Brookfield defense strong in week four gridiron loss to Palmyra
Turnovers costly in CCC setback last Friday
PALMYRA — The Brookfield High School football Bulldogs did some very positive things on both sides of the ball last Friday as they visited the Palmyra Panthers. However, mistakes that kept them from fully cashing in on those good plays led to a 23-6 Clarence Cannon Conference loss.
“The guys played well defensively,” BHS head coach Cory Luke commented to the LCL via e-mail. “We just had too many turnovers and mishaps offensively.”
Although each team finished with three turnovers, Palmyra overcame its enough to get a couple of touchdowns on the scoreboard in the first three quarters, while the Bulldogs remained stuck on zero.
Brookfield (1-3, 0-2 conf.) created a golden opportunity to break through and tie the game in the second quarter.
Rolling to his right with two wide receivers set to that side, Colton Parn read senior slot man Jaden Abongo having driven his defender back on his heels before making a quick break to the outside about 20 yards downfield. With great timing, C. Parn threw just as Abongo made his turn toward the sideline, allowing the receiver to catch the ball with enough separation that he could turn his shoulders upfield before that defender recovered and tried to make the tackle.
Abongo shrugged through the high hit and saw only the end zone ahead as he tried to accelerate up the sideline. However, another PHS defender already at top speed was able to angle him off, dropping the Bulldog inside the Panthers’ 10 after about a 50-yards pickup.
With a chance to erase most or all of Palmyra’s 7-0 lead, Brookfield could not convert the first-and-goal situation into any points.
Down 14-0 early in the fourth period, the Bulldogs finally put the pieces together on offense to put up points and give themselves a chance.
Again moving the pocket to his right, C. Parn used a quick pump fake to try to freeze the PHS cornerback covering Gambal Staddie on his “streak” route up the sideline. Although the defender didn’t seem to see the fake and “bite” on it, C. Parn’s long throw found Staddie perfectly in stride, tight along the boundary, just as the receiver gained a stride lead on his defender.
Gathering the ball in without losing any speed, the junior took it untouched the final 20 yards or so for a 47-yards touchdown connection that moved Brookfield within a score, even after failing on the point-after.
However, the host Panthers responded with the next nine points, finally putting the game out of Brookfield’s reach.
Statistically, the Bulldogs generated 237 yards of total offense – 148 in the air and 89 on the ground, compared to Palmyra’s well-balanced 341 yards – 184 rushing and 157 passing.
Individually for the ’Dogs, C. Parn threw for 145 yards on 12-of-25 accuracy, but had three throws intercepted. Staddie’s two receptions for 74 yards and Abongo’s four snags for 54 yards led the receivers. Kendrell Carter made five catches, but those advanced the pigskin only 12 total yards. Gunn and C. Parn also had a reception apiece.
On the ground, senior setback Tommy Gunn had a couple of good, double-digits gains and finished with 59 yards on 11 rushes, but, according to statistics shared by Luke, Brookfield had only 10 yards from other ground sources.
Defensively, Gavin Rodriguez forced a second-quarter fumble which Staddie fell on and linebacker Trent Polley had a pass theft when he perfectly timed undercutting a medium-depth rollout route in the opening period, game video showed.
Brookfield will have the first of back-to-back home appearances this Friday, welcoming Macon as the Bulldogs try to snap their 3-games losing streak.