The Brookfield football team lost its season opener on Friday night, 7-6, in heartbreaking fashion.
The Bulldogs travelled to Palmyra to face a Panther team coming off of a 9-3 season that vanquished them 28-2 last year.
Palmyra scored with under a minute remaining in the game and converted the PAT attempt to take a 7-0 lead. Brookfield's ensuing possession was comprised of two long Castor Dodd passes, including a touchdown with seven seconds remaining.
However, Brookfield failed to capitalize on its extra point attempt and failed to force overtime.
Nonetheless, Brookfield coach Scott Stevens was pleased with this season's Brookfield product in its first true showcase.
"We were really happy with the way we played, especially defensively," the second-year coach said. "We did a good job of pursuing the football and really stifling their offense. Palmyra's a very good football team, but defensively we did a lot of things right. There's not a lot better that we could have done, honestly."
Brookfield's defense battled uphill in the first half, turning the football over too many times and not capitalizing on some major opportunities.
The Bulldogs' offense also ran out of time to end the first half, unable to punch the ball in from just outside of the goal line as time expired in the second quarter.
"We did a good job of moving the football," Stevens said. "Like last year, we just had troubles once we got into the red zone. We got inside the five-yard line twice and didn't get it in, and that's going to lose you football games. We also lost the turnover battle, including throwing three interceptions in the first half. We'll get it polished, but we have to work on some timing offensively."
The Bulldogs have their work cut out for them again on Friday, when they face the Class 1 defending state champion Monroe City. Monroe defeated Centralia 38-0 last week.