Braves, Owls head into penultimate week of regular season

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For the second time in three weeks, the Brownstown Central football team is preparing for an opponent like it’s the postseason.

They did so in preparation for Jackson County rival Seymour, and will did so again this week for Silver Creek, who comes into Friday’s matchup with the hopes of clinching their first Mid-Southern Conference title.

The Dragons are a fairly new program and are off to their best start in their history under first-year coach David Papenhaus. 

Silver Creek has allowed, at most, just 12 points in a game and are averaging just eight points allowed all season. They’ve pitched one shutout in a 27-0 victory over Providence in Week 3.

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Lately, the Dragons have been doing their best impression of the Braves by grinding out wins with a heavy emphasis on the rushing attack. In last week’s 40-7 win over North Harrison, the Dragons rushed the ball 40 times for 341 yards while attempting just four passes.

Braves’ coach Reed May said their dependency on the run is due largely to the Dragons losing their starting quarterback to injury early in the season. He explained they’re trying to find a new identity behind running the ball more with their backup quarterback and stable of tailbacks. 

Dragon quarterback Ben Landers led the rushing attack last week with 124 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. The rest was divvied up to six running backs with the bulk of the carries going to Eastern Messer or Heath Knight.

Though they’ll be selling out for the run, the Braves will undoubtedly be wary of the Dragons trying to complete a few passes on them after Clarksville burned them for big chunks last week.

May stated his secondary was a little banged up and that starting quarterback Derek Thompson didn’t play defensive back last week etiher, which resulted in the Generals being able to fire off big passing plays.

He continued, saying he didn’t make the team watch the Friday night film on Saturday because they already knew he was upset with the performance and he was ready to move on to the next opponent.

On the topic of big plays in the passing game, the Seymour Owls will need to find some if they want to keep the Columbus East defense honest on Friday night.

Seymour coach Mike Kelly said after last week’s game against New Albany that his team is struggling to find the big plays in their passing game.

Against the Bulldogs, quarterback Brendan Smith completed just three of his 11 passes with the longest being a 31-yard strike to Drew Vehslage. 

Still, even without the passing game being on point, the Owls were able to punch their way back into last week’s game behind the legs of Colin Greathouse, Chandler Drummond and Smith.

Greathouse had a breakout game with 20 carries for 139 yards and two scores. Another effort like that coupled with an improved performance from Drummond and Smith on the ground and the Owls could steamroll the Olympians.

Columbus East has given up plenty on the ground to opponents including a 350-plus-yard night to Whiteland at the start of the year.

Still, solving the Columbus East puzzle has been something no team in the Hoosier Hills Conference has been able to do for several years. 

After last Friday’s victory over Bedford North Lawrence, the Olympians have won 98 straight against league rivals. 

The Olympians have doing their winning this season behind a very balanced offensive with their three-headed monster in the backfield and quarterback Cole Gilley. 

Junior Mark McDonald leads the Olympian backfield with 951 yards and 11 touchdowns while Gilley has thrown for 1,528 yards, 21 touchdowns and just one interception.

His longest pass was for 85 yards, which he threw two weeks ago against Floyd Central. 

Defending the deep ball is going to be crucial for the Owls, who gave up just two completions last Friday to New Albany. Those two completed passes — one for 49 yards and the other for 40 — were the two biggest offensive plays for the Bulldogs and directly resulted in scores.

Kelly lamented after the game that teams typically convert deep balls against the Owls every week and they need to find a way to stop it. 

In addition to Friday night’s festivities, the 2019 sectional pairings will be announced on Sunday at 5 p.m. 

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Hoosier Hills Conference standings

Team;HHC;All

Columbus East;4-0;5-2

Floyd Central;3-1;5-2

Seymour;2-2;4-3

Bedford North Lawrence;2-2;2-5

Jeffersonville;2-2;2-5

Jennings County;1-3;3-4

New Albany;1-3;2-5

Madison;1-3;1-6

Mid-Southern Conference

Team;MSC;All

Brownstown Central;6-0;7-0

Silver Creek;6-0;7-0

Salem;5-2;5-2

Charlestown;4-2;5-2

North Harrison;3-4;3-4

Scottsburg;2-4;2-5

Corydon Central;1-5;2-5

Clarksville;1-5;1-6

Eastern (Pekin);0-6;0-7

Class 5A Sectional 14

Team;Class;All

Franklin;2-0;6-1

New Palestine;1-0;7-0

Seymour;1-2;4-3

Whiteland;0-2;4-3

Class 3A Sectional 31

Team;Class;All

Lawrenceburg;4-0;6-1

Brownstown Central;4-0;7-0

Charlestown;3-1;5-2

Greensburg;2-1;4-3

Batesville;1-2;2-5

Franklin County;1-2;4-3

Scottsburg;1-4;2-5

Rushville;0-3;1-6

Jackson County leaders

Passing

Player;Com;Att;Yds;TD;I

Smith (S);44;105;798;9;7

Thompson (BC);23;40;432;5;0

Receiving

Player;C;Yds;Avg;TD

Henderson (S);16;310;19.4;3

D. Vehslage (S);12;278;23.2;5

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

Cope (BC);9;218;24.2;2

Brown (BC);6;118;19.7;2

Elmore (S);3;22;7.3.0

Lowe (S);2;10;5.0.0

K. Tiemeyer (BC);5;84;16.0;1

Rushing

Player;Att;Yds;Avg;TD

Thompson (BC);108;1043;9.7;11

Drummond (S);131;935;7.1;8

Greathouse (S);56;415;7.4;4

Smith (S);73;381;5.2;6

Walker (BC);43;368;8.6;3

Brown (BC);20;221;11.1;0

K. Tiemeyer (BC);27;174;6.4;2

Hines (BC);20;128;6.4;2

Huber (BC);18;81;4.5;1

Defense

Player;T;A;TT

Pennington (S);39;47;86

Hines (BC);28;48;76

Corwin (S);32;37;69

Weddell (S);25;27;52

Walker (BC);12;29;41

James (S);20;13;33

Schroeder (S);13;18;31

Huber (BC);12;15;27

J. Tiemeyer (BC);5;20;25

Neal (S);9;14;23

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What: Columbus East (5-2) at Seymour (4-3)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Radio: 92.7 Nash Icon

Where: Bulleit Stadium 

Last meeting: Columbus East, 49-13, Oct. 26, 2018, sectional

Series past 35 years: Columbus East 26-15

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What: Silver Creek (7-0) at Brownstown Central (7-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Radio: 96.3 WJAA

Where: Blevins Memorial Stadium 

Last meeting: Brownstown Central, 33-21, Oct. 5, 2018

Series past 35 years: Brownstown Central, 8-0

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