SALEM — Brownstown Central’s football team broke open a first-quarter struggle by scoring 28 second-quarter points and taking command in a 46-10 victory against Salem on Friday night.
With the win, the Braves (10-1) advanced to next Friday’s Class 3A Sectional 31 championship road game, where Southridge awaits.
It will be Brownstown’s 19th chance at a sectional title during head coach Reed May’s 24-year tenure. The Braves are 11-7 in the previous 18 attempts.
“I’m happy how our kids adjusted to Salem tonight,” May said. “They came out offensively with something we hadn’t seen or prepared for. The kids did a great job. Coach (Shane) Fallis did a great job moving people around.”
Brownstown’s momentary confusion over Salem’s attack led to a small 6-0 lead for the Braves in the first quarter.
Then Brownstown’s defense settled down and the offense took on its characteristic efficiency.
Carson Lambring got the defense started by stripping Salem receiver Derrek Cornett on a pass play that appeared to give the Lions (6-5) a first down. Instead, Lambring came away with the ball, and Brownstown never looked back.
Brownstown’s offense scored on its first seven possessions, include three in the second quarter that turned a six-point lead into a 34-0 advantage.
Quarterback Kyle Kramer had his best game of the season, running for a touchdown and a game-high 113 yards and throwing for another 174 yards on 6-for-7 passing.
“We know he can run,” May said, “but we don’t run him a lot in the regular season because we don’t want him to get banged up. He did a nice job running the ball and threw it really well.”
Kramer’s passing was highlighted by a 68-yard bomb to Gavin Bane for a touchdown. Kramer’s running was highlighted by a couple of Tecmo Bowl runs, one for a 45-yard TD on a third-and-21 play and another for 14 yards on a broken pass play that resulted in a first down.
“Our line is outstanding right now,” Kramer said.
About his perfect strike to Bane, Kramer was just as deferential: “Bane just ran a good route. I laid it up there for him and he got to it.”
Bane finished with two touchdowns, further extending his single-season scoring records. He now has 33 TDs on the season and 208 points.
Fullback Lance Goecker had a strong offensive performance, running for 51 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
Derek Rieckers scored BC’s first TD of the night on a three-yard run in the first quarter.
The defensive play of the night was Devin Stuckwisch’s 52-yard interception return midway through the second quarter.
The Braves limited Salem quarterback Seth Hobson to 123 yards on 13-for-29 passing. Lambring, Stuckwisch, Gus Hogan and Andrew Murphy each broke up a Hobson pass.
Lendon Underwood was Brownstown’s busiest defender with eight tackles, followed closely by Cameron Eggersman with seven. Noah Reynolds and Trevor Colby combined on a sack, while Goecker contributed a tackle for loss.