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November 8, 2012

H.S. FOOTBALL PICKS: Titans will get the Pirate treatment in the regional

CHARLESTOWN — For about the last six weeks, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that Charlestown is the best team in Class 3A.

Even I’ve underestimated the Pirates.

Yeah, I picked them to beat Corydon Central in the Sectional 23 semifinal and Brownstown Central in the championship game. However, I also predicted that both teams would play Charlestown closer the second time around.

Man, was I wrong.

The Pirates had both games won by halftime, leading Corydon 49-0 and the Braves 41-0 at the break.

You can argue that Gibson Southern is better than Corydon and Brownstown. It would be a tough argument to make, but you could do it. However, there’s no way to argue that the Titans are 53 points better than Brownstown.

The only thing the Titans have going for them is that they’ve played more close games. They beat Boonville by two points, 33-31, on Sept. 7, and Heritage Hills, 14-10 on Sept. 21 before back-to-back overtime wins in the final two rounds of the sectional, 37-31 over Vincennes then 27-24 over Evansville Memorial.

But it doesn’t matter if you’re tough in close games if the game isn’t going to be close.

Keep in mind that the same Heritage Hills team beat by four points, Brownstown beat by three just two weeks before getting crushed by Charlestown, 62-10.

Welcome to your first regional, Gibson Southern. Your prize is the highest-scoring team in Indiana high school football history.

Charlestown hasn’t played in a regional since 1996. That streak ended last Friday.

The Pirates haven’t won a regional since 1989. That streak will end this Friday. Like Charlestown’s first 12 games, it will be no contest.

Chatard — the Pirates’ likely semistate opponent — is the one team that has a chance to keep Charlestown out of Lucas Oil Stadium and likely the only team with a shot at keeping the Pirates from winning the state title.

We’ll leave that for next week.

PREDICTION: Charlestown 55, Gibson Southern 14.

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