RBHS quarterback Owen Murphy (right) completed 8-of-16 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown during the Bulldogs’ loss to Wheaton-St. Francis at the Kennelly Athletic Complex on April 9. (Alex Rogals/Staff Photographer)

The Riverside-Brookfield High School football team finally took the field in front of their home crowd at the Kennelly Athletic Complex on April 9, but the Bulldogs could not quite get past a tough Wheaton-St. Francis team.

The Bulldogs (1-3) fell to the Spartans 58-7 in the home opener. RBHS got themselves on the board with 3:56 to go in the second quarter, as junior quarterback Owen Murphy connected with senior wide receiver Luke Swiatek on a 5-yard pass to the right side to narrow the score to 27-7. 

The touchdown came after sophomore running back Ryan Novak drove the Bulldogs up the field with a 22-yard run followed by an 8-yard reception and 5-yard run to get the Bulldogs to the Spartan 5-yard line. 

“I knew I’d be open because they were blitzing the opposite side,” Swiatek said. “I knew Murphy was going to see it right away and we connected.”

Murphy went 8-for-16 on the night for 53 yards and a touchdown, while Novak led the team in rushing with 27 yards on nine carries to go with two receptions for 15 yards. 

Swiatek finished the night with one reception for 15 yards and a touchdown while Murphy notched 18 yards on two receptions. 

On defense, senior linebacker Jordan Medrano led the team with nine tackles, while sophomore defensive back Drew Swiatek had seven tackles.

“We really bounced back in the second half and brought the fight,” Luke Swiatek said. “A lot of times we got them to third and long, and ultimately we fought the whole time, which is a positive.”

RBHS coach Brendan Curtin said he was buoyed by the Bulldogs’ effort in the second half. A number of starters missing from the lineup also didn’t help any.

“I’m proud of them as football players,” he said. “They took a step closer in terms of finding out what our identity is.

“It’s been a tough season being down eight starters due to injury.”

Luke Swiatek and his teammates were happy to be back playing in front of the home crowd and will continue to compete with determination to finish the season strong with two home games left.

“It’s good to be out here with all my teammates, making everything count in this shortened season,” he said. “Everyone is going to be fighting in these last two games, just go out and do what we always do and play Bulldog football.”

This story has been changed to correct the RBHS football team’s record.