The Bulldogs will have a challenge on their hands in the opening round of district play on Friday night.

Brookfield travels to Lawson to face the second-seeded Cardinals whose only loss came against a highly touted, undefeated Class 2 District 8 foe, Lathrop.

Lawson plays in the KCI Conference and has no mutual foes with Brookfield.

In addition to facing an offense averaging 38 points per game, the Bulldogs will square up against one of the best two-way bruisers in the state, number 42, Cole Aikmus.

"He's a stud fullback who gets downhill in a hurry," Brookfield coach Scott Stevens said about the 6 feet 3 inch tall, 185-pound force. "He'll also play middle linebacker for them, and he's definitely the anchor of that defense. He's a big kid, he's definitely the best linebacker we've seen this year by far."

Defensively, the Cardinals will operate mostly out of a 4-3 scheme with a dash of 4-4 intermixed. On offense, Lawson runs a Wing-T and elects to run the ball on roughly 90 percent of its snaps.

Though he is a capable thrower, junior quarterback Andrew Stephens does most of his damage with his legs.

As the heavy underdogs in the opening district round, Stevens believes that his kids have to clean up the same mistakes that he has preached for months in order to make some noise in the state playoffs.

He and his guys still believe that despite having notched just a single win, the Bulldogs are a good football team capable of giving teams fits.

"It comes down to penalties and turnovers, the same thing that we've been saying all season," Stevens reiterated. "If we can keep those things clean this week, we'll have a chance to win a game on Friday."

The last time the Bulldogs faced Lawson was in the second round of district play in 2014, and Brookfield bested the Cardinals in that game, 44-14, before falling to East Buchanan.

The Bulldogs are looking to avoid a loss in the opening round of district play for the third consecutive season.