On a night of firsts, one thing didn’t change at Blevins Memorial Stadium.
Brownstown Central’s football team won its home-opener for the 13th straight year Friday evening.
On top of thumping Mid-Southern Conference foe Charlestown 50-13, the Class 3A No. 8 Braves played on their new turf field for the first time.
The win also marked the 250th victory for Brownstown Central head coach Reed May. May became the 26th coach in Indiana high school football history to reach the milestone.
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In 26 seasons with May at the helm, the Braves have a combined record of 250-50. Just eight active coaches have more wins than May.
“It’s my 300th game, 250 wins and it’s on the new turf. It’s just awesome,” May said. “It just seemed fitting. I came here 26 years ago, and the community has been great to me and my family. It has been a great experience. Hopefully, we will do it for a few more years.”
Brownstown has lost just two home-openers (1993, 2005) under May.
The Braves wasted no time in scoring their first touchdown on the new field, using four plays and 57 seconds to get on the board.
Brownstown quarterback Hayden Kinsler hit Derek Thompson for a 28-yard gain on a shovel pass to get the Braves on the Pirates’ 46. On the next play, Kinsler reconnected with Thompson for a TD.
On the Pirates’ opening drive, after opening with a pair of runs by Marion Lukes, the Braves’ Seth Borden picked off quarterback Braiden Murphy and returned it to the Pirates’ 13.
It took one snap to add another score, as Grant Stuckwisch took the ball left and into the end zone to extend the Braves’ lead to 14-0 with 9:15 left in the first quarter.
The Pirates then used six plays to get to the Braves’ 29. On a long fourth and 29, Murphy launched a pass to Bo Braunecker to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 5:19 on the clock.
Brownstown responded with a 60-yard touchdown drive on 10 plays.
A 43-yard run by Thompson and a 15-yard pass from Kinsler to Borden helped set up a direct snap score by Matthew Bell from the 1 with 50.3 ticks on the clock.
After forcing the Pirates to punt in the opening sequence of the second quarter, Kinsler used passes of 17, 11 and 25 yards to get to the Charlestown goal line. Kinsler then punched through the line to extended the Braves’ lead to 28-7 with 6:47 left in the half.
Charlestown was able to get some momentum, getting to the Braves’ 35 on the next possession, but a pair of sacks pushed the Pirates out of scoring position.
At intermission, Brownstown led 28-7.
Charlestown used a penalty to open its drive on the Braves’ 47. A 16-yard run by Lukes and a 15-yard pass by Murphy got the Pirates to the Braves’ 16. The Braves then held the Pirates at bay and went on to take over on their own 18 on a turnover on downs.
Brownstown then went 82 yards on five plays.
Caleb Bollinger caught a 38-yard pass from Kinsler and followed it up with a 21-yard run to get the Braves rolling in the second half.
A 17-yard run by Bollinger got the Braves to the 1 before he punched it in to put the Braves up 35-7 with 8:09 left in the third.
After the Braves kept the Pirates back on four plays, a bad punt allowed Brownstown to start on their own 34. The Braves took advantage, as Kinsler hit Borden for a 28-yard gain before Thompson used a pair of runs to extend the advantage to 42-7 with 1:36 left on the clock.
It didn’t get much better for the Pirates in the fourth quarter.
After a 10-yard touchdown by Braeden Walker with 8:10 left in the game, the Braves botched the snap on the extra point. Borden picked up the ball and passed it to Thompson to put Brownstown up 50-7.
Charlestown’s Addison Logsdon would later run one in on a 25-yard touchdown, but the extra point was blocked, as the Pirates cut the deficit to 50-13 with 4:25 left in the game.
The backups took it from there, as the clock ran out.
The Braves had 455 yards of offense to the Pirates’ 174. On the ground, the Braves had 198 yards. Five different players scored rushing touchdowns for Brownstown.
Kinsler went 11-for-14 for 257 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown.
“They ran an eight-man front trying to stop our run,” May said. “They were able to stop some of our run, but we were able to throw the ball with their safety up so close. At times, we just blew by them. That’s an added dimension we have. Hayden has a good touch on the ball. He threw the ball well tonight. Our receivers caught the ball well, and our protection was pretty good. Offensively, we moved the ball up and down the field.”
Thompson led the Braves with 65 rushing yards and 73 receiving yards with a touchdown in each department.
May said the defense played well in the game.
“Defensively, we were just too quick for their front four,” he said. “We were slanting and angling, moving them around quite a bit.”
Brownstown will host Eastern (Pekin) next week.