LEAVITTSBURG - There is a saying that "nobody's perfect." The Brookfield Warriors beg to differ.
With their 48-17 victory over LaBrae on Friday night, the Warriors completed an undefeated season - their first since the 1978 campaign.
"It feels great, it's a lifelong dream," Warriors coach Randy Clark said. "Anytime you can be in the same category as the '78 team, it means a lot."
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Brookfield’s Ryan Mosora (3) finds a hole and follows the blocking of teammate Gary Hiner (75) on LaBrae’s Justin Jenkins (14) and rushes for yardage during first-half action on Friday night. The Warriors won, 48-17.
Anytime someone can compare a Brookfield team to that of the '78 squad is an honor. That team, coached by legendary John Delserone, won the Class AA title in that undefeated season.
The 2012 Warriors are trying to follow in their footsteps and will begin their playoff run next week against an undetermined opponent. Before Friday night's game, the Warriors had already clinched a home game for the Division IV, Region 13 playoffs. After the victory, Brookfield will likely be the number one or two seed in the region. The official playoff pairings will be announced on Sunday.
But before the Warriors could begin postseason play, they needed to wrap up their perfect regular season. The Warriors got on the board in the early going. With great field position after the kick return, Brookfield went five plays for 50 yards on the scoring drive. The drive was highlighted by a marvelous 24-yard touchdown run by running back Ryan Mosora, putting Brookfield up 7-0 in the first quarter.
LaBrae got on the board late in the first quarter after a successful 10-play, 61-yard scoring drive, which was led by Vikings' quarterback Peyton Aldridge. During the drive, Aldridge completed five passes, including a 20-yard strike to wide receiver Marcel Richardson. The Vikings were down 7-6 after the missed the extra point.
Brookfield added on to their lead when the Warriors generated a 12-play, 70-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. Warriors quarterback Jeremy Quinlan hooked up with running back Joe Clark for a 6-yard pass, as Brookfield went for it on fourth down. Warriors then led, 14-6.
The Vikings cut into the deficit after an 11-play drive stalled, and settled for a 28-yard field goal by Ian Simmons, making it 14-9 Brookfield.
The Warriors increased their lead before the half after Quinlan scored with 9 seconds on the clock, when he rushed for a 4-yard touchdown, putting Brookfield up 21-9 going into the lockeroom.
Turnovers in the third quarter by LaBrae allowed Brookfield to add on to the lead and not look back.
LaBrae received the ball to start the second half. The Vikings fumbled on the kick return and Brookfield capitalized when Quinlan connected with wide receiver Don McFarland on a 35-yard pass play. Later in the quarter, Warriors cornerback Collin Harkulich intercepted his second of three passes in the game. On the second play of the possession after the turnover, Mosora ran through the Vikings and turned on the afterburners and scored on a 74-yard touchdown run. Brookfield led 34-9 after three quarters.
LaBrae was able to tack on a touchdown in the fourth quarter when Richardson caught a 5-yard reception for a touchdown from Aldridge. The LaBrae signal caller finished with 18 completions for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Richardson had six catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
Quinlan added two more touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, a 6-yard pass to RJ Leon and a 25-yard pass to Harkulich, giving Brookfield the victory.
Quinlan went 10 of 16 for 190 yards and three touchdowns for the Warriors. Mosora had another monstrous game, racking up 222 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
The Warriors will celebrate the season over the weekned, but will quickly turn their focus to the playoffs.
"There are a lot of things we need to clean up," Clark said. "We didn't execute very well tonight. We got to eliminate our penalties."