With what seemed to be an effortless march down the field after receiving the opening kickoff, the Brookings-Harbor High School football team opened Friday night's game against Hidden Valley High School with a seven-point lead, and looked poised to win the season-opener.
The win failed to materialize.
The Bruin defense was unable to stop the Mustangs in the first and second quarters, the offense was unable to convert their efforts into touchdowns and at half-time the Bruins went into the locker room down 7-14.
"I feel like we made some mistakes," Senior CJ Paxton said following the game. "I feel like the team did a pretty good job, but we've got some stuff to work on."
The Bruin offense seemed to work flawlessly when it was firing on all cylinders, but when it mis-fired the holes got plugged and the team couldn't get where they needed to go.
For senior quarterback Jr. Helme's passing game, it was an excellent night, with a 100-percent pass completion rate and a passing touchdown with Paxton in the fourth quarter. Helme also scored the first touchdown of the night on a quarterback keeper.
The Bruin's only other score came when Chandler Dodd andndash; though hindered by a groin muscle strain andndash; scampered for a 45-yard touchdown with just 13.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The ensuing on side kickoff was recovered by the Mustangs setting them up for a quick score early in the fourth.
The Bruins refused to back down though, as the defense showed moments of brilliance in sacking the Mustang quarterback multiple times and senior Justin Schultz picking off two Mustang passes.
The first interception by Schultz happened with the clock winding down to zero at the end of the second quarter.
Schultz read the quarterback like a dime-store novel and cleanly picked off the pass. He then pitched the ball to Justin Murray, who ran for 40 yards, avoiding three tackles before being brought up seven yards short of the goal line.
Schultz' other interception came with 1:52 remaining in the third quarter when he made a one-handed catch that elicited ooohs from the crowd and brought them to their feet. That interception resulted directly in Dodd's touchdown on the subsequent set of plays.
The Bruins caught a lucky break down 13-28 in the fourth quarter.
Forced to punt on fourth down, the Bruin punter kicked a straight shot down the field that kissed off the body of a Mustang special teams member and continued bouncing down the field.
The Bruins recognized the enormity of the Mustang error and fell on the ball on the 14-yard line.
The following play, Helme connected with Paxton for the Bruins' third and final touchdown.
Helme kept the ball as they tried for the two-point conversion to make up for an earlier missed point-after-attempt.
Down by just one touchdown, the Bruins looked to recover an on side kick but failed to do so and they were unable to stop the Mustangs from moving the chains and running out time.
"They're giving it everything they've got," Head Coach Joe Morin said. "We just need a couple of more bullets."
The yellow flags seemed to be unable to stay in their owner's pockets as both teams received their fair share of penalties, including the ejection of a Hidden Valley player for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Bruins will travel to Medford on Friday for a game against Cascade Christian High School. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.