Horseshoes and grenades: BC 20, CC 14
The king still reigns.
As it always seems to do, No. 8-ranked (Class 2A) Brownstown Central worked its Indian magic and found a way to win Friday night in a huge Mid-Southern Conference war against visiting Corydon Central.
The Panthers trailed 20-0 at one point in the third quarter before turning the potential blowout into a cliff-hanger.
Corydon senior running back Aaron Motsinger capped a 91-yard drive with a one-yard plunge in the third period, and followed that with another one-yard dive in the fourth.
The final minutes were the most exciting.
The Braves were against the ropes, leading 20-14 with just over two minutes left. Corydon had just stuffed Brownstown quarterback Chandler Lambring on fourth down and the Panthers’ faithful following was in a tizzy.
Motsinger rushed for 15 yards to take the ball to the Braves’ 40. However, Brownstown’s defense stiffled Corydon on consecutive plays to bring up, third-and-15 on the 45.
Sophomore Panther quarterback Josh Windell, who was seeing his first snaps of the season after partially recovering from a broken finger and hand, dropped back to pass. He saw a receiver crossing the middle of the field and let the pigskin fly.
Unfortunately, the person on the receiving end was wearing the wrong colored jersey.
The game-clinching interception by Brownstown sophomore Dustin Allman couldn’t have come at a more opportune time: the win solidified the Braves’ 50th-straight regular-season victory and 30th consecutive in league play.
Windell started at quarterback but came out again after reinjuring his hand a few plays into the game. Senior quarterback Alex Zimmerman filled in.
‘He got hurt in the first series. He tried to put a stiff-arm on a kid, and his hand went numb,’ said Corydon coach Jason Timberlake. ‘Then he felt better by the end of the half, and we put him back in and he took a helmet to the hand and had the ball pop loose. Then we had to pull him back out, and he finally recovered there at the end to put him back in.’
The quarterback situation had little to do with the outcome of the game, however.
‘Aside from the calls we got, we played a slow first half. They dominated us up front. We lost their running back quite a few times, and I don’t know if it was their blocking or our missed assignments,’ Timberlake said.
‘We didn’t lay down. That’s happened sometimes against Brownstown, especially at Brownstown, where the kids kind of lose it. We made some adjustments and came back with some enthusiasm and made a game of it. I was really pleased with our effort in the second half.’
The Braves (4-0, 1-0 M.S.C.) drew first blood in the opening period as Lambring pulled off a quarterback sneak from one yard out. He added the PAT kick for the 7-0 lead.
Corydon (2-2, 1-1 M.S.C.) looked like it would answer in the final seconds of the same period when it drove the ball deep into Brownstown territory to bring up first and goal from the 10. A clip, followed one play later by an offensive pass interference, pushed the line of scrimmage back to the 36.
The Panthers never recovered and wound up missing a prime scoring opportunity.
A 38-yard reception by Adam Mellencamp set up Brownstown’s second score of the contest with 2:27 left in the first half. Following Mellencamp’s catch, Lambring called his own number and dove in from one yard out.
Corydon dodged a big bullet on its ensuing possession. Windell made a nice run before taking a helmet to his hand, which was holding the football. The pigskin squirted backward through the air and into the hands of senior lineman Eric Hoehn. Hoehn gained a few yards before being pulled down.
The Panthers were unable to score before the half and trailed, 14-0.
Brownstown found the end zone on its opening possession of the third as Lambring connected with Travis Maupin from five yards out. The point-after attempt failed for a 20-0 lead.
Corydon bounced right back with a 15-play, 91-yard drive capped by a one-yard run by Motsinger. Chad Salomon added the point after and Corydon trailed, 20-7.
Corydon’s defense stuffed Brownstown’s next effort.
The Panthers posted another score, this time on a 11-play, 75-yard drive that was kept alive by a great 20-yard, fourth down pass play from Windell to senior David Bradstock. Two other passes to Eric Fowler put the ball inside the 10.
The visitors trimmed the deficit to six on a one-yard plunge by Motsinger with 6:52 left.
‘ I got on them pretty hard at halftime,’ Timberlake said. ‘I was pretty disappointed with the effort in the first half. I thought we were a step slow. We knew we could beat them up front. We gave them one too many in the first half. Obviously, if we play two halves like we played the second half, it’s an entirely different game. We realigned some guys, and the adjustments we made seemed to fit better against what they were trying to do.’
Motsinger rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries, and Brandon Wood had 25 on four attempts. Through the air, Bradstock delivered 42 yards on three catches, Fowler had 45 on two catches, and tight end Eric Haub hauled in three for 10 yards.
Mason Watson rushed for 106 yards to lead the Braves while Mellencamp paced the passing corps with three catches for 48 yards.
Outside of turnovers and penalties, the stats were fairly even.
Corydon rushed for 166 yards and threw for 99; Brownstown gained 164 yards on the ground and 102 in the air.
Brownstown, which is 29-10-1 all-time against Corydon, had 17 first downs. Corydon had 16.
The Panthers, who had two turnovers and 96 yards worth of penalties, were 4-11 on third down conversions while Brownstown was 6-13.
The Braves had no turnovers and 60 yards in penalties.
This week Corydon Central returns home to face Mitchell (2-2), which is coming off a thrilling, 21-20 victory over Springs Valley.
Kick-off is slated for 8 p.m.