Season over for Braves football


They waited. Some in silence. Some making jokes. Some telling stories. Some even napping.

They didn’t want to come back to Lawrenceburg the next day. They huddled in the locker room, patience-on-demand.

Scheduled kickoff time came and went as lightning flashed in the distance. Postponed kickoff time passed. So did a few more alternative times before the only light in the sky was artificial, pumped into Neary Field.

It was nearly 9:30 p.m. before Brownstown Central got the official OK for kickoff against host Lawrenceburg for the opening round of sectional play after a two-hour bus ride.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

“I sat there and talked to a couple of people,” said running back Lucas Hines. “I took a nap.”

It must have refreshed him since Hines rushed for 136 yards and scored two touchdowns once football got underway two and a half hours late. And the game, a 33-20 loss to the Tigers, didn’t conclude until 12:15 a.m. the next day.

Quarterback Kiernan Tiemeyer said he got home at 2:45 a.m.

Once the sky writing took over, the Braves had no idea how long they might have to wait.

“It changed a couple of times,” Tiemeyer said. “We were just bored really, just hung out.”

Not a soul wanted to drive back to Brownstown and come back the next day, but the players worried that might happen.

“That’s what we were thinking,” Tiemeyer said.

Not starting on time wasn’t a huge upset. Coach Reed May said after consulting a weather report as early as lunchtime, he talked about a potential delay.

“I doubted we would play until 9, 9:30,” May said.

He said he remained unruffled, given that “this is my 330th game.”

In his 28th year running the program, however, May did experience something new, like having opening day called off because the other team was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Braves drove to within a half-hour of Corydon on Aug. 21 before turning around. They definitely didn’t want a replay from weather.

Lineman Dustyn Kocsis was haunted by that first-day scenario.

“All I could think of when we were on our way to every game, I’d think, ‘Are we going to play or is it going to get called off?’” he said.

Lawrenceburg played loud music in the locker room next door, and Kocsis grooved to the beat but still wondered if the game would happen.

“I was prepared for the worst,” Kocsis said.

The worst, a loss, did come. The Braves’ season ended in the first round, the season record locked in at 6-3. Brownstown has a long winning tradition under May, but the Braves weren’t as strong as in some years, and Lawrenceburg came in ranked No. 6 in Class 3A.

“We’d been told all week we weren’t even close to them,” Hines said.

Although Lawrenceburg emerged 9-1, pulling away in the fourth quarter, the Braves were close. In the third period, Brownstown broke a 13-13 tie when Hines broke free for a 64-yard touchdown run.

A Cooper Wolka extra point made the score 20-13, and while the clock was approaching the Braves’ bedtimes, it also seemed to be running out on the Tigers.

“We couldn’t let up, not at all,” Hines said.

Tiemeyer said the Braves had a “nothing-to-lose” mentality as underdogs and were on the verge of becoming top dogs.

“We were fired up,” he said.

But Lawrenceburg took over in the fourth quarter, running off three more scores. Whether it was size up front or clicking on big plays, it caught up to the Braves.

“They were big,” Tiemeyer said. “They were a lot bigger than we were.”

Good teams never want the season to end, and while not dominant, Brownstown showed the necessary grit to stick with a highly touted and physically larger opponent.

“I don’t think it has hit me yet,” Kocsis said of the season being over.

Tiemeyer said basketball practice starts so quickly, it makes it a little easier to adjust.

Plus, thinking back to summer when Brownstown suspended drills because of the coronavirus and the Corydon situation, he was glad the season ended on the field and scoreboard, not because of a government medical edict.

“Honestly,” Tiemeyer said, “I don’t think anybody thought we’d have the whole season.”

The season did not end with a W on the record, but it did end with a victory because the Braves made it all of the way through.

No posts to display