By Jon Reiter
Charlestown fell behind early in its bid to repeat as Class 3A Sectional 31 champions Friday at Brownstown Central as the No. 3 Braves cruised to a win over the Pirates, 62-6.
“They came out and stopped the run early, and we weren’t able to get anything going,” Pirates coach Jason Hawkins said. “I really don’t know what else to say. They were a better team tonight.”
Two field goals from Brownstown kicker Skyler Lewis within the first 8 minutes gave the 12-0 Braves a 6-0 lead. The signs that it might not be Charlestown’s night came early.
On the Pirates’ opening drive, a bad snap to quarterback Tristan Chester on second down resulted in a loss of nine yards and after a 2-yard run by Tate Boley on third down, Charlestown (8-4) was forced to punt.
The Braves drove deep into Charlestown territory, but Pirate cornerback Jason Houchens batted down a pass from quarterback Clay Brown intended for Terry Anderson in the end zone on third-and-goal. That resulted in a 21-yard field goal from Lewis to give Brownstown a 3-0 lead.
As Charlestown’s next drive stalled near their own 30, Drew Shoemaker blocked Charlestown punter Eli Daniel’s kick attempt and recovered the ball. A few plays later, Lewis added another field goal from 22 yards to give the Braves a 6-0 lead with four minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
The dam burst in the second quarter. Jacob Wilson gave Brownstown a 13-0 lead with an 8-yard touchdown run early in the frame. Charlestown’s ensuing drive moved the Pirates into Brownstown territory. One key play resulted in a connection on third down between Chester and Alex Smith for a 30-yard gain that took the football to the Brave 38.
On third down, Chester’s pass attempt was batted down at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Jacob Jackson at the 37 and Brownstown took over. On the first play of the Brownstown drive, Mitchell Grider took a screen from Brown 52 yards.
Brown, who at one point completed 10 consecutive passes in the first half, found Grider in the end zone a few plays later for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Brown would toss another touchdown pass near the end of the first half, a 5-yarder to John McKinney, to give Brownstown a 27-0 lead at intermission.
Brownstown continued to pour it on in the second half. Caleb Wischmeier scored on a 9-yard run on their opening drive, and on Charlestown’s first drive of the third quarter, Kyle Jensen picked off a Chester pass and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.
With 8:06 remaining, Brownstown’s lead swelled to 48-0, and the Charlestown faithful began to realize their season was coming to an end.
Chester connected well with Alex Smith, who finished with six catches for 73 yards, and tight end Hunter Crace (four for 53 yards), but also tossed three interceptions and was pressured all night long by the stout Brownstown defense, which sacked the junior signal caller five times.
“They’re a very good football team,” Hawkins said. “They showed tonight they’re capable of beating just about anyone.”
Brown completed 15 of 20 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns, and Grider hauled in six catches for 132 yards receiving to go along with two touchdowns.
CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 31
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL 62, CHARLESTOWN 6
Charlestown 0 0 0 6— 6
Brownstown 6 21 21 14—62
B — Skyller Lewis 23 field goal, 8:21.
B — Lewis 22 field goal, 4:00.
B — Jacob Wilson 7 run (Lewis kick), 10:51.
B — Mitchell Grider 11 pass from Clay Brown (Lewis kick), 6:53.
B — John McKinney 5 pass from Brown (Lewis kick), 4:01.
B — Caleb Wischmeyer 14 run (Lewis kick), 8:51.
B — Kyle Jenson 30 interception return (Lewis kick), 8:06.
B — Grider 36 pass from Brown (Lewis kick), 4:17.
B — Filippo Lippi-Hutcheson 1 run (Lewis kick), 11:31.
C — Hunter Crace 15 pass from Tristan Chester (pass failed), 8:09.
B — Lippi-Hutcheson 1 run (Lewis kick), 5:38.
Charlestown: Chester 11-22-153-3.
Brownstown: Brown 15-20-286-0.
Charlestown: Cameron Hopson 7-47, Matt Myers 12-25, Jarren Anderson 4-22, Jarrett Farmer 1-6, Tate Boley 11-5, Jimmy Garcia 3-0.
Brownstown: Lippi-Hutcheson 9-81, Noah Cotten 9-66, Wischmeyer 4-41, Wlison 3-14, Drew Barnett 2-10, Justin Donnells 3-6, McKinney 1-3, Brown 2-minus 2, Stuckwisch 1-minus 4, Kyle Kramer 1-minus 5, Shoemaker 1-minus 7.
Charlestown: Alex Smith 5-73, Crace 5-56, Boley 1-24.
Brownstown: Grider 4-102, Jensen 3-58, Wilson 1-36, Wischmeyer 1-27, Cotten 1-25, Mitchell Scarlett 1-15, Terry Anderson 2-14, McKinney 1-5, Donnels 1-4.