After starting the season 2-0, Brookstone hit its first bump in the road last week, falling on a last-second field goal on the road. This week the Cougars experienced a different kind of disappointment, falling 7-3 at home on homecoming in a defensive struggle at the hands of Dooly County.
"We were able to move the ball up and down the field, especially in the first half," said Brookstone coach Brad Dehem. "It gets a lot tougher when you get close to the goal line. They are very athletic in the secondary and we just didn't win some balls when we needed to."
Brookstone dominated possession in the first half, running 46 plays to only 23 for the Bobcats and keeping the ball for almost 12 minutes. The Cougars drove into the Dooly red zone three times but were stopped by interceptions on two of those drives.
The first interception came after a long 18 play drive. The Cougars had the ball at the Dooly nine yard line and quarterback Duncan Fletcher tried to loft a fade to the right corner of the endzone, but Tay Daniels won the jump-ball and grabbed the interception in the endzone to kill the threat after the Cougars had eaten up over half of the first quarter on its initial drive.
After a Dooly fumble recovered by Madison McCluskey, the Cougars were back in business in Bobcat territory. Brookstone drove from the 46 all the way to the Dooly six yard line. A false start penalty moved the ball back five yards and on the next play Fletcher's pass was tipped by a linebacker and picked off at the three yard line by Kereon Merrell, killing another scoring opportunity.
The third foray deep into Bobcat territory came after Joseph Akin pounced on a bad snap to quarterback AJ Smith. That put the Cougars in business at the Dooly 23. Four plays and a pair of penalties later, the Cougars faced fourth down at the Bobcat 16 and Miller Page came on to drill a 38-yard field goal. That would account for the only scoring in the half.
The two teams combined for five turnovers in the first half. Brookstone lost the ball on two red zone interceptions to stop potential scoring drives, while Dooly had one pass intercepted and lost two fumbles.
After the two teams traded interceptions to begin the second half, Dooly used a mixture of runs and passes to move inside the Cougar 30. Brookstone held on third down to force a fourth-and-four at the Cougar 27. The Bobcats elected to go for it and got a touchdown as Smith found Tyrone Anderson open down the seam in the middle of the field for a 27-yard score. Diego Cruz added the extra point and Dooly led 7-3.
Brookstone missed a field goal on yet another trip into the red zone early in the fourth quarter, and Dooly was able to muster enough offense to eat up time on its possessions. Brookstone's final possession ended with the fourth interception of the night with less than a minute to play.
Friday at Rex Knight Field
Dooly Co. 0 0 7 0--7
Brookstone 0 3 0 0--3
B--Miller Page 38 FG, 4:27
DC--Tyrone Anderson 27. pass from AJ Smith (Diego Cruz kick), 4:38
Records: Dooly County 2-1, 0-0 Region 4-A; Brookstone 2-1, 0-0. Next: Brookstone home vs. Pacelli, Friday, 7:30 p.m.