Braves knock helmets with Jennings County


By John Regruth // For The Tribune


Brownstown Central’s football team welcomed the opportunity to knock helmets with a different team on Friday night.

The Braves traveled to Jennings County for their annual preseason scrimmage against the Panthers and came away with an unofficial victory. BC scored three times when the varsity teams went head to head, while Jennings County scored just once.

“It felt good to play against another team,” BC head coach Reed May said. “Overall, we played pretty well. We’ve been struggling with our assignments on offense, but tonight it looked like we blocked who we were supposed to.”

Friday’s scrimmage featured prescribed numbers of plays run consecutively by each team’s offense from various locations on the field. Each squad’s special teams also had opportunities to execute plays against live competition.

Due to restrictions to protect the two teams’ quarterbacks, BC signal caller Derek Thompson ran the Braves’ offense but didn’t exactly participate. Despite not having their most dangerous runner carrying the ball, the Braves generated 150 yards on the ground on 19 attempts.

Thompson also threw the ball modestly by effectively, throwing for 30 yards on 4-for-6 passing.

“He’s starting to throw the ball really well,” May said. “Our running game (with Thompson fully participating) is going to be good, so play action should be there. We expect (Thompson) to have a great year.”

The Braves’ first set of offensive plays generated just one score when Warren Franklin avoided three JC tacklers during a three-yard touchdown run.

BC scored two more TDs during their second offensive series on a 26-yard run by Sam Huber and a four-yard run by Kiernan Tiemeyer.

Huber led all BC runners with 39 yards on four attempts, while Braeden Walker added 31 yards on three carries.

Defensively, the Braves stymied Jennings County most of the night, limiting the Panther offense to just 73 yards on 35 plays.

BC’s defensive effort was highlighted by interceptions by Nicholas Robbins and Nick Goecker, and a fumble recovered by Walker that was forced by Lucas Hines.

All in all, not a bad night for the Braves as they look to follow up on 2018’s 11-2 record and sectional title.

“We’re rebooting,” said May, who is entering his 27th season as BC’s head coach. “We lost some people from last year, but this year’s team is the strongest, physically, in terms of the weight room, that we’ve ever had. Our team speed is not as good as it’s been in the past, but it’s not bad. And while we’re physically very strong, mentally … I’m not so sure. There’s just not a lot of varsity experience on the roster.”

In Friday’s final series of plays, Brownstown’s JV stole the show while taking on a mostly freshman team fielded by Jennings County. In 15 plays, the junior Braves scored eight times.

Scoring for BC’s JV team were Robbins (twice), Justin Howard (twice), Reese Henry (twice), Cole Darlage and Brandon Reynolds.

JV quarterback Carson Darlage threw for three touchdowns and 87 yards on 4-for-5 passing.

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