BY MIKE RILEY
The Charlestown Pirates passed what wa s probably their biggest challenge of the season back on Sept. 28 when they traveled to Corydon Central when both teams were undefeated and ranked Top 5 in Class 3A. Charlestown stunned the Panthers 47-0.
So what do the Pirates do for an encore as they host the Corydon in the second round of Class 3A, Sectional 23 play?
It was no problem again as the Pirates this time ran out to a 49-0 halftime lead on the way to a 49-6 victory and a trip to the sectional championship at Brownstown Central next Friday.
“We decided that we were going to come out tonight and show people that we’re better than they think we are,” said Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins. I think we did that.
“All season long people have said. ‘What are you going to do when it rains?’ Well. Tonight we proved that we could run in it , we could play from a shotgun snap — and again our defense played great.”
Charlestown wasted no time in getting started as they needed but five plays to get on the board — a 30-yard touchdown run by Aaron Daniel. Corydon turned the ball over two plays later and it took Charlestown only three plays to get on the board — a 24-yard run by Daniel. Daniel added touchdown runs of 6, 5 and 47 yards, the latter coming on a fake punt. He then threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Cody Donahue as the Pirates scored on their first six possessions.
The Pirates were forced to punt on their next series. That was interesting as well, as Daniel uncorked a 56-yard bomb that rolled dead at the Panther 1.
Three and out by the Charlestown defense put Daniel back at work again, this time needing just five plays to go 36 yards with Seth McCutcheon taking it in from the 3.
When the first half came to an end, Charlestown had racked up 360 yards of offense. Corydon had four turnovers, only four first downs and just 40 yards of offense.
The halftime advantage again allowed Hawkins to rest most of his starters for the second half, including Daniel, who completed 6-of -9 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown and also gained 163 yards on nine carries with the five touchdowns. McCutcheon gained 122 yards on 17 carries.
What will it take to stop the Pirates ?
“I really don’t know,” Daniel said. “I know that we’ve got a good team. Most of us have played together since little league and that makes a difference.”
Corydon Central coach Darin Ward was impressed with Daniel — again.
“I don’t think we tackled him three times all night,” he said. “We hit him, we just couldn’t bring him down.
“Charlestown, defensively, Id on’t think people realize how good they are. And as for Daniel, I’ve seen some great players, including some that were named Mr. Football. If they can go deep into the tournament, then he can get the recognition that he deserves.”
Corydon finally got on the board with 9:45 left as Mitch Akers hauled in a 39 yard pass fro Chase Burton. But overall, it was a rough night for Burton who completed 7-of-20 passes for 100 yards and an interception.
Charlestown must now do another repeat, beating another team for the second time this season as they travel to Brownstown for the sectional championship. The Pirates defeated the Braves 41-3 in Charlestown back on Aug. 24. The Braves haven’t lost since, including a 35-7 win over Salem in Saturday’s Sectional 23 semifinal.
And with all the success Hawkins has had in now his sixth season with the Pirates, he can get his first sectional title next week.
“Let’s finish it next week,” he said.
CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 23
CHARLESTOWN 49, CORYDON CENTRAL 6
Corydon Central 0 0 0 6— 6
Charlestown 28 21 0 0—49
Ch — Aaron Daniel (Daniel kick), 10:44.
Ch — Daniel 24 run (Daniel kick), 9:38.
Ch — Daniel 6 run (Daniel kick), 3:34.
Ch — Daniel 5 run (Daniel kick), :12.
Ch — Daniel 47 run (Daniel kick), 10:24.
Ch — Cody Donahue 20 pass from Daniel (Daniel kick), 9:49.
Ch — McCutchen 4 run (Daniel kick), 1:46.
CC — Mitch Akers 39 pass from Chase Burton (conversion failed), 9:45.
Corydon (25-21): Brown 12-11, Allen 4-11, Burton 6-1, Buck 2-(minus 8); Charlestown (46-369): Daniel. 9-163, McCutchen 18-130, Darren Taylor 5-46, Ryan Wilkerson 5-18, Syd Gieseking 3-14, Christian Bates 2-3, Jared Cardwell 1-2, Zach Higdon 3-(minus 7).
Corydon (7-20-100-1): Burton 7-20-100-1; Charlestown (6-9-64-0): Daniel 6-9-64-0.
Corydon: Akers 4-74, Ross 3-26; Charlestown: Wesley Sexton 1-26, Donahue 1-20, Tyler Odle 3-14, Gage Brafford 1-4.