Jackson Bowl takes center stage


Looking back to the very first Jackson Bowl game played in 2007, Brownstown Central football coach Reed May admits he didn’t treat the game with the sort of gravity the game deserved. 

May, however, was dealing with the loss of a friend the week of the game, and his focus wasn’t on football. 

The Braves lost the inaugural Jackson Bowl 40-7 — the largest margin of victory for the Owls in the game’s 12-year history.

"After that, I said, ‘That’ll never happen again,’" May said. 

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Brownstown Central won the following year, 31-27, and the two teams went on to split the next 10 matchups. 

This is a good time of year for the Braves to battle Seymour, May says. 

After winning comfortably in three of their first five games to start the year, the Braves akin the week of prep for the Jackson Bowl to a sectional game. They take it a little easier in the weight room and focus more on film sessions, making sure they know how to attack and contain the Owls.

"It gives us an opportunity to treat it like (a sectional game) so when the sectional does get here, we’re used to the routine," May said. "It’s a big game, and it’s easy to get up for."

In his third year at the helm at Seymour, Mike Kelly has learned quickly how much the Jackson Bowl means to the Seymour community and Jackson County as a whole.

"The Jackson Bowl is huge," Kelly said. "We don’t have five or six thousand people at every game we play, and so this is going to be big for our community. The nice thing is our kids have played in the environment the last couple of years and know what to expect." 

Kelly hopes that experience leads to an Owls victory and gets them back on track after suffering their first loss of the year last Friday to Bedford North Lawrence. 

However, unlike the Braves, Kelly said he doesn’t alter his week of preparation leading up to the game.

"To us, it’s a chance for two rival schools to compete in a high-energy environment with community support behind both teams," Kelly said. 

Though some of the names and faces have changed from last year, the offenses and defenses have remained largely the same. May recounts his team trying to stop Seymour’s Nathan O’Mara last season only to get burned by Brendan Smith.

"Their quarterback hurt us a lot last year," May said. "They would go to a set formation in the second half, and it was O’Mara one way and the quarterback the other, and they would throw slants against us. We didn’t stop that very good last year, so we need to do a better job this year."

Replacing O’Mara for the Owls in the backfield is junior Chandler Drummond, who wasn’t exactly the Owls’ first choice at tailback. 

Drummond has rushed for 739 yards, which is a top-20 mark in the state, and has seven touchdowns. He was originally slotted to play cornerback, which he did some last week against BNL, but has firmly taken over the primary ball carrier spot. 

Seymour knows it will be preparing for Brownstown’s Wing-T offense that is chock full of misdirection.

Kelly said this week is about playing assignment football. He cautions his defenders from getting too far upfield and avoiding looking at the "eye candy" of a big tackle for loss and stick to their keys.

One of the key players Seymour will have to keep an eye on is quarterback Derek Thompson, who made the move from slot back to signal caller this year.

Though, in the offense Brownstown runs, nearly every skilled player is a running back.

In five games this year, Thompson is the team’s leading rusher with 641 yards — ranked 28th in the state — and has accounted for most of the Braves’ touchdowns. 

So while success on defense for the Owls will be reading their keys, the master key to the Braves’ offense has been Thompson. 

Success on the ground is paramount for both teams. It has been their calling card all season long, so it should come as no surprise that whichever team establishes its running game early will have the edge toward victory. 

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Hoosier Hills Conference standings


Floyd Central;2-0;4-1

Columbus East;2-0;3-2


Bedford North Lawrence;2-1;2-3

Jennings County;1-2;2-3



New Albany;0-3;1-4

Mid-Southern Conference


Brownstown Central;5-0;5-0

Silver Creek;4-0;5-0



North Harrison;2-3;2-3


Corydon Central;1-3;2-3


Eastern (Pekin);0-4;0-5

Class 5A Sectional 14



New Palestine;1-0;5-0



Class 3A Sectional 31



Brownstown Central;4-0;5-0


Franklin County;1-1;3-2





Jackson County leaders



Smith (S);37;75;672;7;7

Thompson (BC);16;28;270;4;2



Henderson (S);14;293;20.9;3

D. Vehslage (S);7;169;24.1;3

Barker (S);6;100;16.7;1

Cope (BC);5;117;23.4;2

Brown (BC);4;77;19.3;1

Elmore (S);3;22;7.3.0

Lowe (S);2;10;5.0.0

K. Tiemeyer (BC);4;64;16.0;1

Kruse (S);1;33;33.0;0

Shuler (S);1;22;22.0;0

Wilson (BC);1;9;9.0;0

J. Tiemeyer (BC);1;3;3.0;0



Drummond (S);108;739;6.8;7

Thompson (BC);62;641;10.3;9

Smith (S);59;320;5.4;5

Walker (BC);27;184;6.8;0

Greathouse (S);23;167;7.3;2

Brown (BC);8;133;16.6;0

K. Tiemeyer (BC);20;146;7.3;0

Huber (BC);13;56;4.3;0

Hines (BC);9;78;8.7;1

Franklin (BC);6;35;5.8;0



Hines (BC);17;39;56

Pennington (S);21;32;53

Corwin (S);20;27;47

Weddell (S);17;14;31

Walker (BC);9;19;28

James (S)17;4;20

Schroeder (S);8;12;20

Fontanez (S);5;14;19

J. Tiemeyer (BC)4;19;23

Huber (BC);11;12;23

Neal (S);3;10;13

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Catch the Owls” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: Brownstown Central (5-0) at Seymour (4-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Radio: 92.7 Nash Icon

Where: Bulleit Stadium

Last meeting: Seymour, 44-34, Sep. 21, 2018

Series past 35 years: tied, 6-6 

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Catch the Braves” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: Brownstown Central (5-0) at Seymour (4-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Radio: 96.3 WJAA

Where: Bulleit Stadium 

Last meeting: Seymour, 44-34, Sep. 21, 2018

Series past 35 years: tied, 6-6


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