If the players on the Riverside-Brookfield High School football team knew before the season that they would finish 6-3 with a shot at their conference title in the final week of the regular season and a secured postseason berth, any reasonable Bulldog would welcome that body of work (especially after a couple of dismal campaigns in 2012 and 2013 which produced a 3-15 overall record).
The Bulldogs’ considerable progress this season hit a speed bump however on Friday night when host Glenbard South edged RBHS 38-34. With the conference title on the line, the Raiders’ Kyle Carli threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jack Curtis with 2.9 seconds remaining to complete the comeback win.
The only other time Glenbard South (7-2, 5-0) led in the game was 6-0 in the first quarter.
RBHS appeared in good position to pull of an impressive road win in Glen Ellyn when kicker Nick Fucinato nailed a 39-yard field goal with 2:51 remaining in the game to give the Bulldogs a 34-31 lead.The Raiders responded with a game-winning scoring drive that covered 66 yards.
Previously, RBHS extended its lead to 24-14 early in the third quarter when Brian Kulaga ran into the end zone from 31 yards out.
Quarterback Ryan Swift turned in a terrific performance for the Bulldogs, completing 19 of 24 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns. The junior signal caller tossed one touchdown pass to running back Matt Chapp and two more TDs to wide receiver Dean Zigulich. Swift connected with Zigulich on a 12-yard pass play to put the Bulldogs on the board in the first quarter. Later in the opening quarter, Swift threw a 31-yard TD pass to Chapp.
Kulaga finished with two rushing touchdowns and Fucinato converted a pair of field goals. Fucinato made a 22-yard field goal to put RBHS up 17-14 at halftime.
Wide receiver Sean Cooke scored two touchdowns for Glenbard South.
RBHS (6-3, 4-1) qualified for the playoffs Oct. 17 with a 40-28 win over Aurora Central Catholic. After a 1-2 start, the Bulldogs reeled off five wins in their last six games courtesy of their high-scoring offense and ballhawking defense.
The Bulldogs will find out on Oct. 25 which team they’ll face and where in the opening round of the state playoffs.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air live coverage of the “IHSA Playoff Pairing Football Show” on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. The show, which will reveal the brackets and first round match-ups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes, can also be viewed via live interactive stream on the internet at IHSA.tv and CSNChicago.com.