Down! Set! Hut! Welcome back to the Southern Indiana Monday Morning Quarterback, where we look back at the news, notes and quotes from the local high school weekend that was, and look ahead at what's to come.
CORYDON — Charlestown senior running back Marion Lukes gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so.
He recently became the program’s all-time leading rusher and he continues to add onto that total.
However, the Pirates’ defense deserves plenty of praise as well.
“Our defense has really carried us the whole year so far,” senior quarterback/cornerback Andrew Snider said following Charlestown’s 41-0 win at Corydon Central on Friday night. “[It’s] given us a chance to win every single game we’ve played.”
It’s also one of the best defenses in the state, statistically speaking. Through Friday’s games the Pirates ranked 15th over all five classes in opponents’ points per game (8.86). (It’s definitely worth noting that Silver Creek ranks 13th at 8.14 ppg.)
Friday night, the Charlestown defense dominated Corydon Central. The Pirates pitched their second shutout of the season while allowing the Panthers to gain only 158 yards — 2.7 per play.
A lot of that yardage came on Corydon’s second-to-last drive. The Panthers started on their own 34 and nine plays — all runs — later they were on Charlestown’s 11 as the third quarter ended. Between periods, Pirates coach Jason Hawkins asked his defense, “I thought you guys wanted a shutout?”
Three plays later, after a holding penalty pushed Corydon back 10 yards, the defense was assured of a shutout when senior Braiden Murphy intercepted a pass by Panthers’ quarterback Nolan Adams. That was one of three turnovers Charlestown forced in the game.
When the Pirates weren’t forcing miscues, they were flying to the football.
Junior linebacker Deke Brown topped the team with 14 tackles while junior middle linebacker Brody Wagers had 11. Additionally, senior outside linebacker Bo Braunecker and senior safety Brice Sweeney tallied 10 tackles apiece.
Of his stops, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Braunecker had four for losses, including a pair of sacks.
“Braunecker had a heck of a game on defense,” Hawkins said immediately afterward. “I can count in my head four or five tackles for losses that I know he had. He had some hits tonight that I was praying that the kid he that he hit was going to get up. He really performed great tonight.”
While Braunecker is the leader, it’s a defense that’s solid from the front to the back.
The Pirates’ D-line features ends Addison Logsdon, a senior, and Manuel Ordorica, a junior, as well as 6-2, 300-pound senior nose tackle Steven Wilson.
“He’s a big space-eater,” Hawkins said. “This is his first year of really getting to play varsity and he’s enjoying it. And he’s doing really well.”
Logsdon leads that group with 45 tackles.
The second line of defense is comprised of middle linebackers Brown and Wagers as well as outside linebackers Braunecker and sophomore Deven Lukes.
Brown tops the team with 73 tackles (10.4 per game), while Braunecker has 62 stops — including 17 for losses (which ranks eighth in the state according to maxpreps.com) — and Wagers has 55.
The last line of defense includes Sweeney and sophomore Jaron Almeciga at safety and Snider and 6-5 senior Avery Duncan at cornerback. Murphy, the team’s top receiver, and Marion Lukes, who has a team-best two interceptions, are also part-time players in the secondary.
Charlestown’s D, its defensive backfield in particular, could be up for one of its bigger challenges of the season this Friday night, when the Pirates host Salem at 7 p.m. Last year Charlestown roasted the Lions 37-14 at Salem in the penultimate game of the regular season. The Lions, though, avenged that loss with a 27-20 triumph two weeks later in the first round of the sectional.
“It’s going to be fun to watch next week because Salem’s got a really good offense and they can throw the ball, so we’ll see what our secondary’s got,” Hawkins said after the Corydon win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
This was probably the most hotly-contested battle of the season so far because there were so many great performances, but it's hard to beat what Marion Lukes did at Corydon on Friday night. The standout running back, who announced his decommitment to Eastern Kentucky University and his commitment to Central Michigan on Sunday on Twitter, ran the ball 14 times for 249 yards and four touchdowns in the Pirates' pummeling of the Panthers.
Lukes, who became Charlestown's all-time leading rusher two weeks prior against Providence, now has 4,992 rushing yards in his career.
"I'm trying to get 5,000," he said with a smile.
Charlestown & Floyd Central offensive lines: It was too hard to pick between the two O-lines that both had outstanding performances. The Pirates rolled up 391 yards of total offense on only 33 plays — an average of 11.8 yards per play — in their win at Corydon Central. The Highlanders, meanwhile, amassed 464 yards of total offense (216 passing, 248 rushing) on only 39 plays to average 11.9 yards per play.
Landon Deweese (Floyd Central): The senior wide receiver/defensive back scored three touchdowns, in three different ways, in the Highlanders' 55-24 win at Jennings County. Deweese caught a TD pass, returned an interception for a touchdown and also had a special teams TD.
Isaac Findley (Jeffersonville): The senior RB ran for 173 yards and a 72-yard touchdown in the Red Devils’ 35-7 win at Madison.
Colin Flake (Providence): The senior running back ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in the Pioneers’ 21-6 win over Mitchell.
Myles Johnson (New Albany): The sophomore running back ran for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 20-17 triumph over Seymour.
Ben Landers (Silver Creek): The junior quarterback ran 14 times for 113 yards and three touchdowns in the Dragons’ 40-7 victory at North Harrison.
Devaca Parks (Jeffersonville): The senior wide receiver/linebacker had three touchdowns in the Red Devils’ rout of Madison. He caught three passes — for TDs of 56, 57 and 11 — for 124 yards.
Tristan Polk (Floyd Central): The junior QB completed 10 of 13 passes for 216 yards and two TDs while also rushing for another score in the Highlanders' 55-24 win at Jennings County.
Kyondre Winford (New Albany): The sophomore quarterback ran 12 times for 163 yards and also completed a pair of passes — including a 49-yard TD toss — in the Bulldogs’ victory over the Owls.
Wenkers Wright (Floyd Central): The junior running back ran eight times for 147 yards (18.4 yards per carry) and three TDs in the Highlanders' blowout at Jennings.
Here’s a quick glance at this Friday’s games.
Silver Creek (7-0, 6-0) at Brownstown Central (7-0, 6-0): It's finally here, the Game of the Year! The undefeated Dragons at the undefeated Braves, the de facto Mid-Southern Conference championship game. Let's hope it lives up to the hype.
Bedford North Lawrence (2-5, 2-2) at Floyd Central (5-2, 3-1): The Highlanders look to build off of their lopsided win at Jennings.
Clarksville (1-6, 1-5) at Corydon Central (2-5, 1-5): The Generals try to end their 5-game losing streak when they play the Panthers, who have lost two straight.
Edinburgh (0-7) at Rock Creek (2-5): The Lions look to bounce back from their 72-0 loss at North Daviess when they host the winless Lancers.
Jennings County (3-4, 1-3) at Jeffersonville (2-5, 2-2): The Red Devils try ride the wave of Friday's decisive win at Madison.
New Albany (2-5, 1-3) at Madison (1-6, 1-3): The Bulldogs, fresh off their win over Seymour, look to build up some late-season momentum with a second straight victory.
Providence (3-4) at Milan (5-2): The Pioneers look for their second straight win while the Indians go for their third in a row.
Salem (5-2, 5-2) at Charlestown (5-2, 4-2): The Pirates try for their sixth straight victory, while also trying to avenge last year’s season-ending loss to the Lions.