The Brookfield Bulldogs returned home to historic Burlington Field Friday night with a perfect 3-0 record, but still looking for consistency on offense. The Dogs found their offensive identity Friday night, at the expense of the winless Monroe City Panthers, in a Clarence Cannon Conference match-up. The Dogs also set their single-game rushing record with 525 team yards in this game.
The Dogs recevied the opening kickoff, with Ramzie Cooper returning the ball to his own 28 yard line. A pair of runs by Collin Thudium and Reed McBroom earned the Dogs a first down. Two more runs, this time by Ramzie and Thudium moved the ball into Monroe City territory for another first down. The Dogs offense looked to stall, but an 11-yard run by JJ Abongo on third down set up McBroom for a 40-yard score on the ground. Arturo Huerta added the point-after.
Q1 8:51 – Monroe City 0 Brookfield 6
Huerta's kickoff came back out of the endzone for a touchback. Monroe City earned a first down on the ensuing drive, but a tackle for a loss by Brent Sparks and Trent Hoover would help lead to a Panthers punt. Ramzie returned the ball, and an illegal formation penalty against Monroe City would leave the Dogs at their own 45 to start the next drive.
Runs by Abongo and McBroom earned a fresh set of downs at the Monroe City 43. However, and despite a pair of long runs by Ramzie, penalties would put an end to the Dogs' drive. The ensuing punt was blocked, and Monroe City took over at their own 40.
The Dogs defense stepped up big on the next drive. A pass deflection by Zach McConkey, and a tackle for a loss by Zach Bragg would force a three-and-out. The punt was downed at the Brookfield 27.
A pair of runs by McBroom got the pigskin to the 38 yard line, where Ramzie took it from there for a 62-yard touchdown run. The extra point was again no good.
"I just run as hard as I can," said Ramzie after the game. "I just go hard, and try to make it to the endzone."
Q1 13.3s – Monroe City 0 Brookfield 13
Monroe City would drive from their own 31 on the next possession, a possession that would stretch into the second quarter. Despite stops for a loss by McBroom, Bragg, Ramzie, and McConkey; the Panthers would eventually net a 25-yard field goal.
Q2 7:02 – Monroe City 3 Brookfield 13
The teams would both exchange punts on their respective possessions. Brookfield's next drive after the punts would start at their own six yard line.
Runs by Ramzie and McBroom would get the Dogs a first down at their own 20. Ramzie would break away from the pack, and score from there on an 80-yard run. The extra point was no good.
Page 2 of 2 - Q2 50s – Monroe City 3 Brookfield 19
Monroe City would have little luck in the final drive before the half. McBroom earned a sack, and Sparks would stuff a run. The punt rolled out of bounds to end the first half.
Halftime – Monroe City 3 Brookfield 19
Monroe City would start the second half with a long gain. But a pass deflection by Lucas Noble, and a stuff by Sparks and Quincy Cooper would lead to a three-and-out. The Panthers punt rolled all the way to the Brookfield nine yard line.
The Dogs started slowly on the first two plays, but a 13-yard run by Thudium snapped that streak. Another long run, this time 15-yards by Ramzie, set up Abongo for the marathon score from 68-yards out. Huerta added the point-after.
"We played the whole game," said Abongo. "The first half we ran it down their throats, and things went well for us from there."
Q3 7:13 – Monroe City 3 Brookfield 26
Monroe again went three-and-out on their next drive. The Panthers punt again pinned the Dogs deep in their own territory, at the eight yard line.
A run by Thudium, as well as two long runs by Ramzie, took the ball into Panthers territory. The Dogs drove downfield, and after a number of carries, Thudium punched it in from 12 yards out for the score. Huerta added the point-after.
Q3 51.6s – Monroe City 3
Monroe City's next drive would stretch into the fourth quarter. The Panthers would drive 72 yards in 10 plays, and eventually score on a three yard run. The point-after was good.
Q4 8:23 – Monroe City 10
Anthony Cupp recovered the onside kick at the Brookfield 44. A pair of runs by Ramzie and Thudium would set up a 38-yard run by McBroom to the Panthers eight yard line. Two more runs from McBroom would lead to a one-yard touchdown. Huerta added the point-after.
Q4 6:36 – Monroe City 10
The Panthers would drive a bit in their final possession, but great defensive plays by Garrett Zahner and Cooper Chaffee would help stop the threat. Some of the second string Dogs offensive players would get some playing time, and the clock ran out on a Brookfield win.
Final – Monroe City 10
"I think we decided we needed to create an identity offensively," said Head Coach Nile Thudium. "You can produce an attitude with your football team if you run the football. Our offensive line did an outstanding job tonight, and we were able to rotate a lot of guys in there."