> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 23
CHARLESTOWN AT BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL
In six seasons at Charlestown, Jason Hawkins has won 51 of 66 games, including four Mid-Southern Conference championships.
Earlier this year, he said he’d give all of the regular-season success back for a sectional championship.
On Friday, Charlestown will get that chance. The Pirates will play MSC-rival Brownstown Central in their second Sectional 23 championship game in three years. In 2010, Indian Creek beat Charlestown 48-28 for the title.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Hawkins said. “We’re going to be fired up and ready. This is what you play for. Win this game and you get a trophy. This is what the season is about, making a run in the playoffs. This is an exciting time.”
The Pirates have put up some astounding numbers. They have the highest-scoring offense in the state at 59.8 points per game and they’re fourth in scoring defense at 6.3 for an average margin of 53.5 points per game, also the highest in the state.
Brownstown has been impressive, as well, since a 41-3 Week 2 loss to the Pirates. Since the Aug. 24 defeat, the Braves have outscored their opponents 310-75.
“They’re going to be better than we when played them in Week 2,” Hawkins said of the Braves. “We’re just going to have to come up with a game plan. They’re going to try to do what they do. It’s just a matter of can they do it.”
Hawkins said if any coach is capable of pulling off a 38-point turnaround, it’s Brownstown’s Reed May. And he’s not surprised May’s Braves rebounded after the beating they took in the second week of the season.
“They’ve gotten better by moving some kids around. That’s a sign of a good coach,” Hawkins said. “They do scare me because of the guy standing on the other sideline. He’s not going to let them get down on themselves. They’re going to keep fighting and playing, even if we take the lead. We know that.”
Nothing has stopped the unbeaten and second-ranked Pirates yet. Hawkins hopes that the big stage doesn’t find a way of making his squad stumble.
“I don’t think our kids will get nervous or be scared,” Hawkins said. “I think they’ll just continue to play, but you never know how they’ll react. We haven’t been in this situation in a while, but this team believes in themselves and in each other.”