The Brookfield Bulldogs, seeded fourth in their Class Two District, hosted the Trenton Bulldogs at Burlington Field on Friday night. The local Dogs seem to be peaking at the right time, as their offense has found its stride in the last two weeks.
The teams exchanged possessions in the first three drives, with the Brookfield defense seeing stops for a loss from Dean Gall. On their second offensive drive, Brookfield saw runs from Anthony Cupp and Reed McBroom set up the aerial strike from Cupp to JJ Abongo from 24 yards out for a touchdown. Arturo Huerta added the point-after. With 4:10 left in the first quarter, Brookfield led Trenton 7-0.
“The offensive line has been giving a lot of time,” said Cupp. “We are running our routes hard, and really starting to execute.”
A penalty on the next drive would give Trenton a first down, but they would make little noise. The Dogs defense had stops for a loss from Abongo, McBroom, Gall and Zach McConkey. Cupp and Abongo would take one play to hook up again. This time, the score came on a 67-yard pass and Huerta added the point-after. At the end of the kick, Huerta would have his knee injured by a Trenton player. This incident would highlight a very physical game. There was no penalty called on the strike that took the Golden Boot out of the game. With 22 seconds left in the opening frame, Brookfield led 14-0.
Trenton would earn a first down on the ensuing drive. But, they would be forced to punt four plays after resetting the down marker. A pass interference call against Trenton would give the Dogs some extra yardage to start their next drive.
A run by Garrett Zahner and a pass from Cupp to Gall would earn Brookfield one first down in Trenton territory. A run by McBroom would follow this, and would take the Dogs into the Trenton red zone. A run by McBroom and a run by Brycen Corf would set up McBroom for the one-yard scoring run. The extra point was no good. With 5:29 remaining in the second quarter, Brookfield led 20-0 in this District Quarterfinal game.
The teams would exchange fumbles on their next possessions. Brookfield would see Trenton’s fumble recovered by Abongo. The Dogs would fumble the ball away after an injury put their starting center on the sideline for a drive.
Trenton would be forced to punt on their next drive. A bad snap would allow McConkey to tackle the scrambling punter at the Trenton 21.
Page 2 of 3 - A pair of passes from Cupp to Abongo would put the Dogs in the end zone. The score came on an 18-yard strike. McBroom punched in the conversion run to give Brookfield a 28-0 lead with 43 seconds left in the first half.
The score would remain the same at the halftime break. Brookfield opened the second half with a short scoring drive. A run from Corf and a pass from Cupp to Gall would reset the down marker. McBroom would break a long run to the Trenton red zone once again. The score came one play later, as McBroom recovered from the horsecollar penalty to punch it in from two yards out. McBroom also added his own conversion. With 10:10 left in the third quarter, Brookfield led 36-0 and turned on the mercy clock.
Seth Speichinger filled in at kicked for the fallen Huerta, and did well in his time on the field. Trenton would take his kickoff, and have a long drive to end the third quarter, and stretch into the fourth quarter.. However, the Brookfield defense would see tackles for a loss by McConkey, Gall, McBroom, and Gage Maxwell, and a pass deflection by McConkey. A pass interference call against the Dogs, not well met by the home crowd or the Brookfield sideline, would extend the drive. Trenton would eventually score on a 15-yard pass to get on the board. Their point-after was good. With 11:58 left in the game, Trenton turned off the mercy clock, but Brookfield still led 36-7.
The mercy clock did not stay off long, as Brookfield would drive on their next possession for another score. Two runs from McBroom moved the ball from inside Brookfield’s own territory to midfield. Runs from Corf and McBroom moved the pigskin into Trenton territory. Runs from Corf and Abongo would set up Corf for the final score of the game. This time, the touchdown came from three-yards out. The extra point was blocked. With 7:23 left in the game, Brookfield reactivated the mercy clock, leading 42-7.
Trenton would drive for the remainder of the game. But, the Brookfield defense, even subbing out the seniors in what could be their final appearance at Burlington Field, bent, but did not break.
“I am very happy with our performance,” said Head Coach Nile Thudium. “We have been able to execute better, and limit our mistakes. We have been able to throw the football. I am proud of our offense, and our defense did their typical stellar job. I am just proud of our effort.”
Page 3 of 3 - Brookfield won this game 42-7, and will advance to face top-seeded Lawson on Wednesday night at Lawson. Kickoff for this District Semifinal game is at 7 p.m.