Back in action: Revamped Braves start with strong scrimmage



Brownstown Central’s revamped football team ventured to Jennings County for its annual preseason scrimmage on Friday night, and left with warm and fuzzy feelings.

Head coach Reed May admitted that he wasn’t certain what to expect from his team after losing most of the offensive firepower from last year’s hyper-productive squad.

If the Braves’ second offensive series during the stage-managed scrimmage is any indication, however, the new offense will be just fine.

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Allowed to run 12 consecutive offensive plays starting from Jennings County’s 35 yard line, Brownstown generated 149 offensive yards, six first downs and four touchdowns.

For the entire scrimmage, Brownstown Central scored six times and generated 351 yards of offense in 39 plays. Jennings County countered with two touchdowns and 126 yards of offense.

Not a bad effort for a Brownstown team that figured to enter the season with more questions than answers.

“It’s kind of like Football 101 for us,” May said. “We’ve got to teach the basics to a lot of our players. The biggest advantage from tonight is the film we’ll be able to watch. When we see the right slot miss a play, we can teach all of the right slots how to do it right.”

Brownstown Central’s slots – and the running game, in general – had a solid night on Friday, which May attributed to his team’s strength along the offensive line.

“We’re challenging our line,” May said. “They’ve played quite a bit and they’re all pretty strong. They are a strong suit for us.”

Against Jennings County, the line helped BC runners gain 286 yards on 32 carries..

Reece Covert, a senior playing his first season of football, made a strong impression by scoring on both of his carries. He scored on a 57-yard run on his first attempt, then following with a 20-yard TD run on his second carry.

Clayton Barger also scored twice for the Braves on runs of 14 and 25 yards. Braeden Walker and Grant Stuckwisch each added a touchdown run for Brownstown Central.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Friday’s running attack was the absence of Gus Hogan from the stat sheet.

The senior quarterback, who May said is BC’s best returning runner, didn’t carry the ball at all due to restrictions on contact for quarterbacks.

Instead, Hogan worked on his passing, finishing with 54 yards on 3-for-3 passing, including 25- and 23-yard completions to Seth Borden and Payton Barker.

Defensively, the Braves mostly contained Jennings County’s offense, though the Panthers were able to score twice via the passing game.

Lendon Underwood had a team-high four tackles, including one for loss. Barger intercepted a Jennings County pass, while Cody Griffith recovered a fumble in the Panther backfield.

Meanwhile, Walker, Griffith, Mathew Bell, Sam Huber, Dane Darlage, Andy Kellermeier and Brian Murphy all were credited with quarterback sacks by quick-whistled referees looking to protect the Panther quarterbacks.

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