A stingy defense and a dash of Gavin Bane were more than enough for Brownstown Central’s football team during a convincing 42-14 win against Paoli on Friday night.
Bane scored 20 points on three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion in the first half while the defense forced a fumble and two interceptions to stymie Paoli’s offense.
Friday’s win was Brownstown’s 11th consecutive season-opening victory.
“We want to get better every week, but to be 1-0 after the first game on the road is what you want,” Brownstown head coach Reed May said. “I thought the offense started sluggish, but once we got going, we were fine. I thought, defensively, we played well all game.”
The Braves enjoyed a 443-99 total offensive yardage advantage and a 42-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the game before Paoli found traction against the braves’ subs.
Brownstown ended the game with 494 total yards, 361 on the ground and 133 in the air.
Bane led the Braves with 93 yards on nine carries, followed by quarterback Kyle Kramer (71 yards on 12 carries) and Gus Hogan (65 on four carries).
Bane got Brownstown started with touchdown runs of seven, five and 38 yards inside the game’s first 18 minutes.
“He’s is our main back,” May said of Bane. “We’re going to make sure he gets his touches. But if (opposing teams) start keying on him, we’ve got a lot of other solid backs.”
After the defense stopped Paoli on its opening drive of the second half, Derek Rieckers gave the Braves control of the game when he got behind the Rams’ defensive backfield on a third-and-10 play for a 58-yard TD pass from Kramer.
Kramer enjoyed an efficient passing night with 133 yards on 5-for-6 passing, including the 58-yarder to Rieckers, a 36-yard pass that Carson Lambring pulled down over a Paoli defender and a 21-yard connection with Tyler Neal.
“We didn’t throw it much tonight, but we know that we can,” May said.
Hogan and Devin Stuckwisch added second-half scoring runs to give Brownstown a 42-0 lead.
Defensively, the Braves were stout throughout, stopping Paoli on its first seven drives. Bane and Stuckwisch ended two of those drives deep in Brownstown territory by intercepting Garrett Vincent passes. Lendon Underwood forced a Paoli fumble when he hit running back Tyler Smith hard at the line of scrimmage.
In all, Brownstown defenders combined for 10 tackles for loss that pushed Paoli back 38 yards. Trevor Colby led with three tackles for loss, while Noah Reynolds and Luke Shelton had two each.
“We worked on defending the option offense quite a bit this summer,” May said of stopping Paoli’s formation. “I thought we played it well tonight. We played our assignments. We need to be able to do that throughout the season.”
Cameron Eggersman finished with a team-high seven tackles.
Colby added six tackles, while Rieckers and Andrew Murphy each had five stops.