BHS starts Luke football era successfully with OT thriller
After defense stones Trenton to start OT, Bulldogs score on third play, win 18-12
BROOKFIELD — Cory Luke has a victory from his high school head coaching debut, but it took extra time to get it.
After leading by six points twice, only to have visiting Trenton pull even again at 12-12 with 46 seconds left in regulation time, Luke’s Brookfield High School football Bulldogs earned a “run-off” victory at Burlington Field last Friday night with a 20-yards run on the third BHS snap of overtime.
After the hosts won the pre-overtime coin toss, the Brookfield defense held Trenton without a first down on THS’ opening possession of the extra segment, then converted on a third-and-5 play for not just a fresh set of downs, but the game-winning points.
Brookfield will try to go 2-0 this coming Friday when it welcomes eastern neighbor and rival Marceline for the annual “Bell Game” rivalry duel. Brookfield has won the last two meetings (see related story at top of page).
At Burlington Field last Friday, the 2021 high school football season began with the two Bulldogs crews combining for six turnovers – four by the guests (two lost fumbles and two interceptions) and two by the blue-and-white ’Dogs (both on fumbles). Junior linebacker Gavin Rodriguez and junior safety Gambal Staddie made the “picks” for BHS.
After the Brookfield offense came up empty on its first two possessions of the season – the second series advancing the ball inside the THS 20 before a pair of procedure penalties led to a fourth-down sack, it capitalized on Rodriguez’s theft that set it up inside the Trenton 30.
Following a bit of lost yardage, sophomore quarterback Colton Parn threw a short pass to speedy Jaden Abongo and he outraced the Trenton defense to the goal line for a 30-yards scoring play at the 7:57 mark of the second period. A 2-points attempt to convert failed, leaving BHS with a 6-0 halftime lead.
Trenton’s offense made the right adjustments in the locker room at halftime, emerging to engineer a long, long drive that consumed from that eight minutes of game clock. After Nate Burkeybile, who played a strong all-around game for THS, made a reception that led to him being tackled at the BHS 3, quarterback Coleman Griffin kept the ball around right end to tie things with 3:48 left in the third quarter. However, Trenton’s would-be point-after kick missed, preserving the 6-6 knot.
After Trenton’s defense held twice, including after Staddie’s theft, the Brookfield defense forced a punt early in the fourth quarter. BHS moved the ball to just beyond midfield, from where senior Tommy Gunn burst off the right side on a delay play and took the ball to the end zone down the east sideline, driving through a final defender to fall just inside the front right pylon for the go-ahead score with only 6:29 remaining in the fourth quarter.
After one of many errant snaps from center thwarted Brookfield’s 2-points conversion attempt, Trenton pushed the ball deep into BHS territory, but had a would-be tying touchdown by its quarterback on a fourth-and-4 from the 24 nullified by a procedure flag with 2:20 left. The blue-and-white defenders then sacked Griffin on the replayed down, giving Brookfield the ball with 2:14 to go and a chance to run out the clock with one first down.
That didn’t happen, though, as another snap got loose and Brookfield couldn’t cover it in time, giving Trenton another chance from inside the BHS 30.
A strong run up the middle by fullback Sam Gibson quickly put the ball at the BHS 3 and Griffin slanted in off right tackle on an option keeper with 46 seconds left in the fourth period.
With THS now in position to likely win with a successful conversion of some type, the Brookfield defense answered the challenge, stopping a Griffin carry short and, effectively, sending the game to overtime.
Statistically, by Brookfield tracking, BHS had about a 255-185 advantage in total offense as both sides’ defenses were more effective. The Brookfield attack was very evenly balanced, producing 125 air yards and 129 ground yards, per BHS statistics online.
Brookfield senior linebacker Trent Polley was credited with 11 tackles, including one for loss.