BY MIKE RILEY
Four solid drives aided by a strong running game propelled Charlestown to the next round of play in Class 3A Sectional 31 as the Pirates turned back visiting Salem 28-7 at Dutch Reis Field.
The Pirates will now travel to Brown County next Friday as the Eagles advanced with a 42-13 victory over Salem.
“What set the tone tonight was the mentality of our offensive line,” Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins said. “They’re big, strong and they played well. They did a great job of blocking and we did a great job of running the ball.
“Teams know that we’re going to run the ball.], but we had five guys tonight — Antonio [Gaddie], Matt [Myers] Jimmy [Garcia], Tate [Boley] and Eli [Daniel] — that ran it anyway and did a great job.”
Saying it is one thing, but in this case, the stats back it up. In total yards, Charlestown held a 334-105 advantage. On the ground, that advantage was 332-25 with Corydon barely averaging one yard a carry.
Charlestown (7-3) scored a touchdown in every quarter, with the final score coming on an 11 play, 61 yard drive that ended with Garcia scoring on a one yard run with 6:54 left in the game.
Myers got things started with a four-yard touchdown run, Gaddie added touchdown runs of 11 and four yards as Charlestown led 14-7 at halftime and 21-7 ending the third quarter.
Corydon (6-4) got their only score of the game late in the first half following a Charlestown punt that gave the Panthers the ball at the Charlestown 42. There was discussion regarding if the ball hit a Corydon player before being downed by the Pirates, but the ball was given to the Panthers.
They took immediate advantage. The — up to that point — sluggish Corydon offense struck big as quarterback Lannis Buck connected with T.J. Mathes on a 40-yard pass down the left sideline to the Pirate 2. Two plays later, Buck took it in from the 1 and Corydon had closed to within 14-7.
The Pirates, who for the most part had been cruising up to this point, were suddenly in a game.
“Yeah, there was something of a momentum shift,” Hawkins said. “We went in at halftime knowing that we were in a ballgame. Then we came out and got a stop and then scored. Our defense did a great job. That long pass was the only big play we gave up.”
Gaddie finished with 168 yards on 36 carries while Myers finished with 72 yards on 15 carries.
Buck completed 4-of-15 passes for 80 yards. Ben Woodward was the Panthers leading rusher with 17 yards on three carries.
CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 31
CHARLESTOWN 28, CORYDON CENTRAL 7
Corydon 0 7 0 0— 7
Charlestown 7 7 7 7—28
Ch — Matt Myers (Martinez kick), 8:28.
Ch — Antonyo Gaddie (Martinez kick), 5:14.
CC — Lannis Buck 1 run (Thomas kick), :39.
Ch — Gaddie 5 run (Martinez), 5:30.
Ch — Jimmy Garcia (Martinez), 6:54.
Corydon Central (4-15-80-0): Buck 4-15-80-0.
Charlestown (1-3-2-0): Gaddie 1-3-2-0.
Corydon Central (24-25): Ben Woodward 3-17, Newton 4-6, Paden 4-2, McAfee 8-0, Buck 5-0.
Charlestown (66-332): Gaddie 35-168, Myers 15-72, Garcia 8-39, Eli Daniel 4-35, Cameron Hopson 2-17, Tate Boley 2-1.
Corydon Central: Mathes 3-68, Allen 1-12.
Charlestown: Hunter Crace 1-2.