The Riverside-Brookfield High School football team’s woes continued during Friday’s 49-14 loss against Glenbard South. The Raiders raced out a 42-0 halftime lead en route to spoiling the RBHS homecoming game. The Bulldogs are 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the Metro Suburban Conference.
In the second half, RBHS outscored Glenbard South 14-7, a building block of optimism heading into this week’s conference game at Elmwood Park.
“That’s the one bright spot, that we were able to play better and outscore [Glenbard South] in the second half,” RBHS coach Brendan Curtin said. “We’ve been talking about the importance of playing our best football at the end of the season, which we still have an opportunity to do.”
While Glenbard South appears to be the class of the Metro Suburban Conference, the Bulldogs entered Friday’s fray short-handed per usual this frustrating season. Quarterback Jack VandeMerkt has been nursing shoulder injury for several weeks while running backs Adolfo Linares and Brian Kulaga have also been banged up. Two-way player Justin Agne has been dealing with a sore ankle.
“I’ve had teams in the past where we have lost some key guys early in the season, but never anything like the quantity of injuries we’ve had this year,” Curtin said. “It’s unfortunate but we always talk about next man up regarding our players.”
The rash of injuries has afforded Curtin a closer look at several promising juniors. Wide receiver Dean Zigulich had five catches for 46 yards and fellow junior Kyle Tracy snagged three catches for 30 yards. Junior running back Zach Paisker rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Swift completed 16 of 22 passes for 135 yards and scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter. Paisker scored the Bulldogs’ other touchdown on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter.
“I feel like our players are still invested and locked in to what we’re trying to accomplish,” Curtin said. “We do need to do a better job of coming off the bus ready to play. We have let our opponents dictate the tempo of games too much. Our kids are playing tough and staying positive. We have to get ready for Elmwood Park which will be a difficult road game.”
The Bulldogs and host Tigers square off Friday at 7:15 p.m.