The feeling of déjà vu was perhaps unavoidable.
Last Friday in the Class 3A Sectional 31 semifinals, the Charlestown football team built a cushy 28-0 lead at halftime against host Brown County behind an eye-opening starting debut at quarterback by sophomore Tate Boley and an unyielding defense that was suffocating the Eagles’ ground game.
The game seemed in the bag. The Pirates were coasting into the next round.
But Brown County had other ideas, just like Gibson Southern did last season against Charlestown in the Class 3A regional.
In that playoff contest, the Titans erased a five-touchdown deficit in rallying to beat the stunned Pirates 57-49.
Brown County provoked a similar feeling of dread in the second half.
After switching to an aerial attack, the Eagles roared back as the Pirates’ secondary struggled. When Brown County quarterback Dillon Boknecht threw his third touchdown pass to Luke Huls, Charlestown’s lead had dwindled to 35-24 — an advantage that could have been one TD if the Eagles had been successful in the extra point or two-point conversion game.
Depending on your perspective, Charlestown (8-3) either put the game away en route to a 41-24 victory or Brown County torpedoed its own chances of completing the comeback. Maybe it was a little bit of both.
The Pirates got a late interception by junior Jason Houchens. That pick set up senior Matt Myers, who followed the takeaway by breaking off a 49-yard touchdown run.
However, before that sequence, Brown County had a first-and-goal from the Charlestown 5-yard line that ended with a 48-yard field-goal attempt due to a
mind-boggling six penalties.
Previously, the Eagles were forced to attempt a 50-yard extra point because of four penalties, including a personal foul.
For Brown County fans, it was painful to watch. Charlestown fans could relate. Thankfully, the feeling of déjà vu was replaced by jubilation as the Pirates will have the chance to defend their sectional crown at Class 3A No. 4 and undefeated Brownstown Central this coming Friday.
— Adam Pruiett
In Week 8, Floyd Central beat Jennings County handily, 54-30.
But it wasn’t all good news. In the win, the Highlanders surrendered 376 yards on the ground to the Panthers, including 232 to Jennings County’s Preston Teltow.
Apparently, the Highlander defense took shutting down Teltow and the Jennings attack to heart last Friday. Floyd held the Panthers to 145 yards rushing and Teltow to 92 in their first shutout victory in more than a decade 27-0 in the Class 5A Sectional 14 semifinal.
“We had two weeks to prepare for them, so we really followed the game plan very well,” Floyd coach Brian Glesing said. “It was a big deal for us.”
The shutout was the first for the Highlanders since October of 2003 and
the first under Glesing.
“A choppy field and [Jennings County] turnovers helped,” Glesing said, “but a shutout’s a shutout and that’s cool.”
Glesing said his defense will have to be even better in this coming Friday’s sectional championship game against Whiteland. The Class 5A No. 3 Warriors are averaging 37 points per game and have scored 40-plus points in half of their games.
“It’s a little bit of a different animal this week,” Glesing said.
— Greg Mengelt
MATTINGLY’S INJURY BIG FACTOR IN PIONEER LOSS
An injury to Providence quarterback and defensive back Owen Mattingly played a key role during the Pioneers’ 28-7 loss at Class 2A No. 8 Triton Central in last Friday’s Class 2A Sectional 39 semifinal.
In the second quarter, the senior suffered a sprained ankle on defense. It appeared that Mattingly was going to fight through the ailment when he ran for a 42-yard touchdown with 8:51 left in the third quarter to tie the game at seven.
But Mattingly and the Providence offense struggled after that. Following Mattingly’s TD, the Pioneers (7-4) failed to get into Tiger territory and turned the ball over three times.
Even though Triton Central entered the game with the fifth-best scoring defense in Class 2A, Providence coach Larry Denison thought the Pioneers’ offense would have been very productive if Mattingly did not get hurt.
“Without Owen, we were very limited on what we could do,” Denison said. “I would’ve loved to have been able to have Owen the whole game. It’s a much different ballgame if that is the case and Owen is healthy. But I’m not going to take anything away from them. They played outstanding. They are a very sound football team and we knew that coming in.”
Twenty seniors, including Mattingly, played their final game in a Providence uniform last Friday. Denison credited the seniors for leading the Pioneers to a six-game winning streak after starting the season 1-3.
“I’m so proud of the way they did it,” Denison said. “After Week 4, we were 1-3. But they handled all the adversity and came up with the leadership. They were phenomenal. They are going to be sorely missed, not just as players but as leaders in the locker room and on the field.”
— Kevin Harris
DEVILS GIVE STRONG EFFORT
After Class 6A No. 3 Center Grove dispatched New Albany 70-14, the prevailing wisdom was that the Trojans would do the same to Jeffersonville,
which had similar results to New Albany during the season.
Instead, the Red Devils played Center Grove nearly even through the first 23 minutes and were in the game until two late Trojan touchdowns in the 35-0 loss.
Jeff had a chance to tie the game at 7-7 on the first play of the second quarter when Red Devil senior Dionte Allen fumbled through the end zone for a touchback on fourth-and-goal from the Center Grove 1.
Jeff coach Lonnie Oldham wants the box score to be revised to show the score was 7-7 because he believe Allen got over the goal line before fumbling.
“Definite TD and not a touchback on film,” Oldham said in an email on Saturday.
Jeff’s third-year head coach also feels the Red Devils were just a few plays from potentially pulling off a stunning upset.
“We played football [on Friday]!” Oldham wrote. “Emotionally, we can feel good about our more than competitive play.”
WEEK 11 STARS
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Tate Boley, Charlestown: In his first career start at quarterback, Boley helped lead the Pirates to a 41-24 victory over Brown County. Boley had three first-half TD runs — of 51, 24 and 9 yards — and 198 yards on the ground to help get defending sectional champion Charlestown into the Class 3A Sectional 31 championship game against Brownstown Central.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Gabriel Kennedy, Floyd Central: Kennedy had a pair of key interceptions as the Highlander defense earned its first shutout since October of 2003. Kennedy helped shut down a Panther offense that scored 30 on the Highlanders just two weeks earlier. Kennedy also had a 28-yard fourth-quarter TD run on offense to seal the victory.
OTHER WEEK 11 STARS
• Jacob Wheeler, Charlestown: The junior defensive lineman had six solo tackles, five assists, a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss as the Pirates beat Brown County.
• Andrew Wright, Clarksville: Wright caught three passes for 73 yards, including a 54-yard TD pass from Wyatt Kissel, in last Friday’s Class 2A Sectional 39 semifinal loss to Paoli.
• David Morales, Jeffersonville: Morales had an astounding 15 total tackles in Jeff’s 35-0 loss in the Class 6A Sectional 8 championship game.
• Shawn Pezzullo, Silver Creek:. Pezzullo had 10 tackles and broke up two key passes on defense in the Dragons’ 49-15 loss to Evansville Reitz in the Class 4A Sectional 24 semifinals.
• Jake Harper, Charlestown: Harper had six solo tackles, seven assists, one sack, one tackle for loss and a pass broken up in Charlestown’s win over Brown County.
• Eli Miller, Floyd Central: Miller had eight tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries in the Highlanders’ shutout win over Jennings County.
• Tony Goins, Clarksville: The junior linebacker had seven tackles in the Generals’ loss to Paoli.
• Matt Bell, Providence: Bell had 161 yards on the ground against a strong Triton Central defense in Friday’s Class 2A Sectional 39 semifinal loss to the Tigers.
• Brad Graham, Silver Creek: Graham had a team-best 61 yards on the ground and a touchdown in the Dragons’ season-ending loss to Reitz.
• Damin Smith, Jeffersonville: Smith had eight tackles and an interception in the Devils’ loss to No. 3 Center Grove.
• Adam Hoff, Charlestown: Hoff had two quarterback sacks and two tackles for loss as the Pirates took out Brown County.
• Austin Cahill, Clarksville: In his final game as a freshman, Cahill had six tackles at Paoli.
• Chase Herron, Floyd Central: Herron had 11 tackles in the Highlanders’ 27-0 shutout win over Jennings.
Highlanders shut down Jennings this time
The feeling of déjà vu was perhaps unavoidable.
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