Brownstown Central shuts out North Harrison in key conference game



Brownstown Central’s football team stacked the box against North Harrison’s fullback-dependent offense and saw its strategy handsomely rewarded during a sweaty 42-0 victory Friday night.

North Harrison leaned hard on its talented 220-pound fullback, senior Jaylen Peake, throughout the game. But 1 vs. 11 is a difficult proposition.

Peake, averaging nearly 140 yards per game, finished with just 78 yards on 31 carries (2.5 yards per carry) as Brownstown’s defense dominated an overloaded line of scrimmage.

“We knew they have some trick formation, but they want to line up and pound it,” Brownstown head coach Reed May said. “Defensively, we played very well tonight.”

By stopping Peake, the Braves (5-0) stopped the Cougars (3-2).

North Harrison’s first nine possessions traveled 10, 12, 1, -16, 3, 6, 17, 2 and 9 yards, resulting in five punts, an interception and three turnovers on downs.

Friday’s shutout was the first time North Harrison was held scoreless in a game since 2013 (also at the hands of Brownstown, 28-0).

Ironically, a defensive play on a North Harrison pass created the spark that the Braves’ offense needed. Braden Neal intercepted a Cougars pass at midfield with a minute to go in the first quarter, igniting a difference-making 28-point second-quarter outburst.

“Offensively, we still made some mistakes,” May said. “But when you score 42 points, it’s hard to be too disappointed. For some reason, they gave us our jet play, which is one of our best plays, so we were able to get outside on them.”

The Braves’ first touchdown came on an outside run when quarterback Hayden Kinsler ran 19 yards along the left sideline for a score, giving Brownstown a 7-0 lead with 10:57 to go in the first half.

Kinsler’s play began a procession of touchdown runs by Derek Thompson (29 yards to the outside), Braeden Walker (2 yards up the middle) and Thompson again (39 yards, also outside) that bumped Brownstown’s lead to an insurmountable 28-0 by halftime.

Thompson scored his third touchdown of the night on a 24-yard reception from Kinsler early in the fourth quarter. Grant Stuckwisch capped Brownstown’s scoring with a 15-yard run.

Thompson led the running attack with 97 yards on seven carries, followed by Caleb Bollinger with 55 yards on seven attempts.

Defensively, Matthew Bell led with 10 tackles, including one for a loss. Luke Shelton, Jalen Tiemeyer, Neal and Thompson also had tackles for loss, while Walker had a sack.

Friday’s victory improved Brownstown’s record to 5-0 in the Mid-Southern Conference. The Braves enjoy a commanding position atop the MSC standings. Only Silver Creek (in three weeks) figures to have a chance to spoil Brownstown’s conference title hopes.

Brownstown now turns its focus to next week’s county rivalry game with Seymour, the Braves’ only nonconference contest of the season.

“This is always a great week,” May said of the upcoming Seymour game. “It’s a great atmosphere for our kids. We treat it like a sectional game. Their linemen are always tough from playing against Hoosier Hills Conference competition. With the way Seymour is winning, they’ll be even more tough this time.”

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