The Brookfield faithful had an eerie feeling of deja-vu on Friday night.
Palmyra came to town to open the season and dumped the Bulldogs, 7-6: the same score as last season's opener in Palmyra.
"If you look at it, I think we had five redzone opporunties in that first half, and not being able to convert will get you beat," Brookfield head coach Scott Stevens said. "What's nice, is that we can fix that moving forward. In the flexbone, it's really hard to come back when you have third-and-long situations."
The first half was mired with early-season mistakes, including five combined turnovers and ample penalties costing the 'Dogs. Brookfield was inside Palmyra's 10-yard line twice, and failed to walk away with any points as the game went scoreless into the halftime break.
Junior Dawson Baker had a 10-yard touchdown rush called back on a holding call in the second quarter, and the Bulldogs wouldn't find paydirt until the late third quarter.
Gabe Rodriguez, also responsible for a pair of interceptions, punched in a seven-yard touchdown rush to conclude a 71-yard touchdown drive with 4:24 remaining in the third. Earlier in the drive, Bryson Collier reeled in a 21-yard pass from Carsen Beckman to get the Bulldogs down to the eight.
Characteriscally, Brookfield missed the extra point.
Palmyra scored on the following drive and did no such thing.
Panther workhorse Dakota Compton punched in a six-yarder to cap off a 71-yard drive, and the visitors nailed the point after.
From that point on, Brookfield struggled to give itself scoring opportunities, including losing a fumble with less than six minutes remaining in Palmyra territory.
"We had to get a stop, and we couldn't do that," Stevens said. "They ran downhill all evening.
"This is a game that should hurt, but this is a group of guys that is going to improve, and we'll be there every Friday."