Braves host No. 4 Triton Central for sectional matchup

When Brownstown Central moved back down to Class 2A this season and the new sectionals were revealed, football head coach Reed May knew Triton Central and Indianapolis Scecina would be tough outs in the postseason.

This Friday in the Sectional 39 semifinal, the Braves will come across Triton Central, which is 8-2 and ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 2A.

The Tigers defeated Christel House Manual last week to open the sectional 58-6, and Brownstown (6-4) had a similar win over Brown County last week 61-7.

May was able to rest his starters for the whole second half last week, and for a team that has dealt with many injuries this season, that was nice to see.

“We’re still a little banged up,” May said. “They played very little last week, so it was a little refreshing for that.”

The Braves came out last week and passed on the first four plays. Quarterback Carson Darlage completed all four, and two of them were for touchdowns.

So far this season, Darlage is 34-87 for 514 yards. He also leads the team with 851 rushing yards.

“One thing we have to do is catch the ball better,” May said.

The Braves’ defense had multiple takeaways last week and shut Brown County out in the first half.

This week, they will need to be on their A game to handle the offensive firepower that Triton Central presents.

“They run the ball as well as they throw the ball,” May said. “Defensively, we’re going to have to play very well to have a chance.”

Triton Central’s two losses this season came to Indianapolis Lutheran and Scecina. On the other side of the sectional bracket, Scecina (9-1) is playing against Clarksville (5-5).

Triton Central returned 20 varsity starters from last year, which was the opposite of Brownstown’s situation.

“They’ve got a lot of great skilled athletes. They’ve got a good quarterback who throws the ball well. They’re ranked high for a season. Their defense flies to the ball,” May said. “We knew Triton Central and Scecina are very good football teams.”

May felt Brownstown’s best game of the season was against Seymour back on Sept. 23. Even though the Braves lost, it was a game that best mirrors how the postseason will be in terms of crowd atmosphere and energy, and Brownstown lived up to the challenge.

“It’s more that atmosphere and the crowd at the games. Those things help you prepare for the tournament, the big game atmosphere,” he said. “A lot of times, we just dominated our schedule, and come tournament, it kind of hurts us.”

Over the last 35 years, Brownstown owns a 6-0 record against Triton Central. The last meeting was on Oct. 29, 2010, and the Braves were able to beat the Tigers 30-20.

This season, the Sagarin ratings have Triton at third in 2A and Brownstown at 28th. John Harrell predicts the Tigers will beat the Braves 49-10 this week.

The Braves know they’re being counted out, and although this season hasn’t been their best, they’re approaching Friday night with a nothing-to-lose mentality. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Blevins Memorial Stadium.

“Luckily, we get to play them at home,” May said. “Our kids have got nothing to lose, and they’re relaxed and having fun this week. Our young kids will hopefully grow up quite a bit between now and Friday, and we’ll do the best we can.”