ELMWOOD PARK – After six weeks of frustration, Riverside Brookfield finally broke through with a win.
The Bulldogs picked up their first football win of the season with an emphatic 42-7 victory at Elmwood Park on Friday. Lewis Rogers headlined a number of standout performances from RB with a kickoff return for a touchdown and three interceptions.
Rogers, a senior captain, has been a playmaker for the Bulldogs all season.
“I can’t really say I’m surprised,” said RB coach Brendan Curtin. “He’s been a guy we can lean on the entire season. He’ll have a dropped ball here and there, but the thing with Lewis is he’s always going 100 miles per hour so he doesn’t let those things hold him back. He doesn’t have any fear when he takes the field.”
Justin Agne, Zach Witken and Kyle Tracy also found the end zone in the win. Linebackers Richard Theus and Jordan Petronella had big games on the defensive side of the ball and led the Bulldogs in tackles.
With no chance of making the playoffs the Bulldogs are playing for pride the rest of the season, but Curtin said the team had no problem focusing heading into the Elmwood Park game.
“I think the demeanor and the way the kids prepared for this game, you could see they were more locked than in weeks past,” Curtin said. “It’s good that we’re making strides in that regard.”
Curtin called the win a clean game with few sloppy mistakes. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Swift limited his mistakes as well. He was 14-for-18 through the air with one interception.
Swift’s development is one of the key things to watch the rest of the season since he will likely be the starting quarterback for the next two years.
“He’s doing a great job and I think he’s a force when he decides to run with the ball,” Curtin said. “We tried to work on developing his reads and getting the ball out of his hand.”
Next up for RB is a home game against Nazareth. The Roadrunners are 5-2 and have earned respect in the area by beating undefeated teams, Notre Dame and Benet, in the past two weeks.
Curtin left his assistant coach role at Naz to take over the head job at RB.
“Obviously I have a lot of respect for that football program, the coaches and players,” Curtin said. “Nazareth will always be near and dear to my heart, but right now I’m a Bulldog. It’s an opportunity to take on a highly ranked opponent.”
Riverside Brookfield 42, Elmwood Park 7
RB leaders: • Justin Agne: 2 rushing TDs • Zach Witken: 50-yard TD run • Lewis Rogers: 85-yard kickoff return TD, 3 INT • Kyle Tracy: 4 rec., TD
Week 8: Nazareth at Riverside Brookfield
When: 7:15 p.m. FridayWhere: 160 Ridgewood Rd., RiversideRecords: Riverside Brookfield 1-6, Nazareth 5-2Outlook: Fresh off its first win of the season RB will have a tough task in this non-conference showdown against a red-hot Nazareth team hoping to clinch a playoff spot. The Roadrunners have picked up wins over undefeated teams (Notre Dame and Benet) in each of the past two weeks. Naz has won this game by an average of 39 points the past two years.