Riverside-Brookfield High School head football coach Brendan Curtin was not pleased with his team’s start against Walther Christian on Saturday in Melrose Park.
After a three and out series from the Bulldogs, Walther Christian scored on its ensuing possession when sophomore quarterback Anthony Reedy threw a 70-yard pass to senior tight end Kevin Smith at 8:37 of the first quarter.
“We didn’t come out and compete the way we are capable of doing,” Curtin said. “I felt like we were able to turn that around later in the first half, score some points, calm down and regain our focus.”
The Bulldogs quickly picked up their intensity by reeling off eight touchdowns en route to a 55-7 victory. Jeremiah Clarkson triggered the offensive onslaught with a 53-yard TD run to tie the score at 7-7 with 7:16 remaining in the first quarter.
After senior defensive back Dean Zigulich picked off a pass from Reedy, he scored six plays later on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Swift to give RBHS the lead for good at 13-7 midway through the first quarter.
Zigulich, the team’s most versatile player as a stellar wide receiver/defensive back and punter, had three interceptions and scored a pair of TDs.
“I love it (playing multiple positions),” Zigulich said. “Just being on the field with my brothers is what I strive for as a player. All the hard work, dedication and the trust we’ve put in our coaching staff has really showed our community what we can do.”
David Pribyl Pierdinock (2-yard run), Zigulich (17-yard catch), Al’Lan Carter (4-yard run) and Sam Falk (32-yard interception return) tacked on a TD apiece to power the Bulldogs to a 41-7 halftime advantage.
“We have a lot of guys who can make plays but there’s only one football,” Curtin said. “On each play, 10 guys have to carry out an assignment which doesn’t entail running with the rock.
“I think we’re still figuring that out and putting guys in the right spot. We have a lot of weapons which is a neat thing because it takes pressure off others, but it’s still the ultimate team sport.”
In the second half, junior John Mieczkowski scored on a 28-run up the middle, extending the lead to 48-7 early in the third quarter.
Reserve sophomore quarterback Hunter Hughes capped off the scoring with a 60-yard run with 2:03 left in the third quarter. After a high snap from the center, Hughes chased down the ball and turned back upfield down the right sideline for a TD.
“We just played fast and played hard,” Carter said. “Everybody did their job and we put it together. We’re a good football team. We’re going to make a run in the playoffs that’s for sure.”
RBHS (4-0) visits Wheaton Academy in their Metro Suburban Conference West Division opener.