Reed May challenged his team heading into last Friday, and the Braves had an answer for their head coach.
After losing two games in a row for just the third time in May’s 30 years at the helm, he had never lost a third consecutive game.
That was in jeopardy last Friday at Silver Creek, but Brownstown Central came out of the gates and left no question by defeating the Dragons 41-21.
“Any time you’ve lost two games in a row, obviously, we’ve never lost three games in a row since I’ve been here. That was something we stressed to the kids to get back to the winning ways,” May said. “We need to take care of ourselves more than worrying about our opponent. How are we going to respond to two losses? I thought we responded pretty well.”
The Braves’ rushing attack looked like its normal self with a season-high 496 yards. Carson Darlage, still working to get back to 100%, had 95 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Isiaah Engle rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries.
“We ran the ball really well,” May said. “It was good that Carson was back. He wasn’t 100%, but he was able to run well. Engle had a great game, too. A lot of it is our linemen. We had a freshman start because one of our lineman had a concussion. The freshman (Isaac) Hutchinson did well.”
Gregory Hutcheson and Adam Wayt also had touchdown runs.
“Our slots are young and hadn’t really run much, but they’re starting to figure it out a little bit more,” May said.
He still wasn’t pleased with the passing game as Darlage was just 0-1 on the night. May wants to see better pass protection and his receivers catching the ball better, too.
Defensively, Brownstown had a solid game. May pinpointed two mistakes that led to Silver Creek touchdowns, which was a blown pass coverage and jumping offside on a fourth down stop.
“We played well except two or three big plays,” May said. “Unfortunately, we’re still making mistakes we can’t make.”
But all in all, it was a much-needed win to get back on track.
After all of the injuries and adversity the Braves have faced this season, May hasn’t seen his team waver in terms of the work they continue to put in.
“One thing is they’ve stuck together. There hasn’t been any bickering, they’ve been working hard and the seniors have done a good job of leading us,” he said. “Any time you have as much adversity as we’ve had, that’s always a concern, but I haven’t seen that.”
Brownstown, now 5-3 this season, will look to end the regular season with another win as they return to Blevins Memorial Stadium against Scottsburg.
The Warriors are 2-6 this season but have picked up their two wins over the last two weeks. They beat Mitchell 33-0 and Eastern (Pekin) 28-20.
“They’re a young team, starting a freshman quarterback,” May said. “They like to spread it out. Defensively, they always do some shifting and moving around. They can give you some problems, but hopefully, we take care of business like we did last week.”
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Friday.