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Corydon Central running back Alex McAfee is unable to escape the grasp of Charlestown’s Desmond Wiley Friday night. The Pirates defense accounted for eight sacks, leading to a 47-0 win over Corydon Central. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

No. 3 Pirates roll in MSC clash

No. 4 Corydon struggles with protection, gives up big plays

October 03, 2012 | 10:23 AM

The state's most explosive offense traveled Friday to Corydon Central and proved it's ability to detonate quickly.

Class 3A No. 3 Charlestown scored seven touchdowns, four from prolific quarterback Aaron Daniel, to romp No. 4 Corydon Central 47-0.

Forcing a turnover on downs to close Charlestown's first drive was one of two times the Panthers were able to slow the Pirates offense in the first half.

Charlestown, however, on its second drive, scored when it took advantage of a short field. On the fifth play of the drive, Daniel ran left to the corner pylon from the 9.

Corydon Central picked up its initial first down of the game on the next drive but were soon hampered by a reoccurring theme: sacks and penalties.

Chase Burton, one of the top signal callers in the state, was sacked eight times, including several that slowed drives.

Late in the first quarter, a Burton sack led to an eventual Corydon Central punt. Daniel then fired back, keeping the ball on a fake counter to toe the right sideline for a 77-yard touchdown run, putting the Pirates up 14-0.

"We had angles to knock him out of bounds and he's six inches from going out, all you have to do is shove him out," Corydon Central coach Darin Ward said of giving up the big play.

Corydon Central answered with a strong drive that included picking up a pair of fourth downs. The second, near midfield, was a pass to Tyler Ross for five yards.

Three plays later, Burton was sacked for a loss of nine yards, forcing a punt.

Daniel, who finished with 257 yards rushing, scored his third touchdown from seven yards out with 9:11 to play before half.

Corydon Central drove to the red zone, thanks to pass plays to Dylan Jensen and Ross, but, once again, a sack eventually forced a fourth-and-21 situation. Burton's deep pass to Ross on the final play was intercepted by none other than Daniel.

"He's on his back," Ward said of his quarterback and the offense's struggles. "Then we get called for holding, which we were tackling guys up front. We were scared to block (defensive end Desmond Wiley) or anybody else that wanted to pin their ears back and come play. That was obvious errors, up front on the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball."

Capitalizing on the turnover, Charlestown drove 80 yards on eight plays. Running back Seth McCutchen had carries of 15 and 11 yards before scoring from the 3.

Coming out of the half, down 28-0, Corydon Central forced Charlestown to punt its lone time of the game.

Once Charlestown added another score, McCutchen's second rushing TD, Corydon Central's players thought they got on the board with special teams play.

Ross took the kickoff 80-plus yards up the middle of the field and to the end zone. A yellow flag for holding negated the return, but set the Panthers up with the ball near midfield. A 13-yard run from Shane Brown drove the ball to the 17. Burton, however, was sacked on two of the next four plays, turning the ball over on downs.

"You get some momentum going, getting to the red zone, then it's a sack for a 15-yard loss or a holding penalty; it's drive-killers," Ward said.

Charlestown (7-0) sits alone in first place in the Mid-Southern Conference with the win, sending Corydon Central to 6-1 overall.

Ward said he saw some deficiencies in the trenches.

"They're a really good football team. I take nothing away from them," Ward said of Charlestown. "We got exposed tonight, both sides of the ball where we have some major weak spots out there. We got exposed a few weeks ago against Clarksville, but that game was more of an effort issue. Tonight, they were just a lot better football team than us, hands down."

Burton was able to complete 12 of 28 passes for 139 yards. Ross had 65 yards receiving, while Jensen had four catches for 35 yards.

The ground game was limited for the Panthers, with Brown picking up 28 yards and Alex McAfee with 23.

All the offense came from the blue-and-white team. Outside of Daniel and his 257 yards, McCutchen ran for 174 on 25 attempts. Daniel also completed 7 of 9 passes for 82 yards, 50 going to Wesley Sexton.

Logan Behagg led the Panthers with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery, while Brayden Lander had nine tackles.

"You take a (butt) kicking like tonight and you come back on Monday and get better," Ward said. "We still have two conference games remaining."

Ward acknowledges the Pirates will stand in their way down the road.

"One thing we do know is, if we want any shot at all in sectional, we have to go through those guys," he said. "Whether we see them early rounds or the championship, if we come out and play the way we did tonight, we're not going to beat them."

Corydon Central will return to the gridiron Friday when the Panthers travel to Salem for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Charlestown can wrap up an undefeated MSC season when it faces Eastern (Pekin) on Oct. 12.

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