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FOOTBALL: Pirates enter postseason hot

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Charlestown's Marion Lukes looks for running space during the Pirates' 13-7 win over Providence at Dutch Reis Field on Friday. Photo by Joe Ullrich

No local team was hotter down the stretch than Charlestown. 

The Pirates won their final seven games of the regular season, outscoring their opponents by an average of 26.4 points. Their last loss was 21-14 to Brownstown Central in Week 2. 

Coincidentally, Charlestown (7-2) will host the unbeaten Braves (9-0), who are ranked No. 3 in Class 3A, at 7 p.m. tonight in a Sectional 31 first-round game.

On Aug. 30, the Pirates led Brownstown 14-7 with a little over 5 minutes remaining at Dutch Reis Field. However the Braves, helped by some short fields, rallied for two late touchdowns to win — their sixth victory in a row over Charlestown. 

"We were close," Pirates coach Jason Hawkins said. "We were up most of the game, a couple things went their way late. ... But we had our chances." 

This regular-season rematch also pits one of the state's top offenses — Brownstown ranks 21st over all six classes in scoring (41.11 points per game) — against one of its top defenses — the Pirates are 12th in scoring D (8.22 ppg).  

Both defenses did a fairly good job of bottling up the opposing offense in the first meeting. The Braves tallied 204 yards of total offense to Charlestown's 185 — including only 47 on the ground.  

"Our offensive line was brand new in their second game," Hawkins said. "We're hoping we can run the ball a little bit better." 


The Dragons (8-1) make the 2-hour-plus drive to take on the 4A No. 1 Trojans (9-0) in a Sectional 23 first-round game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.  

Silver Creek North Harrison football-5.jpg

Silver Creek quarterback Ben Landers breaks the grasp from North Harrison defensive lineman Lucas Ables during Friday's game. 

This is a matchup of two of the top scoring defenses in the state, as well as a rematch of a recent sectional final. 

East Central has given up only 5.22 points per game — which ranks second over all six classes — this season. The Trojans have allowed a touchdown, or less, in seven of their nine games and have four shutouts to their credit. Two years ago East Central shutout Silver Creek 24-0 in the sectional final en route to the state title. 

Meanwhile the Dragons enter 18th in the state in scoring D (10.33 ppg). 

"Defensively we have to stop the run, and not get lulled asleep and allow them to hit the big play over the top," first-year Silver Creek coach Dave Papenhaus said. 


The Pioneers (3-6) beat the Generals 35-8 Sept. 13 at Newcom Field. There's more on the line tonight in the Town Championship Part II (i.e. the first round of 2A Sectional 39). 


Clarksville's Dae'von Fuqu. 

Clarksville (3-6) played without junior standout Dae'von Fuqua, who sat out due to a violation of team rules, in the first meeting. Fuqua has sparked the Generals to back-to-back victories over Corydon Central (34-29) and North Harrison (62-60). Slowing down Fuqua, along with junior quarterback Keyshawn Minor and freshman running back Robert Lamar, will be a big key for Providence. 

"They’ve got a heck of a one-two punch back there with Fuqua and Minor, and the freshman running back is very good too. They’ve got some dangerous weapons," Pioneers coach Larry Denison said. "We’re going to have to be ready for them. I’m sure they’re going to come in with a lot of confidence and they’re going to be feeling emotional and sky high and ready to play. And they should be, they’re playing very well. We’re going to have our hands full." 

Providence, meanwhile, may be without starting quarterback Bishop Edwards. The senior injured his knee in Week 8's 20-0 loss at Milan and didn't play in last week's setback at fifth-ranked Linton-Stockton. The Pioneers hope to have him back tonight. If they don't, senior Andrew Henderson will take over the QB duties. 

Providence has outscored the Generals by an average of 39.6 points in its current nine-game win streak in the series.

"We will need to play a complete game defensively," Clarksville coach Justin Boser said. "We need all 11 guys running to the football, and two or three takeaways. Our corners must be ready for the three or four deep shots they take." 


The Lions (2-6), in their second year of IHSAA postseason eligibility, look for their first-ever tournament win when they host the Thunderbirds (1-8) at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Woehrle Field in a Class A Sectional 48 first-round game.  

"We are very excited to host our very first home sectional game," first-year Rock Creek coach Josh Caldwell said. "North Central has some athletes that we will definitely have to watch for, but I believe we can win this game if we can keep the intensity up and the turnovers down. The postseason is a whole new ball game and everyone is 0-0. A loss sends you home and this team wants to keep playing!"

Below is a little more information on all of tonight's games:  


• TIME: 7 p.m.

• LOCATION: Dutch Reis Field.

• RECORDS: Brownstown Central 9-0, Charlestown 7-2.

• RANKINGS: Brownstown Central — No. 3 in Class 3A in Associated Press polls; No. 5 in 3A in Indiana Football Coaches Association polls.

• COACHES: Brownstown Central — Reed May (268-52 in 27th year); Charlestown — Jason Hawkins (94-36 in 12th year at CHS, 100-49 in 14th overall).

• SERIES LAST 35 YEARS: Brownstown 29-16.

• LAST MEETING: Aug. 30, 2019 — Brownstown Central 21, Charlestown 14: The Braves scored two touchdowns in the final 5 minutes, 19 seconds for their sixth straight win over the Pirates.

• NEWS, NOTES, STATS & STORYLINES: Brownstown has won the past six meetings against Charlestown by an average of 22.3 points per game. ... The Braves are led by QB Derek Thompson, who has rushed for 1,249 yards and passed for 560. Senior Braeden Walker has rushed for 437 yards. Junior Lucas Hines tops the team with 108 total tackles. ... The Pirates will try for their eighth straight win, but their first since Oct. 31, 2014 over the Braves. ... Charlestown senior RB Marion Lukes has rushed for 1,561 yards and 22 TDs this season. Senior WR Braiden Murphy tops the team with 11 catches for 318 yards and three TDs. Junior LB Deke Brown leads the defense  with 96 total tackles, while senior LB Bo Braunecker has 84, including 22 for losses. ... The Pirates will be without sophomore LB Deven Lukes, Marion's little brother, who suffered a knee injury in last Friday's win at Eastern. 

• HAWKINS SAYS: "We're hoping to eliminate mistakes, tackle well and we need to stop their quarterback, he's a really good player." 



• TIME: 7 p.m.

• LOCATION: Newcom Field. 

• RECORDS: Providence 3-6, Clarksville 3-6. 

• COACHES: Providence — Larry Denison (51-47 in 9th year); Clarksville — Justin Boser (3-16 in 2nd year). 

• SERIES LAST 35 YEARS: Providence 36-7. 

• LAST MEETING: Sept. 13, 2019 — Providence 35, Clarksville 8: The Pioneers built a 29-0 halftime lead, thanks in part to four first-half turnovers by the Generals, en route to their ninth consecutive win over their town rival.

• NEWS, NOTES, STATS & STORYLINES: Providence is looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses. ... Senior RB Colin Flake has rushed for 791 yards and eight TDs. ... Providence played a difficult regular-season schedule. Its six losses were to teams who are a combined 43-10. ... The Generals try for their first 3-game win streak since 2012 and their first postseason victory since 2013. ... Junior QB Keyshawn Minor has thrown for 1,341 yards and 13 TDs and run for 274 yards and seven more scores. Junior WR-RB Dae'von Fuqua has 23 receptions for 636 yards and four TDs and has rushed for 630 yards and six TDs. Freshman RB Robert Lamar has run for 355 yards and also has 16 catches for 337 yards and four TDs. 

• DENISON SAYS: "If we play well, if we execute, I like our team and I like our chances. But we’ve got to eliminate the mental mistakes we’ve had the past couple weeks. We can’t have the bad snaps, the penalties, the false starts, or the holding penalties, and put ourselves where we’ve got second-and-15 or second-and-20 or third-and-25, that’s not what we’re built for. If we can play smart and disciplined and execute the way we can I like our chances." 

• BOSER SAYS: "This a big game to see how far we have come as a team. The first game against Providence we turned the ball over four times in the first half and gave up an onside kick. We must continue to take care of the football. Last week we did not lose an onside kick or turn the ball over. ... Offensively we will look to keep getting the ball to both running backs."



• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• LOCATION: Trojan Field, St. Leon.

• RECORDS: Silver Creek 8-1; East Central 9-0  

• RANKINGS: East Central — No. 1 in Class 4A in AP polls; No. 2 in 4A in IFCA polls. 

• COACHES: Silver Creek — Dave Papenhaus (8-1 in 1st year); East Central — Jake Meiners (9-0 in 1st year).

• SERIES LAST 35 YEARS: East Central 1-0. 

• LAST MEETING: Nov. 3, 2017 — East Central 24, Silver Creek 0: The Trojans blanked the Dragons in the sectional final en route to the state championship.  

• NEWS, NOTES, STATS & STORYLINES: The Dragons look to carry over the momentum from their 28-14 win over Corydon Central last Friday night. ... Junior QB Ben Landers leads Silver Creek with 534 rushing yards and seven TDs. Senior RB Heath Knight has run for 443 yards and six TDs while sophomore Easton Messer rushed for 347 yards and six TDs. ... The Trojans have won four straight sectional titles and 26 of their last 27 games against Indiana opponents. Their lone in-state loss in that stretch was 28-24 to Evansville Central in last year's regional. ... East Central is led by junior RB Jake Fike, who has run for 1,069 yards and 19 TDs. Junior QB Ryan Bond has thrown for 995 yards and 11 TDs. His top targets are seniors Mac Studer (18 catches for 326 yards, 3 TDs) and David Badescu (16-271-2).  

• PAPENHAUS SAYS: "We are excited for the opportunity to play against the number one team in the state. We have to establish our running game, and be efficient on offense. ... We also have to be sound in the kicking game. Nothing can change the momentum like a big play on special teams." 



• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• LOCATION: Woehrle Field. 

• RECORDS: North Central 1-8, Rock Creek 2-6.  

• COACHES: North Central — Brad Hudson (1-8 in 1st year); Rock Creek — Josh Caldwell (2-6 in 1st year). 

• SERIES LAST 35 YEARS: No meetings. 


• NEWS, NOTES, STATS & STORYLINES: The Thunderbirds have lost five straight games. Their lone win this season was a 21-8 victory over Indiana Deaf on Sept. 14. ... North Central has averaged 7.6 points per game and has scored in double figures only twice. ... The Lions look to end their 3-game losing streak. ... Senior QB Johnathon Browning has thrown for 700 yards and 12 TDs while also rushing for 718 yards and three more scores. His top target is senior WR Luis Corrales, who has 16 receptions for 352 yards and six TDs. 

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