Braves ready for big game at Salem


The Brownstown Central football team made some positional changes heading into last week’s home game against Eastern (Pekin).

The result was a 48-28 victory over the Musketeers, but head coach Reed May hopes it pays dividends in the latter half of the season.

“We changed some positions for some people, and I think that will benefit us for the long run,” May said. “It’s a long season, so the things we did last week were not only intended to help last week but throughout the rest of the season. It’s a work in progress, so hopefully, it will benefit us.”

The Brownstown Central varsity players of the game against Eastern (Pekin) last week were, from left, offensive back Lane Zike, offensive lineman Carson Darlage, defensive lineman/middle linebacker Isaac Hutchinson, defensive back/dime Greg Hutcheson and special teams Carson Darlage.

Submitted photo

After accumulating zero passing yards in the loss two weeks ago against Charlestown, quarterback Carson Darlage threw for 64 yards last week. There was more added to the playbook that May again hopes helps the Braves further into the year.

Everyone knows Brownstown’s bread and butter is in the run game, and the Braves had five different players find the end zone last week and four of them rush for more than 70 yards.

“I thought we did well there,” May said. “I think our offensive line did well last week. We have some young guys that have to step up still.”

On defense, Brownstown forced Eastern into three interceptions. The picks came from Hudson Fritz, Quentin Tiemeyer and Gregory Hutcheson, but May wants to credit his defensive line for helping create those.

Guys like Keetan Burcham-Jones, Ryan Branaman and Bryce Neal have been huge along the defensive line so far this season.

“A lot of it is the defensive front pressure on the quarterback,” May said. “We feel like our defensive front is pretty athletic and pretty quick, so they do put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Our secondary is pretty young, but they are starting to get better.”

Brownstown is 2-1 this season and has a big road matchup this week at Salem. The last time the Braves played on the Lions’ field, they suffered a 14-12 loss.

The Braves got some revenge last season at home, winning short-handed against the Lions 35-26.

This year, May feels like both teams are similar. The Lions are 1-2 but coming off of an 18-0 win against Scottsburg last week. Much like Brownstown, Salem lost a lot of senior production from a year ago.

“Last time we went there, they beat us. That’s in our minds,” May said. “They’re a lot like us. They had a lot of seniors on the team last year. Neither one of us has played extremely well so far. I think we’re both in the same boat. They’ve played a little bit of a tougher schedule than us so far. We’re two very similar teams, and whoever plays the best Friday night will hopefully come out with a win. It’ll be a tough game for us.”

Kickoff between the two teams is slated for 7 p.m. Friday.

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