RBHS quarterback Diego Gutierrez threw a 57-yard touchdown pass and added a 56-yard touchdown run to lead the Bulldogs past St. Edward 35-7 on Sept. 23. (FILE 2022)

The Riverside-Brookfield High School football team continued its strong defense Sept. 23, and nearly enjoyed its first shutout of the season.

Only a score in the final three minutes of the game after a nice catch on a 28-yard pass play prevented the Bulldogs in their 35-7 victory at St. Edward (1-4, 0-2).

RBHS (4-1, 3-0 in Metro Suburban Red) is now one victory from becoming playoff eligible with five victories. The Bulldogs visit Westmont on Sept. 30.

“We did what we needed to do,” RBHS coach Sam Styler said. “Early on, we were a little flat, but after those first couple of stops, a couple of turnovers, we got back on track.”

Chris Brown had an interception and Luke Smithing recovered a fumble. Other defensive leaders included Jack Grivetti (4 tackles, 3 assists), Drew Swiatek (4 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 assists), Dillon Coen (4 tackles), Brown (3 tackles), Jackson Drumheller (2 tackles, 5 tackles) and Ryan Novak (2 tackles, 2 assists).

RBHS quarterback Diego Gutierrez was 6-for-10 passing for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a 56-yard touchdown run.

“Gutierrez had a phenomenal game,” Styler said. “[Defensively] Ryan Novak was able to come in for a couple of series, but on that alone had four tackles, forced a fumble.”

Gutierrez hit Iggy Bielobradek for a 57-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter and began the second-quarter scoring with his 56-yard touchdown run. RBHS led 28-0 at halftime as junior Luke Kumskis had a 15-yard touchdown run and then caught a 5-yard touchdown pass. David Valencia added a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Bielobradek caught four passes for 95 yards and converted three extra points.

The Bulldogs replicated the score of their 35-7 homecoming victory over Aurora Christian and have allowed just seven points in each of the last three games.