By KEVIN HARRIS
If anyone believed that the Brownstown Central football team would give Class 3A No. 2 Charlestown a battle entering Friday’s Class 3A Sectional 23 championship game, the Pirates quickly put those thoughts to rest early at Blevins Stadium.
Charlestown needed 10 minutes and 3 seconds to score the first 19 points of the game and cruised past the host Braves to end a 16-year sectional-title drought, 62-10. It was the Pirates’ first sectional championship since 1996 and their fourth overall. Meanwhile, it was Brownstown coach Reed May’s second-worst loss in his successful 20-year tenure at the Braves’ helm.
“It’s a great feeling,” sixth-year Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins told Charlestown Pirate Pride Sports Broadcasting shortly after the game. “This is one of the goals we set when I walked into the interview [for the Charlestown coaching job] and I had a shirt made up that said ‘Return To Glory.’ It feels pretty good to get that first one.”
Charlestown (12-0) will host Gibson Southern (10-2) in next Friday’s Class 3A regional. The Titans won the Class 3A Sectional 24 championship on Friday, beating Evansville Memorial in overtime 27-24.
It was a huge night for Pirates’ All-State quarterback Aaron Daniel. The senior accounted for 405 total yards. He completed 11-of-21 passes for 240 yards and rushed for 165 yards on 19 carries.
Daniel played a role in seven of Charlestown’s nine touchdowns. Daniel made four touchdown passes and three touchdown runs.
The Pirates reached the end zone for the first time at the 8:23 mark of the first quarter. Senior quarterback Aaron Daniel hit senior wide receiver Tyler Odle on a 51-yard touchdown reception, putting Charlestown up 6-0.
After Daniel made an interception on defense, he completed his second scoring pass of the night. With 5:44 left in the opening stanza, Daniel found senior wideout Gage Brafford on a 4-yard touchdown toss to extend the Pirates’ lead to 13-0.
Brownstown’s next series ended on another turnover when Charlestown sophomore Jason Houchens made an interception. Then with 1:57 left in the first, senior receiver Wesley Sexton grabbed a 31-yard touchdown throw from Daniel to increase the Pirates’ advantage to 19-0.
“Tonight, they tried to take away the run. They had eight or nine guys in the box, so we threw the ball,” Hawkins said. “We had a couple of great receivers that made really great plays. Tyler Odle and Wesley Sexton played great — they made plays. [Brownstown] took away our strength, but we did something else.
“That’s the thing that I love about this football team. You can take away the run or you can take away the pass, and we’re going to try to do the opposite.”
Daniel’s first touchdown run of the game was a record-setting one. At the 9:40 mark of the second quarter, Daniel ran 38 yards for a score to extend the lead to 25-0. The touchdown made Daniel the school’s all-time leading rusher, breaking the career rushing mark set by former Pirates’ running back Ryan Roederer.
Odle then ran into the end zone for the two-point conversion to put Charlestown up 27 points.
Daniel reached the end zone again with 4:10 remaining in the first half on a 2-yard TD run to put Charlestown up 34-0.
The Daniel-to-Odle connection came together for the second time at the 12-second mark. Odle caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Daniel, giving the Pirates a comfortable 41-0 lead at halftime.
The Pirates kept on rolling in the second half. Senior running back Seth McCutchen rumbled into the end zone on a 8-yard touchdown run to increase Charlestown’s lead to 48-0.
After Brownstown (10-2) finally scored on a 60-yard touchdown reception by Hayden Stuckwisch with nine minutes left in the third quarter, Daniel responded with a 28-yard TD scamper to give the Pirates a 55-7 advantage.
Brownstown ended the third quarter scoring with a 29-yard field goal by place-kicker Nick Stahl, cutting the Pirates’ lead to 55-10.
Charlestown’s advantage grew to 52 points when Eli Daniel had a 2-yard TD run with 5:33 remaining in regulation.
The Pirates compiled 655 total yards, 403 on the ground and 252 through the air. McCutchen had 22 carries for 127 yards. Sexton caught five receptions for 110 yards, while Odle had three catches for 102 yards.
The Charlestown defense held Brownstown to 227 total yards. The Braves rushed for 87 yards and threw for 140.
The Pirates, who has the top-ranked offense in Indiana, completely dominated the sectional. In their three sectional games, Charlestown outscored the opposition, 193-16.
CHARLESTOWN 62, BROWNSTOWN 10
Charlestown (12-0) 19 22 14 7—62
Brownstown (10-2) 0 0 10 0—10
C — Tyler Odle 51 pass from Aaron Daniel (kick blocked), 8:23.
C — Gage Brafford 4 pass from A. Daniel (A. Daniel kick), 5:44.
C — Wesley Sexton 31 pass from A. Daniel (kick blocked), 1:57.
C — A. Daniel 38 run (Odle run), 9:40.
C — A. Daniel 2 run (A. Daniel kick), 4:10.
C — Odle 32 pass from A. Daniel (A. Daniel kick), :12.
C — Seth McCutchen 8 run (A. Daniel kick), 9:13.
B — Hayden Stuckwisch 60 pass from Jay Wehmiller (Nick Stahl kick), 9:00.
C — A. Daniel 28 run (A. Daniel kick), 4:05.
B — Stahl 29 FG, :43.
C — Eli Daniel 2 run (Chris Shanks kick), 5:33.
Charlestown (62-403): A. Daniel 19-165, McCutchen 22-127, Darren Taylor 5-44, Ryan Wilkerson 6-28, E. Daniel 5-26, Syd Gieseking 3-15, Odle 1-2, Jared Cardwell 1-(-4); Brownstown (29-87): Wehmiller 10-30, Dylan Patman 4-27, Mitchell Scarlett 6-19, Mitchell Grider 2-8, Jacob Jackson 1-4, Clay Brown 2-(0-12), others 4-11.
Charlestown (12-22-252-0): A. Daniel 11-21-240-0; Brownstown (10-16-140-2): Brown 9-15-80-2, Wehmiller 1-1-60-1.
Charlestown: Sexton 5-110, Odle 3-102, Cody Donahue 1-16, Brafford 2-12, Luke Woods 1-12; Brownstown: Stuckwisch 3-76, Jacob Wilson 4-40, Patman 1-17, Wehmiller 1-6, Scarlett 1-1.