The Brookfield Bulldogs came into their Friday night Clarence Cannon Conference road game at Palmyra a banged-up, but determined team. After a close first half, the Dogs showed their character and fire with a masterful performance to seal the win in the second half.
The Dogs gained one first down on their opening possession, with a pair of runs by JJ Abongo getting Brookfield to the 37 yard line. But, four plays later, the Dogs would punt the ball away.
Despite an early penalty against Brookfield, the Dogs would stiffen up on defense and force a Palmyra three-and-out. The punt was downed at the Brookfield 30.
Abongo broke off a 58-yard run down to the Palmyra 12 yard line. Runs by Ramzie Cooper and Reed McBroom set up a five-yard scoring run by Garrett Zahner to put Brookfield on top after an Arturo Huerta point-after.
Q1 5:40 Brookfield 7 Palmyra 0
Palmyra would gain yardage on their next drive, with a pair of first downs being racked up on 14 and 18-yard gains, respectively. But stops for a loss by Quincy Cooper, Brycen Corf, and Ramzie Cooper would help force a turnover on downs at the Brookfield 28 yard line.
The Dogs went three-and-out, with Dean Gall’s punt being downed at the 50 yard line. Despite an early stuff by Zach McConkey, Palmyra would score on this drive, which stretched into the second quarter. The score would come on a six-yard pass, and the conversion run put the Dogs down a point.
Q2 9:48 Brookfield 7 Palmyra 8
Brookfield again went three-and-out on their next drive. A third down interception on the next Palmyra drive would be taken in for a 35-yard touchdown by Brent Sparks. This was the first pick-six of the season for a Brookfield lineman. Huerta added the point-after to put the Dogs back on top.
Q2 6:47 Brookfield 14 Palmyra 8
Palmyra would fumble the football back to the Dogs on third down on their next possession, with Ramzie Cooper recovering it at the Panthers 37.
A 16-yard run by McBroom on second down earned a Brookfield first down in the Palmyra red zone. Three plays later, Huerta booted through a 32-yard field goal to extend the Dogs lead. This marks two consecutive weeks with a field goal for Brookfield.
Q2 3:01 Brookfield 17 Palmyra 8
Palmyra returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but failed on their conversion run. This allowed the Dogs to hold onto a small lead.
Q2 2:46 Brookfield 17 Palmyra 14
The teams would exchange possessions for the remainder of the first half, with no one scoring. There was a stop for no gain by McConkey to bring the first half to a close.
Page 2 of 2 - Halftime – Brookfield 17 Palmyra 14
Palmyra went three-and-out, with an early stuff by Sparks, and a fourth down stuff by Bragg to force the turnover on downs at the Palmyra 47 yard line.
Runs by Ramzie Cooper and McBroom, as well as a pass from Abongo to Ramzie, earned a first down in four plays for the Dogs. A 10-yard pass from Abongo to Marcus Liebhart gained another first down three plays later. A second down pass from Abongo to Matt Neeley scored from 12-yards out. Huerta added the point-after.
Q3 5:32 Brookfield 24 Palmyra 14
Palmyra gained a first down with a 12-yard gain on the first play of their next possession. An interception by Bragg two plays later was returned to the Brookfield 40 to end the drive.
A trio of runs by McBroom and Abongo earned a first down at the 40 yard line. Ramzie Cooper broke off a 22-yard run for another fresh set of downs for the Dogs on the next play. A 15-yard gain three plays later by McBroom again reset the down marker. From their position inside the Panthers five, the Dogs used four plays to drive in the score. Abongo flipped over the pile on Fourth and Goal for the score. Huerta added the point-after.
Q3 16.3s Brookfield 31 Palmyra 14
Palmyra gained a first down on a 14-yard run. This was nearly negated on the first play of the fourth quarter with a sack by Corf costing them 13 yards. Palmyra would turn the ball over three plays later.
The Dogs offense would stall on the next drive, despite a first down run by Ramzie Cooper. Zahner would stuff an early run on the next Palmyra drive, which would end after an interception by Anthony Cupp.
The Dogs final possession began with a 12-yard run by McBroom. The Dogs would earn another first down after runs by Abongo and McBroom. A 23-yard pass from Abongo to Liebhart would reset the down marker again. The Dogs drove deep on the Panthers, winding down the game clock with their ground-and-pound offense, and came back home with a win.
Final – Brookfield 31 Palmyra 14
“We were very happy with the effort and win,” said Head Coach Nile Thudium. “We overcame adversity, with many injuries in the game. A lot of kids stepped up big for us in what was a great team win.”