Although the Brookfield Bulldogs' football team fell to 0-2 with a 30-16 loss at Monroe City, head coach Scott Stevens felt like his team did some things well in the second half.
The Bulldogs got off to a slow start Friday night that included some costly penalties. They were forced to play from behind throughout Friday evening.
"We started a little sluggish, and a pair of false starts and a holding penalty took away our best chance to get an early score," Stevens said. "On defense, we looked for their main guy (senior fullback Keenan Batsell) and they showed us some other things, so we had to adjust.
"It started off really well, and early on we had the ball inside of the 10-yard line. We shot ourselves in the foot, and the only thing we did wrong is not score. "
Brookfield rushed for around 200 yards, and threw the football for nearly 75 yards. Dawson Baker led the team with three receptions, including one that set up a score that brought the Bulldogs back within one possession in the third quarter.
At one point, Brookfield found itself down 22 points. Steven said that he was proud of his players' resolve, and thought that if the Bulldogs played like they did in the third and early fourth quarters, they'd be dangerous.
"To begin the second half, our guys battled back really well, and that was one of our biggest takeaways as a coaching staff," Stevens said. "We're fighting, and we'll get this thing rolling. We took the ball down and scored to cap off a long drive, and then we got a stop. That's huge for us when our backs are against the wall like that."
On the next possession, Carsen Beckman threw a pass to Bryson Collier set up by the Baker reception to give the Bulldogs their second score, and forced the game back to one-possession at 22-14. With Brookfield down just eight with most of the fourth quarter left, it had several chances to get its defense off the field and acquire good field position.
Monroe City scored its fourth and final touchdown with just around a minute remaining.
"I felt like once we got our first score, our guys started to believe," Stevens said. "We got some answers in the middle of the game as to what Monroe City was trying to do, and that gave us wind in the second half. I know these guys are confident in what we can do, and if we can put that together for four quarters, we're a dangerous team."