Braves look to regroup at Silver Creek

This is uncharted territory for Brownstown Central football head coach Reed May.

In May’s 30 years of coaching the Braves, he doesn’t think he has ever seen his team this ravaged by injuries.

Brownstown already came into the year losing 16 seniors from a year ago that were major contributors on last year’s 11-1 team. On top of a lot of new faces getting varsity experience, the Braves haven’t been able to catch a break with guys being sidelined.

The result has led to Brownstown dropping two consecutive games for just the third time in May’s three-decade tenure. The Braves lost a 28-24 battle to Seymour two weeks ago and then lost 26-13 at Indian Creek last week.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had this many injuries,” May said. “It’s something that we’re adjusting to. We knew going into it, losing 16 seniors, that it’d be an interesting year. Then with the mass injuries that we’ve had, it has made it more. We’re all in new ground, we haven’t been this way in quite some time, but we’re working through it.”

Brownstown was hanging in with a very good Indian Creek team for most of the game last week. They were only trailing 13-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

“In the first half, we played with them pretty good,” May said. “Second half, we had three possessions where we went three-and-out offensively. The ballgame became not a ballgame really quick.”

The defense for Brownstown was once again a bright spot for May and the coaching staff.

The defensive line featuring Keetan Burcham-Jones, Ryan Branaman, Bryce Neal and Isaac Hutchinson continue to play strong in the trenches.

“Defense is a team concept,” May said. “I thought we played well defensively.”

May knew that two-game stretch against Seymour and Indian Creek would be a tough one for Brownstown, but he also knows it will help them get ready for the sectional in a couple of weeks.

“We played great against Seymour, I thought, but then Indian Creek, we didn’t play real well,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys. We’re just trying to get better every week.”

May said every day has been a work in progress for his young football team, but the Braves have every intention to try to turn it around against Silver Creek this Friday.

The Dragons, too, have dealt with multiple injuries this season. They’re coming off of a 41-0 loss to North Harrison last week, a North Harrison team that Brownstown defeated 27-22 on Sept. 16.

“Two injured teams getting ready to play down there on Friday,” May said. “Hopefully, we can go down there with a good game plan and come out with a win.”

The Dragons are 3-4 overall, while the Braves are 4-3. Silver Creek’s quarterback this year played at Madison last year, so Brownstown has played against him before when they added Madison to last year’s schedule to replace a game that was canceled due to COVID-19.

“They’ve got some pretty young, skilled athletes. They’re pretty fast, and they throw the ball decent,” May said.

May hopes his defense continues to play at a high level and the offense snaps out of its struggles and gets back to the style Brownstown knows its capable of.

“It’s an interesting season right now,” May said. “We’re trying to get healthy for sectional time and also pick up a few wins here to end the season. We’re just trying to get better every day.”