Brookfield battles, drops league pigskin opener at Centralia
Bulldogs stay on road this Friday at Palmyra
CENTRALIA — While not able to threaten the host Panthers with an upset, the retrenching Brookfield High School Bulldogs did make strides and put together a respectable road performance last Friday in a 30-12 defeat at Centralia in their 2021 Clarence Cannon Conference opener.
Reprieved from the heavy rain which soaked their “Bell Game” home duel with Marceline a week before, the Bulldogs managed to move the ball better with their mix of runs and quick passes and put a couple of touchdowns on the scoreboard after being blanked as MHS’ Tigers took back “the bell.”
Freshman wide receiver Kendrell Carter had a scoring catch of a peg from sophomore quarterback Colton Parn among his three receptions for 40 yards and junior Amos Baum found paydirt, too, on a 17-yards connection from C. Parn.
All told, the first-year starting signalcaller found his target 13 times in 22 attempts for 111 yards and was picked off only once.
Junior wideout Gambal Staddie was C. Parn’s favorite target, reeling in a handful of receptions for 45 yards. He also had a pass interception and approximately 25-yards return of a first-half CHS throw.
Other receivers C. Parn fired quick strikes to were senior Jaden Abongo (two), Tommy Gunn and Walgren (one each). However, those only added up to 10 net yards as Centralia responded quickly to those quick throws to the edges.
The Brookfield running game managed only 44 total yards, first-year BHS head coach Cory Luke reported, topped by Gunn’s 34 on 11 carries. Sacked a few times, C. Parn finished with seven net yards on 14 carries and Abongo was limited to three yards on four rushes.
Unofficially, Brookfield was out-gained by Centralia about 300-150 yards with the Panthers moving the ball mostly on the ground.
On defense, the Bulldogs got a team-most 7-1/2 total tackles from senior linebacker Trent Polley, but it was 6’4”, 280-pounds senior defensive tackle Austin Tucker who caught the eye. He was in on 6-1/2 stops, making three of them behind the line of scrimmage.
While Staddie’s pass theft was the only time Brookfield took the ball away from Centralia, the Bulldogs lost both a fumble and an interception, according to stats listed online.
This coming Friday, Brookfield (1-2, 0-1 conf.) will go to Palmyra for another CCC contest.
After going 12-1 a year ago, PHS’ Panthers are off to a 1-2 start this fall, but, with their starting quarterback returning from an injury that had kept him from playing in the first two games, got on the winning path as they started league play last week with a 40-21 verdict over Macon (1-2).
Panthers quarterback Collin Arch ran 24 times for 156 yards and five touchdowns, while going seven for 13 passing with an interception.
With Arch absent, Palmyra had fallen to Hallsville and Bowling Green in non-conference matchups.