RAMSEY — Brownstown Central’s football team dominated both sides of the ball on Friday night, but still had to hold off a late charge by a determined North Harrison squad before escaping with a 27-22 victory.
The Braves (4-1) ran for 345 on 48 attempts and consistently moved the ball into North Harrison territory. But two third-quarter turnovers limited BC’s ability to separate from the Cougars (3-2) on the scoreboard.
“Our offense did what we do every game,” Brownstown head coach Reed May said. “We moved the ball, then turned it over. We could have put the game away, then we could have put the game away again. Now we’re in a dogfight. We’ve got to learn and improve.”
Still, May was happy with another hard fought win on the road.
“It was a win,” May said with a smile. “I’m proud of them. I thought our defense stepped up. We’re starting to play better defensively.”
The Braves limited North Harrison to just seven points during the game’s first 41 minutes before the Cougars struck twice in the final seven minutes.
Brownstown responded, however, by ably handling NH’s onside kicks and by scoring a late touchdown of its own.
After a Cougar TD with 6:38 left narrowed the score to 21-15 in favor of BC, the Braves’ Gregory Hutcheson fielded a tricky onside kick at midfield.
Hutcheson then ran for 32 yards on a fourth-and-4, carrying the ball to North Harrison’s four yard line. BC quarterback Carson Darlage then scored an a four-yard run to push Brownstown ahead, 27-15, with just 3:19 to go.
Darlage scored all four of BC’s touchdowns, finding the end zone on runs of four, one, 26 and four yards. He ended with 96 yards on 17 carries.
Adam Wayt was BC’s leading runner, gaining 105 yards on just seven attempts. The senior’s run of 61 yards in the second quarter set up Darlage’s second TD.
Hutcheson ended with 76 yards on seven rushes, while Grant Killey added 41 yards on seven carries.
Defensively, the Braves intercepted two North Harrison passes. Isiaah Engle picked off a David Langdon pass in the first quarter, while Darlage intercepted Langdon in the third quarter after the pass was originally tipped away by Jaren Cunningham.
Engle, Keetan Burcham-Jones, Ryan Branaman and Isaac Hutchinson all finished with tackles for loss and never allowed North Harrison’s potent running attack to get started.
Friday’s win, Browntown’s third-straight, improves the Braves’ season mark to 4-1 and allows BC to carry another strong record into its cross-county rivalry game with Seymour next Friday.
Since the two schools resumed their yearly matchups in 2007, BC has sported a perfect or near-perfect (one loss) record into 14 of 15 meetings with the Owls.