Unless something changes dramatically in the next two weeks, the Brookfield Bulldogs will play the remainder of their football games away from Burlington Field.
A week after the Bulldogs' 11 penalties shot them in the foot and caused multiple drives to stall against formidable Macon, they are tasked with picking up the pieces against one-win South Shelby on Friday.
"Obviously, we're disappointed that we're 1-6, but we know we're a good football team," Brookfield coach Scott Stevens said. "If we keep committing penalties and we don't control those controllable things, we're not going to be very good. At the same time, we know we can fix those things, so we're very positive."
South Shelby's number 22, Brock Wood, is one of the best athletes in the conference. Despite being a subpar passer, the Cardinals predominantly play him at the quarterback position as simply the most direct outlet to get the ball into his hands.
Wood has passed the ball only 36 times this season, but his 792 rushing yards on 146 attempts accounts for nearly two-thirds of his team's rushing total.
"(Wood) is easily the most dynamic player in the conference," Stevens said. "He's one of the fastest kids we'll see, and he's deadly in open space. He took kicks back against Centralia and Monroe City early on, and that's with both teams trying to kick away from him. We have to keep the ball away from his hands."
Defensively, South Shelby does a diversity of things. Stevens said that in the Cardinals' film from this season, he has seen them run everything between a three-man front and a six-man front with decent regularity.
Stevens said the Bulldogs' offense is prepared for whatever it may see.
"We've game planned for an even front, and we've game planned for odd fronts. From there on, we'll go wherever the game takes us.
"They're a good football team, and they'll be well-coached. They've had some tough losses, and so have we, but we're ready to go."
South Shelby is coming off of a 41-14 loss to Centralia last Friday, and a 42-22 defeat at the hands of Monroe City the week prior.