Brownstown Central’s football team used a punishing running attack and an inspired defensive effort to turn an expected dogfight with Silver Creek into a comfortable 28-7 victory on Friday night.
Inside the game’s first three minutes, on Silver Creek’s first possession, Brownstown (7-1) yielded 71 passing yards, a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead to the Dragons (6-2).
During the next 45 minutes, however, Brownstown didn’t allow a point or another completed pass as Silver Creek was shut out on its remaining nine possessions.
“I thought we had a pretty good game plan, but they came out in something we had never seen,” Brownstown Central head coach Reed May said of Silver Creek’s pass-first, empty-backfield formation. “We probably didn’t adjust quickly enough to it, but when they got back into their regular offense, we were able to shut them out.”
The Braves’ offense follow a similar trajectory as the defense, starting sluggishly while being held scoreless in the first quarter before finding traction. Over the final three quarters, Brownstown ran for 307 yards and scored four times to take command of the game.
Brownstown’s 28 points Friday exceeded the total number of points (27) that Silver Creek had given up in its seven previous games.
“A lot of it was us just trying to figure out what they were doing to us,” May said. “They were blitzing a lot, so we started running to the outside. Our two-minute offense really showed us what they were doing. That turned out to be a big series for us.”
With the game tied at 7, Silver Creek punter Daniel Barrett boomed a 60-yard kick that pinned Brownstown on its 7-yard line with just 2:48 left in the half.
The Braves responded by gashing the Dragons’ defense with four running plays of 18 or greater yards by Matthew Bell, Colton Ritz and Caleb Bollinger. Ritz capped the 93-yard drive with a 19-yard run along the left sideline to give Brownstown a 14-7 lead.
The Braves’ added two more scores in the third quarter to put the game away.
“You’ve got to give our kids credit,” May said. “Silver Creek’s a good team. They’ve got some great athletes.”
Pacing Brownstown’s offense was Ritz, who finished with 143 yards on 18 carries. In addition to Ritz’s touchdown, the Braves also got TDs from Gus Hogan (26-yard run), Caleb Bollinger (50-yard run) and Matthew Bell (1-yard run).
Defensively, Brownstown limited Silver Creek to just 181 total yards. Luke Shelton and Derek Thompson led Brownstown with nine tackles each.
Shelton (two), Thompson, Bollinger, Hogan, Stuart Hayden, Noah Reynolds and Reece Covert each finished with tackles for loss. Hayden also added a sack.
Though a satisfying victory, Friday’s game proved to be costly for the Braves, with injuries forcing offensive lineman Lane Lucas (fractured leg) and leading receiver Karl Pence (ribs) to depart the game early.