BROOKFIELD — If the Brookfield High School football team was looking for a breakout performance, it may have gotten one Thursday night.
The Bobcats excelled in all three phases — offense, defense and special teams — in a 51-19 triumph over South-West Conference foe Stratford. For a young Brookfield team which had lost two straight, this may very well be exactly the spark it needed.
“That was the best performance we’ve had all year, without a doubt,” Brookfield coach Rich Angarano said. “We have a young team with a new offense that we’re running. We hope to continue moving in the right direction.”
With a 2-2 record and six more games still to go, this win was certainly a big step forward.
“It’s do-or-die right now. We have to start winning games and stringing wins together,” Brookfield running back Conor McVey said. “We have to play every game like it’s our last.”
The Bobcats piled up the points in all sorts of different ways. McVey rushed 15 times for 80 yards and four touchdowns. He would have had five touchdowns, if not for a fumble on the goal line, which, fortunately for Brookfield, bounced forward into the end zone when it came loose, and Trevor Sterry pounced on it for Bobcat touchdown. Perhaps it wasn’t exactly how that play was drawn up in the play book, but it was a touchdown all the same.
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Quarterback Liam Carroll rushed nine times for 102 yards and hit Gavin Borges with a 16-yard touchdown pass. Borges raced 47 yards for a score after scooping up a fumble caused by a jarring sack by Chris Comizio. James Levi returned a fumble one yard for a score.
The Brookfield defense capped the night with a safety in the fourth quarter, as Jihoon Kang and Matthew Heelan made a tackle in the end zone after a Stratford fumbled snap on a punt attempt. Several other big plays on defense directly resulted in Brookfield points. A sack by Borges on fourth down late in the first quarter led to McVey’s second touchdown run. A Matt Rosa interception in the third quarter set up McVey’s fourth touchdown.
“I think, in some ways, we played well, however, we made a lot of mistakes today,” Stratford coach Jack Petion said. “If I had to guess, we gave up 30 points off mistakes, but give credit to Brookfield because they put us in those situations and they made those plays.”
Sterry added an interception on the final play of the first half, and Michael Quinn recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter.
Levi’s one-yard fumble return came one play after Brookfield punter Michael Scribner pinned Stratford deep. Scribner was 7-for-7 on extra-point attempts and booted five kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
Although the turnovers and miscues were costly, the Red Devils showed some flashes of brilliance as well. Stratford got on the board in the second quarter when turbo-charged running back Toure Hall caught a short pass from Jack Ryan and raced 75 yards for a touchdown. Ryan later connected with Jasen Docteur on an 11-yard scoring strike, and ran one in himself from two yards out. Kyle Long and Jahki Rogers both recovered fumbles in the fourth quarter.
“The team that we have that can be a good football team wasn’t the team that played tonight,” Petion said. “We definitely have to look in the mirror, get back to work and see what went wrong and how we can fix it.”
BROOKFIELD 51, STRATFORD 19
BROOKFIELD14 21 14 2 — 51
STRATFORD0 12 7 0 — 19
Bk—Conor McVey, 3 run (Michael Scribner kick).
Bk—Trevor Sterry, fumble recovery in end zone (Scribner kick).
Bk—McVey, 15 run (Scribner kick).
Bk—Gavin Borges, 16 pass from Liam Carroll (Scribner kick).
S—Toure Hall, 75 pass from Jack Ryan (run failed).
Bk—James Levi, 1 fumble return (Scribner kick).
S—Jasen Docteur, 11 pass from Ryan (kick blocked).
Bk—McVey, 8 run (Scribner kick).
Bk—Borges, 47 fumble return (Scribner kick).
S—Ryan, 2 run (Ryan Wechter kick).
Bk—Safety, Jihoon Kang and Matthew Heelan tackle in the end zone.
Records: Stratford 1-3, 1-2 SWC; Brookfield 2-2, 2-1 SWC.
Video via CT Sports Now on Vantage Sports Network.