BROWNSTOWN

Since the turn of the century, the Brownstown Central football team has dominated postseason openers.

The Braves have lost just one first-round sectional game since 2000 (in 2011 to Corydon Central) while making a number of tournament runs.

With this year’s bracket and team, that trend likely will continue.

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On top of hosting at Blevins Memorial Stadium — a battle within itself — the Class 3A No. 8 Braves (8-1) face a Brown County team that hasn’t won a game since August.

The Eagles won their season opener against Edinburgh 21-20, but have failed to finish on top in a game since. They’re on a eight-game losing streak.

Brown County is averaging eight points per game while giving up 27.

In two games this season, the Eagles haven’t scored a point. Most recently, they fell to South Putnam 30-0 on Oct. 14.

This week, Brownstown’s students are on fall break — but that hasn’t majorly changed preparation.

“We have them coming in every morning and watching film,” Braves coach Reed May said. “The normal practice times are the same. Defensively, we have some changes we made for this team. The biggest thing we tell the kids is that we’re not getting ready for Brown County, we’re getting ready for the tournament. They want to win sectional and are focused.”

The visitors face a tall task, as the Braves are averaging the ninth most points in the state at 48 per contest.

Brownstown is coming of a game where they ran for 410 yards against Corydon Central behind nine different rushers.

They’re riding a three-game winning streak heading into the game behind an offense that has dominated almost every team they’ve faced.

On top of all that, on Friday the Braves earned the Mid-Southern Conference title by going 7-0 in league play.

Braves senior Gavin Bane is the main running threat, with 1,064 yards (14.2 avg) while Derek Rieckers comes in with 409 and quarterback Kyle Kramer has 389.

When they go to the air, the Braves have also been efficient with Kramer completing 64 percent of his passes on 59 attempts.

The Braves are coming into games firing.

They’ve scored 140 points in each the first and second quarters this season.

The second half numbers are slightly skewed, as they’ve played a number of games with running clocks and junior varsity players on the field.

On defense, the Braves have done a nice job gang tackling.

Seven players have a minimum of 20 assisted tackles, and none have more than 16 solo.

They’re giving up a total of 233 yards per game while amassing 409 themselves.

Cameron Eggersman has led the charge with 56 total tackles while Trevor Colby has 47 and Lendon Underwood has 42.

Brownstown has 23 total sacks, 11 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries and 39 tackles for losses.

While the Braves’ offense has made the most waves this season, it’s the defense they’ve been focusing on leading up to the postseason.

“Defense is more about reacting to the other team,” May said. “We spend more time on defense than offense. Offensively, each team brings their own uniqueness. For example, against Seymour, we’d spend 80 minutes working on defense because of what they did offensively. Each team, we have to adjust.”

The two teams have never met, but with the amount of film available both have a good idea with what they’re facing.

Whichever team wins will travel to the winner of Salem and Corydon Central next week.

Catch the Braves

What: Brown County (1-8) at Brownstown Central (8-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Radio: 96.3-WJAA

Where: Blevins Memorial Stadium

Last outing: Brownstown Central def. Corydon Central 59-29, South Putnam def. Brown County 30-0.

Series past 30 years: first meeting

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.