The Brookfield Bulldogs recovered from a Clarence Cannon Conference beating against Centralia with a big Homecoming win over last year’s State Runner-up South Shelby Cardinals last Friday night. The Dogs took a big CCC win, making it a joyous occasion for all of the Bulldog Nation.
After grabbing the opening onside kickoff, the Dogs earned a first down after runs by JJ Abongo and Reed McBroom, as well as a South Shelby penalty. However, four plays later, the Dogs Dean Gall would punt away the ball. South Shelby would start at their own 30 yard line.
The Cardinals would earn one first down on this drive, with stops for a loss by Ramzie Cooper, Gall, and McBroom. Cooper returned the South Shelby punt to his own 24.
A short run by Cooper set up a 49-yard dash from Abongo for a first down. Two more runs from Abongo set up McBroom for a 19-yard touchdown run. Arturo Huerta added the point-after.
Q1 4:04 South Shelby 0 Brookfield 7
South Shelby returned Huerta’s kickoff to their own 27, and earned to first downs to get them into Brookfield territory. But, after the third first down, Cooper Chaffee picked off a Cardinals pass and returned it to his own 34 yard line.
Runs from Cooper and McBroom earned Brookfield a first down at their own 46. Runs by Zach Bragg, and Abongo earned another first down at the Cardinals 43. However, four plays later, the Dogs would punt. Gall’s punt was saved by Anthony Cupp tipping it to Lucas Noble to bury South Shelby at their own two yard line.
An apparent Safety on first down was called back and changed to a sack at the one by Brent Sparks and Brycen Corf. Another stop for a loss on third down by Bragg and Cooper would set up a Cardinals punt. But, on the punt, the Dogs would get a roughing call, and South Shelby would get four more downs from their own 17. Four plays later, after a stop for a loss by Sparks, South would punt again, with Cooper returning it to the Cardinals 18 yard line.
Runs from Cooper and McBroom earned the Dogs First and Goal at the five. South Shelby would back the Dogs up in a good defensive stand, but a 26-yard field goal from Huerta would extend the Brookfield lead.
Q2 3:54 South Shelby 0
South Shelby would earn one first down after an 11-yard run. But, thanks to a stop for a loss by Zach McConkey, and a Cardinals penalty, South would punt four plays later. The punt went out of bounds at the Brookfield 31.
Abongo would break off runs of 18 and 10 yards, but Brookfield would turn the ball over on downs at the Cardinals 40 on this drive. South Shelby ran one play to end the first half.
Page 2 of 3 - Halftime – South Shelby 0
The Cardinals would score a touchdown to open the second half, going 70 yards in 12 plays. The Cardinals scored on a one-yard touchdown run. This was done despite stops for a loss by: Quincy Cooper, McConkey, Sparks, Noble, and Ramzie Cooper. The point-after closed the gap to three points.
Q3 6:47 South Shelby 7
The Dogs would earn a fast first down on a 15-yard gain by Ramzie to get the ball to midfield. Runs by Abongo, Bragg, and McBroom would earn another first down at the South Shelby 38. Ramzie and Bragg combined for another fresh set of downs on two runs at the Cardinals 28. But, four plays later, the Dogs turned the ball over on downs at the South Shelby 19.
The Cardinals went three-and-out, with the ensuing punt sailing out of bounds at the Brookfield 39. McBroom took it to the house on the next play, scoring on the 61-yard run. Huerta added the point-after. “It was pretty difficult out there at first,” said McBroom. “But our offensive line got the push, we found the seams, and could go from there.”
Q3 33s South Shelby 7 Brookfield 17
South Shelby’s drive would stretch into the fourth quarter. The Cardinals earned one first down, but would punt four plays after that. The punt went out of bounds at the Brookfield 31.
The Dogs went three-and-out, and Gall’s punt was downed at the Cardinals 48. South used three plays to score on this 52-yard drive. The touchdown came on a 37-yard touchdown pass. The point-after was good.
Q4 8:39 South Shelby 14
After another squib kickoff, Abongo used two runs to bring the home crowd back to life with a 58-yard touchdown run. Huerta added the point-after. “It was relieving to come back after a mistake on defense,” said Abongo. “I am glad I was able to help the team to a very important victory.”
Q4 7:39 S. Shelby 14
The Cardinals went three-and-out, with a fourth down pass incompletion aided along thanks to pressure from Corf. The Dogs took over on the South Shelby 29 yard line.
A pass form Abongo to Garrett Zahner, as well as two runs from Abongo, earned Brookfield a first down at the 11 yard line. Two runs from Abongo and McBroom set up McBroom for a one-yard touchdown run, his third of the night. The extra point was no good.
Q4 2:49 South Shelby 14
South Shelby would answer back on their next drive, going 68 yards in eight plays. Despite a pass deflection in the drive by Chaffee, the Cardinals would score on a 12-yard touchdown run. Their conversion was no good.
Page 3 of 3 - Q4 46s South Shelby 20
The Cardinals recovered the onside at the 50. A pass went for a loss thanks to solid defense from Noble. Four plays later, the game would end with much celebration from the Burlington Field crowd.
Final – South Shelby 20
“I am very proud of the kids,” said Head Coach Nile Thudium. “I wasn’t sure how we would respond to adversity. We came out and played physical football from the opening bell, which you have to do against a physical opponent.”