Riverside Brookfield coach Otto Zemen's days may be numbered ? at least according to him.
Robeson leashed the Bulldogs 58-8 on Saturday at Stagg Field and left the long-time RB coach wondering if his team can salvage the young season. Robeson (3-0) leapt to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter, following a 75-yard interception return with 6:20 left in the half. The Bulldogs (1-2 Metro Suburban League) answered with a touchdown less than three minutes later, but couldn't muster any additional offense in the second half, much to Zemen's chagrin.
"Robeson has some really good players, but we made them look very good," Zemen said. "Moving forward, we just need to win. We better turn it around or they will have to fire the coach."
"They" would entail Zemen himself, since he is also RB's athletic director.
Robeson, which boasts a few Division I bound players, ran roughshod over the Bulldogs and by the end of the third, the score stood at 42-8. After failing to convert on a fourth down early in the third quarter, Zemen saw his glimmer of hope snuffed out and the Bulldogs never recovered.
"The game got out of hand in the third quarter and I really don't have an explanation," he said. "Simply put, we just got intimidated. After we came back and got the score at 28-8, I thought we might make a comeback. But then we went for it and didn't convert and things just unraveled from there."
Once again, RB senior quarterback Chris Pesek put up some impressive numbers, completing 24-of-48 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown. But three interceptions spelled disaster for Pesek and the Bulldogs. Zemen will need his senior quarterback to reduce his interceptions if the Bulldogs have any hope of making an impact in the Metro Suburban League.
Senior Dragon Milic paced the Bulldog receiving core, catching four passes for 76 yards and one TD, while Christian Musser had nine receptions for 99 yards. Junior Deion Walker had five receptions for 39 yards and senior Mark Razniewski caught four passes for 24 yards.
While the passing game was relatively successful, the RB rushing attack was non-existent, accounting for just 54 yards. Again, this sort of offensive output will not be sufficient for the Bulldogs to grab the top spot in the league, according to Zemen.
To make matters even difficult, the Bulldogs don't have time to recover from their wounds, with their first league opener against Elmwood Park looming on the horizon. Elmwood Park enters the game with a 2-1 record and a potent passing attack. Zemen will need his defense, anchored by senior linebacker Hank Sitkiewicz, to make sure the Elmwood offense does not fire on all cylinders.
"The league is a different story, we didn't fight against Robeson and we are better than that," Zemen said. "I am looking for somebody to step and provide us some much-needed leadership. We have to play better in all aspects, which means we need to get better offensively and defensively if we expect to turn things around."