9-1 record in the 1980s. Not only did the Chargers win nine games, but they dominated those games. In the 10 openers in the 1980s, only once (the 26-0 loss to Southmont) did the Chargers allow more nine points. In eight games in that stretch the school allowed one touchdown or less.
In the 1990s and 2000s the program posted 6-4 records both decades. During that period the opener against Covington was dropped and was replaced by Sheridan. That series lasted four years and the Chargers won three of the four.
Starting in 1997 the Chargers picked up in Zionsville. That switch did not go well as the Eagles won six straight games.
Benton Central replaced Zionville for the opener in 2003 and lasted until 2017 making it the longest series for an opener. In the 15 openers with the Bison, the Chargers won 15 losing only in 2005 (14-13) and 2011 (22-21).
Last season the Chargers began a season opening series its newest opponent with North Putnam. The Cougars are the seventh different opponent. Only Zionsville and North Putnam have winning records in openers against the Chargers. Southmont and Chargers splits its 10 season opening series.
Overall the Chargers have played 508 games and have posted a 287-221 record.
Barry Lewis has been playing or covering sports in Montgomery County for more than 40 years and enjoys helping to keep our sports heritage alive with his bi-weekly column for the Journal Review.