Football Preview Week 10 – Trenton @ Brookfield
The Trenton Bulldogs enter district play this Friday a little beat up to say the least. Coming in on a three-game losing streak, Trenton will have to overcome injuries if the team is to keep its season alive.
Terrin Ellis, who has started every game this season at left tackle, is out. Colton Neff, who has started every game at running back and amassed over 1,000 yards rushing on the season, is doubtful. Both players were injured in last week’s loss to Concordia. Neff is doubtful with what has been listed as a sprained ankle, but a game-time decision will say for sure whether he plays or not on Friday night.
“Every day (Neff) has gotten a little bit better,” Trenton Head Coach Wes Croy said. “We will just have to see how it goes over the next 24 hours or so. At this point in time I would still say he is doubtful. If we can get him taped up and get him out in pre-game and see what he is able to do, then we will make a decision at game time. It’s coming along better than we thought, though. On Monday it would have been a no, but it has improved over the course of the week. We will just have to see if he can plant off of it and accelerate off of it. We will test it tonight in practice and also see where we are at tomorrow.”
If Neff is unable to go, a committee of Chanse Houghton, Garrett Runnels and possibly Bailey Owen will move in along side Travis Leeper in the backfield.
“Chanse Houghton has been out of the offense basically since week three when he hurt an ankle,” Croy said. “He will see some carries, Garrett Runnels will see some time and then possibly Bailey Owen will move back in from wide-out. He was a running back last year and a running back in the pre-season and we moved him to flanker to get him on the field. If we need him he will be able to move back to halfback in a pinch.”
Trenton’s test in the first round of district play is a familiar foe in Brookfield. When the Missouri High School districts were re-aligned prior to last season, Bulldog fans were excited about the possibility of meeting former district rival Brookfield. For the second year in a row, Trenton gets just that. Brookfield ended Trenton’s season last year in the district’s first round and the Bulldogs will look to turn the tables on their rivals this year.
“It’s kind of ironic over the last 15 years or so Brookfield is the school we have had the most battles with as far as having something on the line with the old district format,” Croy said. “Now in the new format we see each other twice in a row. It makes it fun. Brookfield is a nice place to play and Coach (Nile) Thudium is a good coach and we play them in junior varsity, so we have some familiarity with them. I don’t know, to these kids, if it is anything near the rivalry game it was six or seven years ago when we were playing them every year. But, it’s still someone we know and are familiar with and because of that it makes it fun to go over there and play.”
Brookfield enters the game with a 6-3 record, fresh off of a big win over Clark County in the regular season finale. If Brookfield has an issue, however, it would be their offense. Big Blue was limited to under 20 points six times this season and held to under 10 points four times. Trenton on the other hand, hasn’t exactly been lights out on defense, allowing over 40 points in each of the past two weeks and 34 points the week before.
“It looks like we are fairly evenly matched if we can overcome our injury situation and play well on the road, which is something we haven’t been able to do the last few weeks,” Croy said. Hopefully, we can go over there and play mistake-free and if we do that we have a great opportunity. It’s up to us, though, to not have breakdowns on special teams, to not put the football on the ground and not miss open field tackles. Those are the things that have caused us to go on this skid and if we can alleviate that, then I think it could be anybody’s ballgame on Friday.”
Trenton and Brookfield will meet in the first round of the Class 2, District 8 Playoff on Burlington Field at Brookfield on Friday. Kickoff between the two Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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