The Brownstown Central football team will ease its way into Sectional 31 play — before facing its toughest test of 2015.
Hosting Salem in the first-round, the Braves feel confident heading into their postseason tournament opener.
On Sept. 11, the Braves (7-2) trounced the Lions (3-6), 62-26, at Blevins Memorial Stadium.
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Should the Braves duplicate their first-game effort, they will play at Heritage Hills (8-1) or Charlestown (7-2) the following week.
“Our sectional is very tough,” Braves coach Reed May said. “We know that five or six teams are pretty good. You feel fortunate that you get to play at home and against a team you’ve already handled, but it’s always hard to play a team twice.”
May said that Heritage Hills, who made it to semistate in 2014, is the favorite to win the sectional.
“(Heritage Hills) is probably the No. 1 seed,” he said. “Last year they won that sectional and beat Gibson Southern. They beat Charlestown down there last year (in regional). They beat South Ridge already this season and will be tough.
“Charlestown probably got the toughest draw playing Heritage Hills in the first round. Overall, it’s a tough sectional and we feel OK. It is what it is, you take what you get and go with it.”
The Braves will be rooting against Heritage Hills, since they downed Charlestown 46-14 in week two of the regular season.
Last season, Charlestown beat the Braves 27-16 in the sectional semifinals.
Heading into the postseason, the Braves are rolling on a three-game winning streak.
Following a Jackson Bowl loss to Seymour, the Braves have re-found their composure and outscored their opponents 171-19.
May said that his team responded to the pair of loses in the middle of the season, but needs to stay healthy the rest of the way.
“We hit a little bit of a dry spot,” May said. “We’re kind of banged-up right now. We need to be healthy come tournament time. I told the boys in August we need to be playing our best ball come sectional time, not in the middle of the season.”
Moving forward, May said that the Braves need to dial-up the defense to succeed.
“We need to focus on assignments,” May said. “We played very well in the first four games. Then, at North Harrison, I think the scheme we had wasn’t very good and Seymour took advantage of some things after that.
“The last couple weeks that’s something I’ve stressed — playing our assignments. The defense will carry you. You have to play good defense to get far in the tournament.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Braves have relied on a run-heavy shotgun scheme to put up points.
The Braves will utilize all of their slot receivers to put points on the board.
Corydon Central (5-4) and Brown County (2-7) face-off, while Southridge (6-5) and Mid-Southern Conference champions North Harrison (9-0) will do battle.
The Braves took it to Corydon last week in a 57-6 win but fell to North Harrison 38-30 on Sept. 18.
If the Braves can get to sectional championship, the Nov. 6 game will be hosted in Brownstown.