BROWNSTOWN — A fumble on the opening kickoff and a first-quarter injury to starting quarterback Noah Carter were early signs of difficulty for Brown County’s football team during last Friday’s Class 3A Section 31 opening game.
Of course, the most difficult part of night was simply the Eagles’ opponent, Brownstown Central.
Talented and enjoying another successful season, Brownstown (9-1) wasted little time taking control of an eventual 62-0 victory against Brown County.
The Braves scored on their first three possessions and raced to a 42-0 lead by halftime. All nine of Brownstown’s touchdowns came on plays of greater than 10 yards, the shortest on an 11-yard run and the longest on a 73-yard pass.
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“It was a treat to play a first-rate program like Brownstown,” Brown County Head Coach Randy Minniear said. “They’re very strong, disciplined and well-coached. I’d like to see who’s going to beat them (in tournament play). We hope to challenge a program like (Brownstown) in the future.”
Brown County’s offense could not get started against Brownstown’s tough defensive front seven. The Eagles (1-9) gained just 38 offensive yards on 44 plays.
Brownstown defenders spent large portions of the game behind Brown County’s offensive line, dropping the Eagles for negative-62 yards on 11 tackles for loss and another 25 yards on three quarterback sacks.
After Carter departed with an apparent shoulder injury, the Eagles struggled to get their passing game on track, completing just three of 17 attempts.
Brown County’s best offensive play of the game came on a pass, however, when running back Tristan Richards connected with receiver Isaiah Keefauver for a 45-yard gain on a halfback option play.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, such excitement was rare as Brownstown intercepted two passes, forced six punts and stopped the Eagles on downs twice.
Junior fullback Justin Burns had Brown County’s longest run, a 13-yard gain, and finished as the Eagles’ leading rusher.
Defensively, Brown County was led by Luke Getts, who ended with a team-high six tackles, and defensive lineman Nolan Kelly, who highlighted the Eagles’ night with a sack and a tackle for loss on consecutive plays.
Following the game, coach Minniear and his team shared an emotional post-game huddle.
“We’re young and have a lot to learn,” Minniear said. “But we’re getting better and better. Our kids never, ever make excuses and they fight like mad. They don’t quit. I’m proud of them.”
Minniear said the hard work put into the season, at all ages and levels, will pay off.
“We’re building a program,” he said. “We only graduate eight players. We’re building from the ground up. There’s hope for the future.”