Brownstown Central’s football team scored on its first three possessions — and on two of Scottburg’s possessions — to storm to an early lead in an eventual 39-13 victory on Friday night.
Short runs by Derek Thompson (one yard and three yards) and Eli Brown (five yards) capped the Braves’ first three possessions with touchdowns. What made BC’s start special, however, were two first-quarter interception returns for touchdown by Braeden Walker and Kiernan Tiemeyer that allowed Brownstown to build its insurmountable lead.
Walker got the defensive scoring started when Scottsburg’s right-handed quarterback Javis Roush attempted a left-handed pass while trying to evade the Braves’ pass rush. Roush’s off-handed pass was picked off in stride at the Scottsburg 45 by Walker, who ran untouched for his second ‘pick-six’ interception in as many weeks.
Five minutes later, Tiemeyer picked off a more conventional pass from Scottsburg’s backup QB Kent Paris and, like Walker, ran unscathed into the end zone. Tiemeyer’s 24-yard return pushed Brownstown in front, 26-0, with 90 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
“We wanted to come down here, play well and try to get momentum going for the tournament,” BC head coach Reed May said.
Brown scored his second touchdown of the game on a 33-yard run with nine minutes left in the third quarter, giving the Braves a 39-0 lead and triggering a mercy-rule running clock.
Defensively, the Braves got a third interception from Sam Huber (whose 23-yard return didn’t go for a touchdown). Huber also finished with two tackles for loss and a sack. Jalen Tiemeyer and Walker also contributed tackles for loss.
BC limited Scottsburg to 70 yards of offense through the first three quarters, before the Warriors scored twice in the fourth quarter against the JV defense.
Friday’s victory clinched the outright Mid-Southern Conference title for the Braves, their 19th MSC crown since Reed May took over in 1993.
“If you would have told me in June that we would win the conference, I wouldn’t have believed it,” May said. “We didn’t have a very good summer. We have a lot of seniors, but not a lot of experienced seniors. They just needed playing time. They’re starting to figure it out.”
Friday’s win also secured Brownstown’s 11th perfect regular-season record in May’s 27 seasons.
Since the IHSAA implemented the nine-game regular season in 1997, the Braves have gone 9-0 nine times. In addition to this season’s perfect run, BC was undefeated in 2014, 2013 and 2011, and had a run of five consecutive undefeated seasons between 1999 and 2003.
May’s 1995 and 1996 squads also produced unblemished regular seasons during the eight-game regular season era pre-1997.
Since Brownstown moved up to Class 3A in 2011, however, perfect regular seasons have not always led to tournament success. While the Braves won the sectional title in 2013, the 2011 (first round) and 2014 (second round) teams suffered early-tourney losses.
“Sometimes it’s good to have a loss,” May said with a laugh. “All three of our final four teams had a loss. But going undefeated that many times speaks volumes for our program.”
This season’s perfect BC team figures to have a tough tournament road ahead, starting with next week’s first-round opponent, Charlestown (6-2). In the season’s second game, the Braves needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to defeat the Pirates, 21-13.
Charlestown has won six straight games since that loss to BC.
“They have a great team,” May said of Charlestown. “They haven’t lost since we beat them. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. It should be a fun game.”
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Box Score” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
Brownstown Central (9-0);26;7;6;0;—;39
BC-Derek Thompson 3 run (Cooper Wolka kick), 9:04
BC-Braeden Walker 45 interception return (kick failed), 6:32
BC-Thompson 1 run (Wolka kick), 1:39
BC-Kiernan Tiemeyer 24 interception return (kick failed), 1:25
BC-Eli Thompson 5 run (Wolka kick), 4:52
BC-Brown 33 run (kick failed), 9:01
S-Brantley Deaton 33 pass from Kent Paris (Allyson Barger kick), 4:23
S-Deaton 35 pass from Paris (kick failed), 1:40
INDIVIDUAL BC STATISTICS
Rushing: Brownstown Central-Brown 5-52, Walker 5-48, Thompson 5-31, Jayden Steinkamp 2-21, Tiemeyer 2-15, Carson Darlage 4-13, Sam Huber 3-11, Adam Wayt 1-7, Eli Wischmeier 2-1, Reese Henry 5-0.
Passing: Brownstown Central-Thompson 2 for 3, 77 yards; Darlage 0 for 1.
Receiving: Brownstown Central-Tiemeyer 1-41, Jake Cope 1-36.