Brown leads Winona against Ackerman
ACKERMAN – Apparently, it only takes one 'Chief' to take down a bunch of Indians.
Winona running Chelarvez 'Chief' Brown accumulated 278 total yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Tigers past host Ackerman 48-0 Friday night.
"He's a really special player," said Winona head coach Ken Chandler. "It warms my heart to see a kid like that come out and perform every week the way he does. I was proud to see him come out and have another good night."
Brown, an Ole Miss commit, also added an interception in a game that started out as a defensive struggle.
Both teams battled through a scoreless first quarter before Brown gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter on a 58-yard punt return.
After Ackerman (1-4) went three-and-out on its ensuing possession, Brown immediately reeled off a 53-yard scoring run to give Winona a 14-point lead.
That was plenty of cushion for the Tigers (5-0) against an Ackerman team playing without the individual who has provided much of their offense this season.
John Cummings, the speedy multi-positional athlete who was a key cog of last year's Class 2A North championship team, was dismissed from the Indians' squad for undisclosed reasons earlier this week.
Without Cummings, Ackerman managed just 92 total offensive yards.
Ackerman head coach Adam Dillinger said his offensive unit battled through Cummings dismissal well during practices over the last week, though it didn't show up come game time.
"They came out and had a great week," said Dillinger. "The offense has took on the challenge, but we played against a very good football team tonight. I think it was a lot closer game than the score indicates, but I think Winona is one of the better Class 3A teams in the North and they played like it tonight."
The Indians stayed within striking distance for the majority of the game, before the score turned lopsided late.
Leading 27-0, the Tigers added three fourth quarter touchdowns, two of which came on long interception returns from Isiah Coker and Deion Stinson.
Chandler, a former Ackerman assistant, said it wasn't his intention to run up the score against his old team.
"We know Ackerman is going through some tough times now and we certainly understand that," said Chandler. "We don't want to throw salt in the wound by any means. Ackerman has always been a special place to me and (Dillinger) is a good friend of mine."
Aside from the loss, Ackerman also saw several players suffer injuries on Friday, most notably, running back Cody Harris.
With 52 seconds remaining in the game, Harris was hurt when he was tackled after a run as the Indians tried to avoid the shutout.
The game came to a standstill for nearly 30 minutes as medical personnel checked on Harris.
Ultimately, Harris was removed from the field by ambulance and the game was called with just seconds left on the clock.
"We don't really know anything yet," said Dillinger moments after the game of Harris' condition. "Everything is as much precautionary right now as anything else. He's complaining of some pain under his ribs, so they're going to go check and make sure there is nothing damaged in there."
Dillinger said Harris never lost consciousness and that there were no immediate concerns of spinal injury as the primary concern focused on Harris' rib area.
Even with the injuries and the loss, Dillinger was able to take away some positives, particularly with some strong spurts of play from his defense.
"They tightened up when they needed to at times and had a big goal line stand at one point," said Dillinger.
Still, Brown proved to be too much.
"He's a good player," said Dillinger. "I'm glad he's graduating after this year."