Brownstown determined to bounce back Friday against Eastern


Brownstown Central head coach Reed May knew Charlestown was likely the top team in the Mid-Southern Conference, and the Braves experienced it firsthand last Friday in Blevins Memorial Stadium.

Charlestown won 30-13, and rather than letting the loss linger, Brownstown plans to use it to its advantage.

“Sometimes, a loss is good for you. It shows your weaknesses. It shows things you need to work on,” May said. “Sometimes, a loss in the regular season helps you come tournament time. That’s what we told the team. The key is where do we go from here? Do we hang our heads and not get better or do we say ‘OK, this is what we need to improve.’”

The Braves had plenty of chances last Friday, too. Three of their first six possessions reached the red zone.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” May said. “First drive, we get inside the 10-yard line and don’t score. Any time you get inside the 20 three times and don’t score. it hurts you. Charlestown is a great team, and we’ve just got to play better.”

Why did Brownstown struggle in the red zone? On top of the Pirates’ stingy defense, there were a lot of errors on the Braves’ part.

“We made some mental errors. We missed some blocking assignments, two slots went in motion, ran into each other and we fumbled,” May said. “We’re making a lot of inexperienced mistakes that we need to clean up.”

After throwing for 148 yards in the season-opener, quarterback Carson Darlage went 0-5 against Charlestown. Brownstown is mainly a run-heavy team, but May hopes to see more out of their passing game.

“Passing game is three phases,” May said. “You’ve got to be able to pass, catch and protect, and right now, we’re not doing all three of those phases very well.”

The one group May feels has been stellar all season is the Braves’ defensive line. They had three returning starters in that position and one freshman.

“I think that has been our strong point, our defensive front four,” May said. “I think that group has done a pretty good job for us. We made some defensive changes and offensive changes this week. Hopefully, we can get the right combination by tournament.”

Coming up this Friday, Brownstown (1-1) will take on Eastern (Pekin). The Musketeers are also 1-1, losing 36-8 to West Washington in Week 1 and beating Crawford County 54-0 last week.

Last year, Brownstown’s game against Pekin was canceled due to COVID-19, and the Braves replaced that game with one against Madison.

“Scoring 54 points last Friday, that definitely opened our eyes a little bit,” May said. “They’re an improved team.”

Friday also will be Teacher Appreciation Night at Blevins Memorial Stadium. Members from the football team went to a teacher’s classroom Tuesday and handed them their red away jersey to wear Friday.

The idea came from Superintendent Tim Taylor, and Brownstown has done it for a number of years now.

“Kids will pick somebody from the high school, middle school, elementary schools, and they’ll pick somebody that they feel like has influenced them to this point,” May said. “The recipient will come wear the jersey on Friday night, and we’ll introduce them. It’s just stuff we feel like we’re giving back to our community and our school corporation.”

Kickoff against the Musketeers is slated for 7 p.m.

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