ELKHART — Elkhart Central's football got another strong performance from running back Mark Brownlee and its defense in Friday's 36-7 win over Jimtown.
But what stood out to Blue Blazers coach Josh Shattuck was his team's undisciplined play.
Brownlee and teammate Drew Stimac were ejected from Friday's game and will have to sit out next week's game against Benton Harbor. Their penalties were among the 10 penalties for 110 yards totaled by the Blue Blazers.
Brownlee rushed for 202 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns before being ejected from the game after his 52-yard touchdown run with 10:31 left in the game.
"We had a lot of penalties," said Shattuck, whose team improved to 3-0. "It was a penalty-filled game. We've got to be disciplined. There were three ejections tonight - two on us and one on (Jimtown). It's going to hurt us moving forward. It's going to be tough putting a game plan together for next week without two of our top three running backs."
Shattuck was asked why Brownlee was ejected.
"I don't know," Shattuck said. "I'll have to watch the film. The ref threw two flags and kicked him out.
"But it's a good win. Our kids played well. It's unfortunate some of the decisions our kids are making. It's a reflection of our coaching staff and it's a reflection of me."
Brownlee also had touchdown runs of six and two yards, as Central finished with 301 yards rushing.
Kennath Dennis added a 63-yard touchdown run for the Blue Blazers, who led 24-0 after Dennis' score with 10:02 left in the third quarter.
Defensively, Central held the Jimmies to 243 yards and came up with a big stop on fourth down while holding a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.
In their own territory, Jimtown coach Mike Campbell decided to go for it on a 4th-and-1 at the 29. Casey Pratt was stopped for no gain giving the ball to the Blue Blazers in great field position. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Central pushed the ball to the 44-yard line. Six plays later, Brownlee scored from six yards to give Central a 10-0 lead with :39 left in the first quarter.
"I always want to be aggressive," Campbell said on why he went for it on fourth down. "I know that (Elkhart Central) has a stellar offense, which we saw tonight. I didn't think we could stop them over and over again so I wanted to control the football and try to eat some clock. It just didn't work out. I know it put us in a bad spot. They had a penalty, so (field position) wasn't as bad as it originally was. But we didn't hold them out.
"But bottom-line is that (Elkhart Central) is physical on defense. We popped a couple runs, but we couldn't finish."
Jimtown's Ethan Devol, who rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries, had runs of 51 and 22 yards in the first half. Take away those runs and the Jimmies had only 47 yards in the first half – all on the ground.
"Our defense was good all night," Shattuck said. "We gave up seven points to a pretty dang good Jimtown football team.
"I thought our offense was really, really sloppy with all the turnovers (3). It seemed like every time we made a big play (Jimtown) ripped the ball out at the end."
Jimtown lost center Blake Garretson to an ejection in the fourth quarter.
"(The referee) said Garretson stepped on a Central player and the (Central player) pulled (Garretson) on top of him," Campbell explained.
Jimtown's lone score was a two-yard touchdown run by Clay Campbell with 11:47 left in the game.
"I'm proud of our kids," Mike Campbell said. "They fought until the end. We may not have the fastest, biggest or strongest kids, but we're not quitters."
Central's first points of the game was a 41-yard field goal from Bryan Ramirez with 5:39 left in the first quarter.
The win marks the first time since 2012 that Central has started a season 3-0. It also was the first win for the Blue Blazers over the Jimmies. Jimtown beat Central in 2015 (27-7) and 2016 (42-20).
ELKHART CENTRAL 36, JIMTOWN 7
Scoring By Quarters
E — Bryan Ramirez 41 field goal; 5:39.
E — Mark Brownlee 6 run; Elijah Harris kick; :39.
E — Dominic Davis 11 run; Harris kick; 3:39.
E — Kennath Dennis 63 run; Harris kick; 10:02.
E — Brownlee 2 run; kick failed; 5:40.
J — Clay Campbell 2 run; Isaac Daniels kick; 11:47.
E — Brownlee 52 run; kick blocked; 10:31.
Jimtown: Rushing — Ethan Devol 20-111, Cole Thompson 16-77. Passing — Clay Campbell 1-11-17. Receiving — Dustin Whitman 1-17. Interceptions — Dustin Whitman. Fumble recoveries — Campbell.
Central: Rushing — Mark Brownlee 21-202, Kennath Dennis 3-69. Passing — Isaiah Chandler 3-8-48 (1 int.). Receiving — Dominic Davis 2-16, Roderick Ballard 1-32. Fumble recoveries — Ballard, Jake Smith.