The Salem football team didn’t have a defense that could stop Brownstown Central’s John McKinney and Gavin Bane on Friday night.
McKinney ran for 136 yards and four touchdowns, while Bane rushed for 159 yards and two scores to spark the Braves to a 62-26 win against Salem in a Mid-Southern Conference game at Blevins Memorial Stadium.
“They’re both really fast kids,” Braves coach Reed May said.
“We didn’t play (Justin) Donnells on offense. He hurt himself last week (at Eastern). We did play him a couple times on defense because we needed him. He will be back next week. We didn’t throw the ball much tonight because of the (rainy) conditions. We hope our offense keeps clicking.”
The Braves have scored at least 46 points in each of their four wins, and the 62 marks a season-high.
“Offensively I thought we executed fairly well. They changed their defense on us, so that was kind of a surprise,” May said.
“We thought they would come out throwing for some reason. They threw that zone pass on us and we didn’t tackle real well. They came out and did some things offensively against us pretty well, and in the second half we shut them down.
“At halftime we had a little talk with our defense. But overall we played the way we’re capable of playing.”
The Braves scored on their first two possessions with McKinney scoring on an 8-yard run at 6:05 and the home team was in front to stay.
An interception and 37 yards return by Lance Goecker set up the next score, a 15 yards run by McKinney.
The Lions’ then executed the zone pass that May referred to, an 83-yard pass and run from Seth Hobson to Christian Lamb to make the score 16-6.
Bane scored in an 83-yard run on the Braves’ first offensive play of the second quarter.
He added a 15 yards TD run later in the period, and McKinney capped the scoring with a 28-yard run to set the sore 36-13 at the half.
McKinney scored on a 4-yard run and Devin Stuckwisch scored on an 8-yard run in the third period as the Braves were on top 49-13 going into the fourth period.
Grant Stuckwisch scored the Braves’ final TD on a 4 yards run.
Senior Matthew Nierman came up with an interception late in the third quarter, and that set up his 6 yards touchdown run early in the fourth period.
“On offense we’re playing pretty well,” Nierman said as the Braves had 424 yards rushing, 22 yards in the air and 21 first downs. “Usually, we’re playing pretty well on defense, but in the first half we didn’t play that great, including me, but I’d say we’re on a good track and we need to keep getting better.”
After coming up with his first interception of the season, Nierman said, “I was just going through my reads and I saw the receiver ran a slant, and once he turned I just kind of broke on the ball and I was in the right place at the right time.”
The Braves are 4-0 in the MSC going to North Harrison on Friday night.