Chiefs take 28-27 win over conference foe after game resumed on Saturday

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

It took 24 hours longer than expected for the Big Foot football team’s season opener Friday night against Brodhead-Juda to reach a conclusion.

But when you get a hard-fought win over a longtime Rock Valley Conference opponent, the wait is more than worth it.

Brodhead held an 11-point lead when play was halted with 8:18 left Friday because of lightning, but when the game resumed the following night, the Chiefs responded for a 28-27 victory.

There were plenty of positives to come out of the win, Big Foot coach Greg Enz said – but it’s clearly still early and there’s a lot of work ahead.

“I think it was a big win from many angles,” he said. “The question becomes, do we keep it in perspective? We will need to focus on errors that we made and discuss the importance of playing with high energy throughout the game.”

Enz said the delay gave him and his coaches a chance to watch film up to that point and make some corrections before the game resumed Saturday night.

“With film, the ability to correct something is more tangible to the player when (he) can visually see what he did, and then you can walk him through physically how to do it,” Enz said. “This was able to apply itself to this situation.”

Big Foot began its comeback with less than six minutes remaining on a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jackson Enz that culminated a nine-play, 73-yard drive to the end zone.

From there, the Chiefs’ defense went to work, as they turned the ball back over to the offense with just 90 seconds remaining.

Enz quickly moved the offense into scoring position on a pair of catch-and-throws to Jack Heidenreich for 24 and 22 yards, respectively, before he made the biggest completion of the game to Pedro Sierra in the back of the end zone for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.

“I had consistently mentioned to (the team) Saturday that we had to score quickly, get a (defensive) stop quickly and then we would win the game,” Enz said.

“The kids fulfilled the expectations. This all came to fruition in one of the more dramatic catches that I have ever been a part of where Pedro caught the winning touchdown pass.”

Brodhead strikes first

The Cardinals took a 7-0 lead before the Chiefs answered on a 7-yard touchdown run by Michael Petkoff. The extra point by Nelson Tovar knotted things up at 7-7.

Brodhead responded with two straight touchdowns to take a 21-7 halftime lead, but again the Chiefs rallied back.

Sierra caught his first touchdown of the nigh on a 3-yard pass from Enz, followed by a safety when Brodhead quarterback Matt Schmitt was tackled in the end zone.

Schmitt’s 5-yard touchdown just before the delay gave Brodhead a 27-16 lead before Big Foot’s comeback.

Brodhead outgained the Chiefs in nearly every statistical category, including on the ground, as it rushed 47 times for 206 yards compared to 25 attempts for 132 for the Chiefs.

“This had a lot to do with Brodhead’s philosophy,” Enz said. “They were going to control the clock, move the ball methodically and make their offense a form of defense.

“In the first half, we only had 13 plays and seven points. By the time we reached the lightning delay, we had 20 plays and nine points. Our last two drives amounted to 17 plays alone.”

Big Foot enjoyed a 183-182 edge in passing yards. Individual offensive statistics were unavailable.

Defensive leaders for Big Foot included Jacque Christman with 17 total tackles, Olinh Craig with 15, Brennan Malone with 11, Petkoff with eight and Danny Carpentar with six.

Chiefs host Trojans

Next up for Big Foot is a home matchup tonight against East Troy at 7 p.m. The Trojans opened 2016 with a 33-7 victory over McFarland to give new head coach Jeff Crandall his first varsity win.

Enz doesn’t expect much to change in the Trojans’ attack when the two meet this week.

“(Crandall) was a part of the previous staff and everything has continued status quo in terms of scheme,” Enz said. “They have always had athletic players, and this year is no different.”

Enz said he’s looking for across-the-board improvements.

“We will have to be more consistent offensively,” he said. “We need to execute at a higher level with more intensity throughout the game. Defensively, we have to force our opponent to punt, create turnovers and put the offense in advantageous situations.

“If we can accomplish those things, we will have made the improvements necessary to springboard us into the following weeks.”

 

 

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