Braves blank Scottsburg to advance in sectional

Brownstown Central’s football team showed what can be accomplished from one week to the next during a dominant 41-0 victory over Scottsburg in Friday’s opening round of the Class 3A Sectional 31 tournament.

The Braves played Scottsburg in consecutive weeks, first in a tougher-than-it-looked 42-28 regular season finale win last week and then Friday night due to the luck of the sectional tournament draw.

Last week, the Warriors gashed BC’s defense for 226 rushing yards, 368 yards of total offense and 28 points – each of those totals being the second most given up by the Braves all season.

“It probably helped us that we played poorly last week,” BC head coach Reed May said. “If we had dominated, we may not have played with the same intensity tonight. They’re explosive on offense, but I told our defense, ‘You should be ticked off after last week.’ I made sure they watched the film all week.”

May’s challenge worked. Brownstown’s defense played as if trying to prove a point on Friday night and made amends for the previous week’s performance.

BC limited Scottsburg to 19 yards and four first downs on 27 first-half plays. In Warriors’ first seven possessions, Brownstown recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass, forced three punts (one of which the Braves blocked), had two sacks for 25 lost yards and four tackles for loss.

At one point in the second quarter, the Braves had Scottsburg in a fourth-and-43 after sacks by Ryan Branaman and Keetan Burcham-Jones.

“Give Scottsburg credit, last week they changed some things up and surprised us,” May said. “We saw some things they did and adjusted. The big thing is we played better, we played with more intensity. We flew around to the ball and played with aggression. Coach (Shane) Fallis came up with a great game plan. He does a great job with our defense.”

Brandon Reynolds had the block punt and an interception for BC. Quentin Tiemeyer also had an interception. Adam Wayt, Eli Wischmeier and Steward contributed tackles for loss.

Friday’s effort produced Brownstown’s first postseason defensive shutout since a 62-0 win over Brown County in 2016. The Braves now have seven tournament shutouts in their program’s history.

Offensively, the Braves rarely missed a beat, scoring on five on their first six possessions and taking a 34-0 lead into halftime.

Carson Darlage scored three first-half touchdowns on the ground. Wyatt Steward and Jake Pauley each added a TD run in the open two quarters.

When Kiernan Tiemeyer scored on a five-yard run with 4:40 left in the third quarter, the Braves owned a 41-0 lead and tripped the mercy-rule running clock to effectively end the game.

Brownstown ran for 353 yards, led by Tiemeyer’s 105 on 11 carries. Pauley followed with 99 yards on 10 carries, while Darlage added 69 on 10 attempts.

Steward ended with 49 yards on five up-the-gut runs.

Friday’s win advances Brownstown to the semifinal round. The Braves will travel to Batesville next Friday to take on a Bulldog team that opened the tournament with a 48-26 win over Rushville.

The Braves have played Batesville just once before. The two teams met in the 2018 sectional title game in which Brownstown prevailed, 35-38, after outscoring the Bulldogs 28-8 in the second half.

“We have never been to Batesville,” May said. “They have a grass field and we’ve only played one game on grass this season. They’re in a tough conference. They have four losses, but to good teams. They’re going to be a very good football team.”