R. Brookfield 12
The optimistic vibe the Riverside-Brookfield football team was feeling after a lopsided Homecoming win over Elmwood Park the week before was smashed into little pieces with a 19-12 loss to Ridgewood in Norridge on Friday night.
The Bulldogs mustered only 12 points and committed six turnovers against the Rebels, who turned the ball over four times as well in a sloppy game.
Junior Nick Callahan led the Bulldogs in rushing with 66 yards and a six-yard touchdown run. Over the last two games, Callahan has scored four touchdowns and established himself as RB’s most versatile scoring threat while playing the quarterback/running back/safety positions. David Skowronski scored the other RB touchdown on a one-yard keeper.
Overall though, RB has struggled on offense with turnovers and penalties.
“Obviously when you commit six turnovers you’re not going to beat anybody,” RB coach Jason Rech said. “We gifted them a few touchdowns, but to [Ridgewood’s] credit they capitalized on those opportunities.”
Defensively, RB has some positives to build on post-Ridgewood. The Bulldogs caused the aforementioned four turnovers, which were three Ridgewood fumbles and Radek’s interception. Radek now has three picks in the last two games. Emerging star Blake Beck (16 tackles, sack, and fumble recovery) and Watoris Slater (sack, fumble recovery) also kept the pressure on Ridgewood, which had 160 yards of total offense.
Greg Coulouris ran for 105 yards and a touchdown for the Rebels, while P.J. O’Connor also returned an interception 45 yards for a score.
“Ridgewood was coming off a 300-plus passing game [against Fenton],” said RB defensive coordinator Marty Sloan, “so we felt we defended against the pass pretty well.”
On the downside for RB, the Bulldogs lost linebacker/captain Alfredo Torres (knee injury/likely out for season) on the opening defensive series against Ridgewood. The Bulldogs are also banged up on the offensive line with two starters out in Tim Potts and Alex Radicanin due to injury.
Riverside-Brookfield takes on conference leader Fenton this Friday (7 p.m.) in Bensonville. The Bison (3-2, 2-0) feature junior quarterback Sean Havlovic, Eron McCoy, Frank DiLauro and multi-threat Alan Geneva.
With aspirations remaining for a conference title and postseason appearance, the Bulldogs’ must-win scenario starts against Fenton.
“Those are two goals we can still accomplish out there for us,” Rech said, “but we have to start playing better football.”