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Pirates seal Mid-Southern title, blank Cougars 49-0

Pirates seal Mid-Southern title, blank Cougars 49-0
Pirates seal Mid-Southern title, blank Cougars 49-0
Pirate running back Cameron Metzger carries three Cougars during a run. The Charlestown offense was tough to slow down. (Photo by Brian Smith)

Five seasons prior to Charlestown’s unexpected rise in the Mid-Southern Conference, the Pirates won seven games over that time period. The 2007 version of the Pirates continued on their remarkable run, picking apart North Harrison Friday night in a 49-0 win that secured Charlestown the MSC title.
From the opening kickoff, North Harrison’s bid to knock off Charlestown didn’t go as planned. Electing to receive the ball first, the Cougars wished to put an offensive drive together, but the Charlestown kick was well placed down the right sideline. Matt Bruderle picked the ball up as the Pirates were storming toward him and the ball was dangling between the goal line and out of bounds. The freshman was then tackled at the four-yard line, giving North Harrison tough field position.
North Harrison (2-6, 1-5 MSC) was able to move the ball out toward midfield, but had to punt when Josh Cheatham was stuffed on a third-and-four attempt.
Charlestown (8-0, 6-0 MSC) ran just two plays on its opening drive, taking advantage of an aggressive North Harrison defense. Facing a heavy rush up the middle, Pirates quarterback Andrew Smith flung a 42-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Josh Graham.
After Charlestown shut down the Cougars offense on its next possession, Smith came up with another touchdown pass. Stephen Grayson caught a pair of passes ‘ a 35-yard reception then a 21-yard touchdown catch.
Grayson finished the game with three catches for 90 yards. Smith was even more impressive, finishing with a perfect 7-for-7 passing and 216 yards. He added a rushing touchdown ‘ a one-yard dive ‘ for the Pirates’ third score.
North Harrison’s most productive drive came after Smith’s run. Bruderle opened the drive with a 27-yard carry. Lucas Brown then hooked up with favorite target Michael Cundiff for a 10-yard gain. North Harrison eventually drove to the 35-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
Smith then capitalized his perfect first half with a screen pass to Damon Vest that went 60 yards for a Pirates touchdown and a 28-0 halftime lead.
Charlestown added three more scores in the third quarter, including two touchdown runs from Cameron Metzger. North Harrison’s defense held the Pirates’ leading rusher to 43 yards in the first half, but the junior finished with 197, with a big second half.
Ty Brown and Jacob Snook led the Cougars in tackles with seven each.
The North Harrison offense was shut out for the first time since the 2003 season. It was able to gain 250 yards of offense, but couldn’t put a crooked number on the board. Bruderle led the rushing attack once again, gaining 125 yards on 18 carries. It was the seventh game of the freshman’s career and the seventh time he has surpassed the century mark. He has 1,267 rushing yards on the season, filling in mightily for injured Bryan Schroeder and Corey Isaac.
Ty Brown also had a solid game on the ground, running for 55 yards on eight carries.
The Cougars will finish the regular season with their Senior Night on Friday, hosting first-year program Crawford County (0-8). North Harrison coach Jason Mullis said Schroeder is out for the remainder of the regular season, but there is a chance the senior standout could see action in sectional play.