The Brookfield Bulldogs football team had a long drive to Monroe City on Friday night, for a Clarence Cannon Conference battle with the Panthers. Brookfield edged through this game with another close road win.
JJ Abongo returned the opening kickoff from his own eight yard line to midfield at the 47. Runs by Abongo, Zach Bragg, Brycen Corf, and Seth Speichinger would cross into Monroe territory for the game’s first fresh set of downs. However, four plays later, the Dogs would turn the ball over on downs at the Panthers 28.
Monroe would open with a score on their first possession. They would travel 72 yards on four plays. The game’s opening touchdown came on a 55-yard run. The extra point was muffed, and Zach McConkey would smash the holder to make certain.
Q1 6:59 - Brookfield 0 Monroe City 6
Brookfield would gain a first down off of three runs to start the next drive by Abongo. Four plays later, the Dogs would punt, with Matt Teter destroying the returner at his own 17 yard line.
Monroe would drive on their second possession. But a tackle for a loss by Cort Speichinger and Bragg would help force the punt.
The next drive for the Dogs would run out the remainder of the opening frame. The first quarter would close with a first down run of 23 yards by Garrett Zahner. Late in the drive, a touchdown pass was called back thanks to a penalty, and would kill the drive’s momentum.
The teams would exchange punts for the next two drives. On the Monroe possession, Gage Maxwell would force and recover a fumble that would lead to the lone score of the half for Brookfield.
Starting at the Panthers 22, runs by Abongo and Corf got the pigskin to the eight yard line. A sack and an incomplete pass would stall the drive. Arturo Huerta, the hero of the Bell Game, would boot through a 28-yard field goal to put the Dogs on the board.
Q2 1:21 - Brookfield 3 Monroe City 6
Both teams would have one more possession in the first half, with Brookfield turning the ball over on an interception. In a bad case of déjà vu, Brookfield again found themselves trailing on the road at halftime.
Halftime - Brookfield 3 Monroe City 6
A flag and a stuff from Teter would force a three-and-out on Monroe’s opening drive. Runs from Abongo and Reed McBroom would earn a Brookfield first down. The pair would combine on three more runs for another first down. A run from Abongo would set up Zahner for a 10-yard touchdown to put the Dogs in the end zone. The extra point was blocked.
Page 2 of 2 - Q3 7:31 - Brookfield 9 Monroe City 6
Monroe would go three-and-out on there next drive, with a stuff from Maxwell, and a pass deflection by Bragg. Brookfield, though, would go three-and-out as well.
Monroe would drive on their final possession of the third quarter, with an eventual field goal attempt being muffed, and Zahner taking down the holder to be certain.
A pair of runs by McBroom would earn a first down, and bring the third quarter to a close. Runs from Abongo, Corf and McBroom would reset the down marker, as would a long run by Zahner. Four plays later, though, and Brookfield turned the ball over on downs.
Monroe would have one final possession in the game, and would drive a good distance. But a defensive stand, led with a tackle for a loss by McBroom and Andrew Cupp, and a sack on a fourth down attempt by McConkey, would force a turnover on downs.
Two kneel-downs later, and the Dogs had another road win in the Clarence Cannon Conference.
Final - Brookfield 9 Monroe City 6
Looking at the LCL’s unofficial stats, the game was just as close statistically as it was on the scoreboard. Brookfield had an advantage on first downs (15-11), but a deficit in total yardage (240-249). If a difference had to be found, it would be in penalties. Brookfield had three for 24 yards, while Monroe had seven for 56 yards.