By CHRIS STONER
For some teams, it’s the offenses that begin to hit high gear by this time in the season.
At Charlestown, it’s all about the defense right now.
The Pirates posted their four shutout of the season — and third straight — with a 35-0 spanking of Corydon Central on Friday night at Dutch Reis Field.
“Tonight’s shutout is a lot better than other ones we’ve had because the team we played tonight was a lot better football team than our last two opponents,” Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins said. “Our defense just amazes me every week how well they play. The kids just keep performing.”
The Pirates (5-2, 5-1 Mid-Southern Conference) held Corydon (5-2, 4-1) to just 28 yards rushing and Charlestown senior defensive lineman Jimmy Garcia spent most of the night in the visitors backfield.
“Jimmy Garcia probably played one of the better games I’ve seen in seven years here,” Hawkins said. “He had four sacks and at least 16 tackles. Jake Harper played well and Tyler Combs had another interception. Everyone on the defense just played really well.”
The Pirates’ special teams set the tone early as Eli Daniel returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for the game’s first score. Two possessions later, Charlestown took advantage of a Panthers punt that went 24 yards backwards as Matt Myers scored from 1 yard out for an early 14-0 lead.
The hosts maintained their two-touchdown advantage at halftime, but had lost both quarterbacks Darren Taylor and Tristan Chester to injuries. Hawkins said Taylor has a high ankle sprain and could miss up to two weeks.
“At halftime, we just had to figure out who could go and who couldn’t,” Hawkins said. “Both of our quarterbacks were out so we went with [Antonyo] Gaddie. He played some quarterback in the summer so we decided to put him in shotgun and snap it to him and run. It worked out.”
Gaddie at quarterback more than worked out for the Pirates in the third period. Gaddie had three touchdown scampers in the third and totaled 151 yards on the night.
“I think we only ran four or five different plays in the second half with him at quarterback, Hawkins said. “I think it caught Corydon off-guard with that much speed coming at them from quarterback.”
Corydon only mustered 104 yards of total offense against the stingy Charlestown defense. The Panthers only managed one first down in the first two periods. Corydon tried six different ball carriers and none could break the 20-yards gained barrier.
“Our defensive line controlled the game,” Hawkins said. “I can’t say enough about our defense tonight.”
The Pirates, who have now won five straight, will travel to Providence next Friday.
CHARLESTOWN 35, CORYDON CENTRAL 0
Corydon Central 0 0 0 0— 0
Charlestown 14 0 21 0—35
Ch — Eli Daniel 97 kickoff return (Martinez kick), 11:44.
Ch — Matt Myers 1 run (Martinez kick), 5:14.
Ch — Antonyo Gaddie 22 run (Martinez kick), 11:02.
Ch — Gaddie 41 run (Martinez kick), 6:45.
Ch — Gaddie 24 run (Martinez kick), 2:14.
Corydon Central: Lannis Buck 7-16-0, 50, Josh Allen 1-1-0, 26, Brayden Lander 0-1-0 0.
Charlestown: Tristan Chester 1-3-0 7.
Corydon Central: Alex Newton 9-17, Alex McAfee 4-12, Ezra Paden 8-18, Buck 7- minus 18, Ben Woodward 3-10, Lander 1-2, Allen 3-minus 13.
Charlestown: Darren Taylor 1-3, Chester 2-0, Myers 15-51, Gaddie 21-151, Jarren Anderson 1-2.
Corydon Central: Allen 2-15, Lander 1-26, McAfee 2-17, Cody Catlett 1-5, Newton 1-6, T.J. Mathes 1-7.
Charlestown: Alex Smith 1-7.