Braves win 1st battle, 33-26
Round one went to the Braves.
Corydon Central made the trip to Brownstown Central Friday for the decisive Mid-Southern Conference matchup, while this coming Friday the Braves will head to Corydon for the first round of Class 3A, Sectional 23 play.
Friday night, No. 7 Brownstown Central took advantage of a handful of No. 6 Corydon Central miscues and used a Daulton Anderson 1-yard touchdown run with one minute on the fourth-quarter clock. Corydon Central’s ‘Hail Mary’ pass attempt failed as time expired, leaving the Braves the MSC champs, 33-26.
‘I’d like to think our guys took this game personal and know we can play better than that,’ said Corydon Central coach Darin Ward. ‘If we come out next week and play like this again, I’d hate for these guys to remember that was their last football game. We’re a lot better than that.’
Corydon Central used a 14-play drive in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 26. Jeremiah Windell, who had 178 rushing yards, had runs of 21 and 18 yards early in the drive. Panthers quarterback Chase Burton converted two key fourth-down conversions via the quarterback sneak. The last put the Panthers at the 1. Burton capped the effort with a one-yard plunge to tie the game with 4:23 to play.
Responding, undefeated Brownstown Central put together the eventual 62-yard game-winning drive. The drive was high on drama with 2:25 to play. On third-and-five, Braves quarterback Jake Brown ran a keeper five yards. Upon measurement, Brownstown Central was half a football short. On fourth down, Brown ran a keeper again but didn’t gain much. Another trip to midfield by the chain crew gave the Braves a first down, by half a football, at the 32.
Runs by Braden Scarlett and Blair Briscoe set up Anderson’s 1-yard touchdown.
Corydon Central drove to the 35, but Burton’s heave to the end zone was incomplete.
In the first half, Brownstown Central turned two Corydon Central miscues into scores. On Corydon Central’s second play from scrimmage, a fumbled snap was recovered by the home team. Brownstown Central took advantage, driving 82 yards for a Brown 1-yard touchdown.
Coming back to tie the game at 7, Corydon Central scored on its next drive. Jeremiah had several big runs, including his 15-yard score when he ran along the right sideline.
Corydon Central’s next error came on its next possession. Forced to punt from its own 38, the snap sailed well over the head of punter Jordan Crosier. Brownstown Central tackled Crosier at the 5.
The Braves took full advantage and scored with a 15-yard pass from Brown to Nick Derringer.
Corydon Central regrouped and countered with two second-quarter touchdowns through the air. Burton hit Lucas Windell for a 15-yard score to make it 14-13. The fake field-goal attempt on the two-point conversion failed.
Burton added the second score with a nifty touch-pass over the shoulder of Jeffery Durham for a 64-yard hookup. The touchdown gave Corydon Central a 19-14 lead at the half.
‘We played well in the first half,’ Ward said. ‘We held our composure, got the lead and put ourselves where we wanted to be.’
However, the third quarter was a different story. The Panthers offense was on the field for a measly four snaps.
Brownstown Central picked up a key first down via a penalty on the opening drive. Facing third-and-11, Corydon Central was whistled for a face-mask as the Braves were well short of the first down. The penalty gave the Braves the needed yardage.
‘We made a big play there and that was a poor call on the face-mask,’ Ward said. ‘We didn’t catch a break there. But we can’t let them march down the field. A free 15 yards certainly doesn’t help us.’
They went on to drive the length of the field and retake the lead on a 29-yard field goal from the boot of Nick Stahl.
Corydon Central’s Austin Bray had the ball pop loose on his team’s next drive. The Braves recovered at the 18, setting up another short field. On the second play, Brown ran a bootleg in from the 11 to put the Braves up 23-19. A 23-yard field goal from Stahl later in the half gave Brownstown Central a 26-19 edge, setting up the finale.
Brownstown Central (9-0, 7-0 MSC) was held to 303 yards of offense, paced by Brown’s 100 through the air. Briscoe led the team in rushing with 87 yards.
Jeremiah Windell paced the Panthers (7-2, 5-2) offense with his 178 yards on 20 carries. Burton completed 8 of 21 passes for 146 yards and rushed for 34 yards.
‘All these guys ran hard,’ Ward said. ‘But you can’t make these types of mistakes and give up field position the way we did and expect to win.’
Lucas Windell had 16 tackles, while Jordan Crosier had 12-1/2 and Thomas Pickman had 10.
Sectional play will begin Friday with the rematch in Corydon. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.