For The Tribune
Brownstown Central’s football team bounced back from an unexpected loss at Salem by taking its frustrations out on North Harrison on Friday night.
One week after being limited to 104 rushing yards, the Braves (3-1) ran for 300 yards in the first half and 510 yards for the game during a 55-22 victory.
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“It has been a tough week. I’ve been pretty (angry) to be honest,” Brownstown head coach Reed May said. “I told our kids that some of our best teams have lost during the season. It’s what you do after the loss that counts.”
If Friday’s effort is any indication, the Salem loss has had the desired effect.
Brownstown scored on its first eight possessions while the Braves’ defense forced two turnovers on downs and recovered three fumbles on North Harrison’s first five offensive possessions.
The result was a 35-0 lead for BC to start the game and a second-half running clock.
“Last year, we did well against (North Harrison), and looking at film, we felt there were some things we could do to hurt them,” May said. “We executed pretty well tonight.”
The Braves finished with three 100-yard rushers, led by senior Jayden Steinkamp, who ran for 196 yards on 15 carries. Junior quarterback Kiernan Tiemeyer followed with 125 yards on just five carries, while senior Lucas Hines ended with 100 yards on eight attempts.
Tiemeyer was the early catalyst with touchdown runs of 43 and 33 yards in the game’s first 15 minutes, while Steinkamp scored four touchdowns, three of which came in the first half.
Senior Nicholas Robbins scored BC’s other two TDs and finished with 77 rushing yards on seven carries.
All told, the Braves ended with a staggering 510 yards on the ground on just 33 attempts, or 15.5 yards per carry. A far cry from last week’s 3.9-yard average on 27 carries.
“Without having our summer workouts and camps (due to the pandemic), out technique was not where it needed to be,” May said about his running and blocking revival Friday night. “We got back to fundamentals and used the blocking sled this week, and we did a lot better job. And we really challenged our linemen, who I think have the potential to be pretty good.”
With the offense blowing up the scoreboard, the defense was able to work on containing North Harrison’s workhorse running back Aaron Nevil. The 230-pound senior ran the ball 33 times for 212 yards and two touchdowns, but only three of his runs went for more than 10 yards.
Helping the defensive effort most were three fumbles by the Cougars in the first half, which were recovered by Robbins, Hines and junior Jake Pauley, who also fell on three North Harrison onside kicks as a member of BC’s “hands” kickoff unit.
Friday’s win gives the Braves three straight wins over North Harrison since the Cougars won twice in three seasons between 2015 and 2017. Since the 2017 loss, Brownstown has outscored North Harrison 144-22.
Having righted the ship, the Braves now look forward to hosting county rival Seymour next Friday.
“It may not be too crazy inside the stadium because of the limited crowd, but it’ll be nuts outside,” May said. “It’s a big week for both teams. We’ll treat it like a sectional game.”