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Defense dominates as Charlestown routs Brownstown 41-3

August 25, 2012
Winners Choice Sports

An anticipated Mid-Southern showdown between ranked contenders became a smackdown of historic proportions Friday night.

Class 3-A No. 9 Charlestown left no doubt about its title worthiness. The Pirates (2-0, 1-0) pummeled two-time defending champion Brownstown 41-3 in the league opener for both teams at Dutch Reis Field. The No. 6 Braves (1-1, 0-1) suffered their worst loss since a 50-6 setback to Indian Creek in the 2002 sectional.

Charlestown’s deadly duo of quarterback Aaron Daniel and fullback Seth McCutchen finished with their usual gaudy offensive numbers. But the difference was the Charlestown defense, questionable a year ago but mean and meaningful with their bullying of the Braves.

Brownstown’s vaunted Wing-T attack got plucked. The Pirates recorded five sacks, and eight other running plays went backward as the Pirates ended Brownstown’s 17-game league winning streak.

“The whole defensive line played outstanding,” Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins said. “We talked about playing with emotion, and the defense reacted.”

Once Charlestown’s offense quit coughing up the ball, it rolled with its expected precision. McCutchen rumbled for 214 yards and a touchdown, while Daniel shook off a slow first half and finished with 178 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and two TD passes.

“Aaron is a great football player,” Hawkins said. “And when you have Seth McCutchen standing next to him, that’s pretty scary.”

The scariest part? Charlestown could have been better. The Pirates lost three fumbles, and Daniel threw an interception. The turnovers kept Brownstown within striking range in the first half, but the Daniel parade to the end zone widened the gap in the second.

“They have a great offense,” Brownstown coach Reed May said. “All of a sudden, they got rolling. It didn’t surprise me.”

Somehow, in the midst of all the dropped balls, Charlestown took control with a 21-3 lead in the first half, with all its scores coming in the second quarter.

Charlestown’s first fumble on an exchange between Daniel and McCutchen set up a 22-yard field goal by Brownstown’s Nick Stahl, so the Braves returned the favor with two second-quarter fumbles that led to two touchdowns.

The first came inside the red zone, and Daniel made it hurt with a 6-yard TD run on the second play. The second turnover set up a one-play connection between Daniel and favorite receiver Tyler Odle, who caught a receiver screen and snaked free for a 26-yard TD.

Those gift-wrapped touchdowns sandwiched an 80-yard McCutchen march. The senior fullback swept left and, with an opening created by an Odle block, bulled 59 yards down the sideline. Two plays later, he crashed over from 21 yards.

Charlestown started the second half with a 74-yard drive, capped by Daniel’s 9-yard TD pass to Wesley Sexton, and Daniel dropped the hammer with two long touchdown runs of 59 and 47 yards to close the scoring.

Brownstown mustered only 126 rushing yards, and sophomore quarterback Clay Brown spent most of the night ducking and dodging defenders in the backfield.

“That’s disappointing,” May said. “The one thing we had coming back was our line. If they got dominated, that’s something we need to take care of in the next few weeks.”

Charlestown ended some futility with its fourth win in the last 19 games against the Braves. The Pirates sent a message to the rest of the league, and they still have room to improve with the turnovers and eight penalties for 134 yards.

“We could have a really good football team,” Hawkins said. “Let’s try to keep the head coach from being negative and see how good we can get. If we get better every week like we did this week, we’ll have a pretty good football team.”

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