Encouraged by a strong Week 1 effort against St. Francis, the Riverside-Brookfield football team appeared ready to rumble against highly-regarded Lemont on Friday night. The Indians, however, landed a devastating combination of trick plays, dominant defense and a strong ground game to hand the Bulldogs a 49-0 loss.
“We knew that Lemont would give us a tough fight,” said RB linebacker Andy Suzuki, who had seven tackles. “We got down early and a lot of things went wrong for us after they scored on their first drive.”
On their opening possession, the Indians converted on fourth down-and-nine at the RB 40-yard line on a fake punt pass from quarterback Damon Aleman to Eric Kirkman for 27 yards. Two plays later, Kirkman capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. The Indians offered more trickery on their next play when Zack Brosseau tossed a 2-point conversion pass to Christos Giatras, giving Lemont an 8-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, RB returner Dave Swon fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Lemont senior Mark Kirkman. Two plays later, Aleman scored on a 1-yard plunge to build the Indians’ lead to 15-0 with 8:01 left in the first quarter.
Lemont (2-0) added touchdowns on a 6-yard scamper from Eric Kirkman, a pair of runs (48, 2 yards) from Giatras, and an 11-yard pass from Brosseau to Tyler Jay to seize a commanding 42-0 lead at halftime.
The second half moved quickly with a running clock, but the Bulldogs’ essentially were already out of time due to their lackluster performance over the first 24 minutes of play.
“I felt like we were ready to play,” RB coach Jason Rech said. “During the game, though, we had some mental and physical lapses. Lemont is as physical as any team we’ll play this season.”
RB (0-2) committed three costly turnovers and managed just four first downs, the first one coming at the 3:55 mark of the second quarter. On that series, RB moved the ball to the Indians’ 31 after RB quarterback Dylan Beketic completed a 23-yard pass to senior wide receiver Louis Verdin.
Lemont defensive tackle John Tomala promptly shut down the Bulldogs’ deepest drive of the game by registering a pair of sacks.
“Obviously, Lemont is a great football team with a lot of talented skill players.” Beketic said. “We need to have a really good week of practice and get a win [against Raby].”
The Bulldogs face Raby on Saturday, 7 p.m. at Hanson Stadium, 5501 W. Fullerton in Chicago.