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Literal lights-out football in Brookfield

September 1, 2012
By TIM CLEVELAND - Tribune Chronicle (tcleveland@tribtoday.com) , Underthelights

BROOKFIELD - There were enough penalties, turnovers and gaffes in the first quarter of Friday's game between Brookfield and Newton Falls for an entire game.

The two teams combined for 10 penalties, four fumbles, a missed field goal, a blocked extra point, an interception and a safety.

Oh yeah, the lights and scoreboard also went out.

After a 34-minute delay due to the outage, the game was called with 11.7 seconds left in the first quarter and Brookfield leading 17-6. The game will be resumed today at noon.

"(We were a)?little sluggish in the beginning, which we've got to clean it up," Brookfield coach Randy Clark said. "We had key mistakes on offense; that fumble, which was a fluke. You give the ball on the 1-yard line, you're going to give up a score. Overall, I think we did pretty well."

The Tigers caught Brookfield flat-footed to begin the game, recovering an onside kick to have the ball at the Warriors' 43.

Newton Falls began its first offensive drive with three consecutive false-start penalties and a fumble, putting itself in a first-and-25 on its own 41. Quarterback Brandon Fuller completed a pass to Jacob Tocco for an apparent first down, but the play was wiped out on a penalty.

"We came out slow and jittery," Newton Falls coach Jon Culp said. "Things kind of snowballed but once we get back on track we're starting to move in the right direction now. You just can't spot people 17, 18 points like we have been."

Brookfield got the game's first touchdown as Jeremy Quinlan took off for a 40-yard gain down to the Newton Falls 30 on the third play of the drive and Ryan Mosora rushed in for the score on the next play with 6:05 left.

The Tigers were backed up their own 2 on the ensuing kickoff and facing a third-and-10 on the 2, Jimmy Quinlan broke through and tackled Crowder in the end zone as he attempted to punt for a safety and a 9-0 lead.

Mosora took the free kick and returned it 52 yards to the Newton Falls 18. Jeremy Quinlan rushed twice down to the 5, and two plays later Joe Clark went in from the 3. Mosora passed to Collin Harkulich for the two-point conversion and the Warriors led 17-0 with 2:10 remaining.

Newton Falls then drove 55 yards to the Brookfield 10. Fuller completed a pass to Derek Walton, who fumbled at the 1 and Eric Martin recovered for the Warriors in the end zone for a touchback.

On the very next play, Jeremy Quinlan passed to his brother Jimmy to the 32, but a fumble was recovered by Walton, who returned it to the 1. Walton scored to get Newton Falls on the board but a blocked PAT made it an 11-point game.

tcleveland@tribtoday.com