Braves suffer 23-14 setback against Warriors


BROWNSTOWN — It was as if the Brownstown Central offense was stuck in freeway traffic all night long, unable to get the engine moving beyond 10 mph.

The usually vaunted rushing game seemed bogged down in sand and the hoped-for-livelier passing game was grounded with quarterback Carson Darlage constantly under siege from Scottsburg’s defense.

It was not the Friday night expected by the Braves, who were toppled, 23-14, at Blevins Stadium by the underdog Warriors.

There were really just two essential offensive highlights for Brownstown after a scoreless first quarter. Darlage scored on a 3-yard touchdown run after a Grant Killey interception set the Braves up on the Scottsburg 20.

After the disappointing first half, Brownstown produced one major explosion at the start of the third quarter. After holding Scottsburg to a three-and-out, the Braves took over on their own 24-yard-line.

Preston Garrison burst free for a 10-yard run and then a 9-yarder. Darlage squirmed loose for 10 yards. This was followed by a crowd-awakening 47-yard dash around left end by Gregory Hutcheson and following the extra point, Brownstown trailed 16-14 at the 8:03 mark of the third quarter.

It seemed the home team had come to life, but the Braves never sustained another drive.

Killey’s interception, Hutcheson’s run and Darlage’s TD pretty much constituted the entire Brownstown highlight film. It was a game film that coach Reed May may contemplate burning unless he believes there are lessons to be learned from the 48 minutes.

This was Brownstown’s 25th Silver Anniversary Homecoming and even that was subdued at half-time with the Braves trailing underdog Scottsburg, 16-7, with fans wishing the Warriors would go home.

A young squad with just four seniors on the roster, Scottsburg seemed to mature all at once in the second period, running off 16 straight points after trailing 7-0.

Brownstown notched the game’s first score on 3-yard run by Darlage, a touchdown set up by a Grant Killey interception that gave the hosts the ball on the 20-yard-line.

It took less than three minutes for the Braves to push the ball into the end zone and when kicker Bryce Peak added the extra point, it appeared Brownstown was poised to roll.

However, Scottsburg came to life on the next possession with a 22-yard pass play followed by a 45-yard run from freshman Landon Shuck, who out-ran the Braves’ secondary.

Brownstown caught a break when the snap for the extra point was mishandled and that kept the lead, 7-6.

That circumstance did not last long. Brownstown’s offense bogged down and Scottsburg recorded big plays, including a clutch 20-yard run by Braden Morgan for a first down.

Scottsburg was held to a 26-yard field goal by Lucas Toppe with 48 seconds remaining in the half. Brownstown got the ball, but rather than driving, a Darlage pass was batted in the air and intercepted and the Warriors regained the ball with 20 seconds left.

Byrd hit Dawson Richey on a 28-yard TD pass in the end zone as the first-half clock ran out to stun the Braves once again.

Brownstown (5-4) will now turn its focus to postseason play as the Braves go to Brown County, 0-8 as of press time, for their first sectional game next Friday night.

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