Braves pick up MSC win at Salem 26-12


SALEM — Four games into the season, Brownstown Central’s football team is starting to look more like itself following a vintage 26-12 victory over Salem on Friday night.

The Braves’ offense used a pounding run game to control the scoreboard and the clock, while the defense was solid up front and opportunistic in the backfield.

“I was telling our guys before the game, ‘It’s time to start playing our kind of football,’” BC head coach Reed May said. “We’re starting to play more like we’re capable of.”

The Braves (3-1) scored three first-half touchdowns to take early control of the game, but it was the defense that made the most progress.

On Salem’s first two plays from scrimmage, Lion running backs Hayden Baughman and Evan Bowling ripped off gains of 15 and 30 yards.

Over the remainder of the game, however, BC limited the Lions to just 26 yards on the ground on 19 attempts.

After Salem scored on its first possession, Brownstown only allowed a lightning-strike third-quarter touchdown on an 81-yard pass from Lion quarterback Kaleb Tucker to Bowling.

“We made some personnel changes, but our guys actually executed the defensive game plan,” May said with a grin. “They haven’t been doing that in our previous games.”

Offensively, the Braves’ ground game was led by Quentin Tiemeyer, who ran for a game-high 94 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

BC quarterback Carson Darlage followed with 80 yards on 12 attempts, while Isiaah Engle added 63 yards on 11 rushes. Gregory Hutcheson became an intriguing new option in the Braves’ run game, gaining 53 yards on eight tries.

It was Grant Killey, however, who got the scoring started for Brownstown. The sophomore capped BC’s first drive with a 12-yard run to give the Braves an early 6-0 lead.

Tiemeyer then took over, scoring BC’s next two TDs on runs of 21 and five yards to secure a 21-6 advantage at halftime.

Following a scoreless third quarter for Brownstown, Killey sealed the game with a 14-yard run to the left side with 8:46 to go in the fourth quarter.

With the ground game rolling, Darlage’s arm was not called upon often. The lefty finished with 44 yards on 2-for-4 passing, including a 38-yard completion that Caleb Cummings wrestled from his Salem defender.

Friday’s contest was a large step in the right direction for BC’s young defense. In the season’s first three games, the Braves yielded 86 points, the most-ever by a Reed May-coached team to start a season.

The 2016 Braves previously held that mantel, allowing 70 points through their first three games, or 23.3 points per game. This year’s squad had been permitting an average of 28.7 points.

Against Salem, with the front seven shutting down the Lions’ run game, BC’s defensive backs were free to take chances. Engle intercepted a Tucker pass in the fourth quarter that effectively ended Salem’s hopes.

Darlage also appeared to have an interception, but was ruled out of bounds. The senior ended with two pass breakups.

Adam Wayt added a first-half fumble recovery, while Tiemeyer and Hutcheson contributed well-timed tackles for loss.

Though happy with his team’s performance, May played the cautious head coach to the end.

“Our next three games are going to be tough,” he said.

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