Brookfield dominant in win over LaBrae
BROOKFIELD — In basketball, the “make-it, take-it” version of the game gives possession of the ball to the team which just scored. That team continues to get the ball until it is stopped.
On Friday night, a football version of “make-it, take-it” broke out between the Brookfield Warriors and LaBrae Vikings and Brookfield got the best of things in a 49-28 All-American Conference Blue Tier matchup.
The Warriors (6-2, 4-0) have been struggling with their kickoff coverage. After kicking the ball off to LaBrae to begin the game, Brookfield once again found itself yielding excellent starting field position to its opponent. The Vikings ran the ball down the field and quickly went ahead 7-0.
“We started off a little sluggish,” Brookfield coach Randy Clark said. “We’ve been having problems with our kickoff team and field position early. They got a quick score, and after that we came together.”
LaBrae (3-5, 2-3) kicked the ball to Brookfield, and the Warriors had a quick answer. Brookfield junior quarterback Haden Gibson tossed a 53-yard touchdown pass to senior Dakota King to tie the score, 7-7, at the end of the first quarter. A different strategy ensued for the Warriors as the second quarter unfolded.
After a Brookfield interception, the speedy Gibson raced 59 yards, diving into the end zone, for a Warrior touchdown. Junior kicker RJ Hall’s point after was good and Brookfield went up 14-7. Hall followed with an onside kick and the Warriors recovered.
“It seems like we can’t cover kickoffs,” Clark said. “So, we might as well have a 50-50 shot at recovering it. They’ve been returning it to the 45 or 50-yard line, if not a touchdown the last couple of weeks. We figured we’ll kick it onside and at least have an opportunity to recover it.”
After just missing King on an amazing over the shoulder catch out of bounds, Gibson showed his toughness by pounding the ball 10 yards up the middle for another TD.
Senior Tyler Briggs, Brookfield’s leading rusher, was out with an ankle injury. Senior Ryan Logan got more carries and took advantage with a 13-yard touchdown run to put the Warriors up 28-7. LaBrae couldn’t handle the kick, and Brookfield recovered.
Gibson hit senior Gage Emery for a 40-yard bomb, all in the air, and the Warriors were in business. Logan followed with a 3-yard score to go up 35-7. After another onside kick, Brookfield had one more chance to score before the half.
Gibson found King on a perfectly thrown ball for an 52-yard score. King went over 100 yards receiving in the first half, and the Warriors took a 42-7 lead into the break.
Senior Conner Filipovich scored from 7 yards out for the only touchdown of the third quarter. Brookfield was up 49-7 heading to the fourth.
An added benefit of the onside kick strategy was keeping the ball away from LaBrae sophomore Devin Carter who came in with 1,046 yards rushing. Carter and the Vikings owned the fourth as he had touchdown runs of 51 and 31 yards, and the Vikings returned the favor on the onside kicks.
Sophomore Shaun Miller recovered LaBrae’s onside effort and the Vikings scored again. Rutherford tried another onside attempt, but Brookfield senior Stephen Hayes recovered and the Warriors took a knee for the victory formation.