Despite Khalil Walker rumbling to the house from 74 yards out on the first play from scrimmage and Centralia coughing up the ensuing kickoff, Brookfield lost by six touchdowns on the road on Friday night. The 48-7 defeat knocks the Bulldogs to 1-3, while ever-dangerous Centralia remains undefeated at 4-0.
"Hats off to Centralia, they're of course a very good team," Brookfield coach Scott Stevens said. "They're very physical up front, and their entire team plays with that physicality."
Less than three minutes after Walker's scamper, the Panthers broke off an 86-yarder. Centralia was held scoreless for the remainder of the period before methodically marching for three more touchdowns in the second quarter. On Walker's next nine carries, he managed negative one yard. He was, however, the favored target for quarterback Castor Dodd, reeling in five passes for 66 yards.
After the opening play of the game, Brookfield went on to gain just seven more rushing yards the remainder of the evening.
Centralia finished with 534 total yards, with 504 of them coming on the ground. Astonishingly, Brookfield won the turnover battle on Friday night. The Bulldogs stripped and scooped the Panthers three times to just one interception for Brookfield. The visitors, however, were penalized six times for 60 yards versus four penalties for a meager 25 yards from Centralia.
Brookfield converted eight first downs to Centralia's 12.
Stevens said that though the opening portion of the season has not been up to snuff to the heritage which Brookfield's program fosters, it's still a matter of taking things week-by-week and righting the ship moving forward.
"Although the score may not show it, we took a big step forward this week offensively," Stevens offered. "We moved the football, and now we need to work on scoring in the red zone. Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do, but our team is ready for the challenge to get this season back on track this week against Louisiana."
The Bulldogs return to Burlington Field on Friday night at 7 p.m.