The Brookfield Bulldogs football team traveled to St. Joseph last week for a second round playoff football game against the Bishop LeBlond Eagles. This battle against the top-ranked team in the District would be a close game, but one that would ultimately end the Dogs season.
Arturo Huerta kicked off for Brookfield, and LeBlond returned the ball to their own 34. The Dogs would force a three-and-out after an initial 21-yard gain on first down. The punt went for a touchback.
Runs by Reed McBroom, JJ Abongo, and Ramzie Cooper earned the Dogs a first down at the Brookfield 31. Abongo and McBroom combined for another first down in two runs at the Dogs 44. Abongo took one run and gained 10 yards into Eagles territory at the 46. Runs from Cooper, McBroom, and Collin Thudium came up short, and set the Dogs up for a 13-yard pass from Abongo to Cooper for a first down at the 27. Three plays later, though, the Eagles would pick off an errant Brookfield pass at the eight yard line.
A 42-yard gain on first down got the Eagles backs out of their own end zone. Four plays later, though, the Dogs would force a punt. The Brookfield defense had a near sack by Cooper, and stops for a loss by Zach Bragg and Marcus Liebhart. The Dogs took over on downs at their own 41.
Both teams went three-and-out to end the first quarter. LeBlond fumbled the ball to Brookfield on the second drive of the second quarter, with Dean Gall recovering the ball at the Eagles 44.
Runs by McBroom and Cooper earned a first down at the 34. Runs by McBroom and Thudium earned another first down at the LeBlond 19. Four plays later, Huerta would sail a 32-yard field goal through the uprights to give Brookfield an early lead.
Q2 5:42 Brookfield 3 LeBlond 0
On Bishop LeBlond’s next support, Brent Sparks had a stop for a loss early, and Cooper Chaffee picked off a halfback pass at his own 18 yard line. The Dogs would not take advantage of this turnover, and would go three-and-out.
The punt was returned to the Brookfield 49. Despite a pass stopped for a loss by McBroom and Garrett Zahner, LeBlond would score on this drive to take the lead. The six play drive ended with a 26-yard touchdown pass. The point-after was good.
Q2 1:07 Brookfield 3 LeBlond 7
Brookfield would run out the clock in the first half, and the Eagles picked off a halfback pass to end the frame.
Halftime – Brookfield 3 LeBlond 7
Zahner would come out of the “Covey of Quail” formation on the kickoff, and go 80 yards to the Eagles seven yard line to get the half off on a good foot for the Dogs. Three plays later, Huerta kicked through his second field goal of the game. This one sailed through from 25-yards out.
Page 2 of 3 - Q3 9:56 Brookfield 6 LeBlond 7
The Eagles went three-and-out, continuing the Dogs quarter-opening momentum. Brookfield took over at their own 26 for their second possession of the second half.
Runs by McBroom and Cooper earned a first down at the 38. Runs by McBroom, Abongo, and Cooper would refresh the down marker at the LeBlond 48. Three more runs by McBroom would earn 12 yards and another first down for the Dogs. Runs by McBroom and Cooper got the ball to the 21 for another Brookfield first down. After a fumble, McBroom would gain 13-yards on a run and set the Dogs up with First and Goal at the Eagles 10. Three plays later, McBroom would score the Dogs first touchdown of the game from two yards out. The conversion run was no good, but gave Brookfield back the lead.
Q3 1:23 Brookfield 12 LeBlond 7
The Brookfield defense used this momentum and, despite giving up some yardage, made quite the stand, and forced a turnover on downs. Stops for a loss on the series were made by Liebhart and Lucas Noble. Brookfield took over at their own five yard line.
The Dogs offense stalled here, and the eventual punt was blocked by LeBlond, and recovered at the Brookfield one yard line. LeBlond took one play to punch it in and take the lead. Their conversion was no good.
Q4 7:47 Brookfield 12 LeBlond 13
The Dogs went three-and-out on the ensuing drive, with the punt being downed at the LeBlond 42. Despite a pair of stuffs by the Brookfield defense, LeBlond would air it out on third down for a 58-yard touchdown pass to put the game away. The point-after was good.
Q4 4:20 Brookfield 12 LeBlond 20
With the clock against them, the Dogs had to air out the pigskin in an attempt to score a game-tying touchdown. Leaving their gameplan, and comfort zone, behind proved too much for this young team. The Brookfield Bulldogs lost this game by eight points, and ended their season.
Final – Brookfield 12 LeBlond 20
“We were extremely proud of the fight we showed all night long,” said Head Coach Nile Thudium. “Outside of a few big plays, our defense kept a very dangerous offense in check. We were still a little inconsistent offensively, but tonight was our offensive line’s finest hour. We were extremely physical all night long and dominated the line of scrimmage. We came up short tonight, but this team never stopped fighting. They showed great heart. I’m extremely proud of them.”
As for the talented group of seniors who have played their final game at BHS, Coach Thudium had nothing but praise: “This group of seniors was extremely dedicated. We asked more out of them than any other group and they responded. They committed themselves on and off the field to TEAM success. While we didn’t reach all of our goals, i believe they set a great example of sacrifice, dedication, discipline and unselfishness for our underclassmen. Our seniors are a group of outstanding young men, and we will miss them greatly.”
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