Big Foot’s football team played its final home game of the regular season Oct. 11 against perennial rival Brodhead/Juda. What looked like a close shootout at halftime turned into a runaway, as the visiting Cardinals beat the Chiefs 40-19.
As has been the case in a number of games for Big Foot this season — both in wins and in losses — the opposition started out hot before the Chiefs roared to life to take the lead.
Brodhead scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter to take a 12-0 lead. The first score was a pass from Cole Hoesley to Brady Malkow, with the second coming on a 3-yard rush by Nick Naramore.
Big Foot was not able to get on the board until the second quarter when receiver Owen Martin scored a 6-yard rushing touchdown to cut it to a 12-6 deficit. Not long after, Martin found the end zone again, this time on a 27-yard pass from quarterback Basil Demco to give the Chiefs a 13-12 advantage.
The Cardinals fired back to reclaim their lead when Dalton Naramore rushed for a 9-yard score to put Brodhead up 18-13. However, before halftime the Chiefs got another one-point lead, 19-18, when receiver Jack Gillingham hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Demco, with an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt.
With a back-and-forth first half, it appeared the two teams were headed for a high-scoring duel to the end. Instead, the second half saw the Brodhead rushing attack grind down the Chiefs to score 22 points, and Big Foot’s offense was unable to muster any more offense of its own to combat the Cardinals.
“They were more physical than us, and the big plays we were making on offense stopped happening in the second half. So the shootout we had going on in the first half turned into a pretty good win for Brodhead,” Chief head coach Mike Welden said.
That physicality was noticeable in the box score, as the Cardinals racked up 359 rushing yards, compared to only 171 on the ground for Big Foot. Two Brodhead/Juda players had over 100 yards rushing each, as Dalton Naramore led the team with 178 yards and one score, while Nick Naramore had 147 yards and three touchdowns. Big Foot only had one 100-plus rusher, as Cole Vance had 103 yards on the ground.
For Welden, that physical difference in the game can serve as a teaching tool to demonstrate just how important it is to bulk up in the weight room — not just in the offseason before senior year, but in the entirety of one’s high school career.
“It happens when you go against programs that have been very dedicated in the weight room for not just a summer, for years and years,” Welden said. “It’s a mentality, too, where they know they’re a little bit stronger than you.”
Big Foot’s last game of the regular season comes on the road, as the Chiefs travel to Edgerton for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Oct. 18. The Crimson Tide come into the matchup with a 7-1 record, looking like one of the strongest teams in the Rock Valley Conference.
If the Chiefs pull off the upset victory, they would clinch a spot in the playoffs. Even with a loss, the team will more than likely qualify for the postseason.