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Bruins fall to Brookside Christian
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It was a season to be proud of, even if the playoff run was a bit shorter than hoped for.

The Riverbank Bruins football team came up short against the Brookside Christian Knights in the first round of the Sac Joaquin Section Division 5 Playoffs on Friday night, Aug. 19, their season ending with a 36-15 defeat in Stockton.

But, as head coach Matt Elkins said, the season was an overall positive one for the Bruins. They finished over .500 (6-5) for the third straight year and also made the playoffs for the third straight year.

"The kids really worked hard and made it a goal to make the playoffs, and we did that," Elkins said. "We'll have 20 returning for next season, so next year should be good too."

Mike Dougherty had two touchdown catches from quarterback Daniel DeCroix, of 35 and 68 yards respectively, and Ben DeYoung had a two-point conversion for Riverbank.

Brookside Christian scored first to open up the game on a 70-yard bomb, and took a 21-7 lead into halftime. But the second strike from DeCroix to Dougherty pulled the Bruins within 21-15 early in the second half.

"The game was pretty close until midway through the third," Elkins said.

Then, Brookside Christian had an interception return for a touchdown. After a Riverbank three-and-out, the punt was also returned for a touchdown.

The same Brookside Christian player also had three receiving touchdowns to account for all of the Knights' points.

"He had a Randy Moss-type game," Elkins said. "He was tall, very athletic and fast. We tried double-teaming him but it didn't really work."

Riverbank certainly had its chances, getting the ball into the red zone six times but failing to convert any of the possessions. The Bruins also turned the ball over seven times on the frustrating night.

"We had just as many yards on offense as them," Elkins said. "We just couldn't produce. It's not how good you are, it's how good you perform. They came out and beat us; they played real well."

Jeff Lopez had a good game on defense for Riverbank, and Tony Winstead had an interception.

Brookside Christian moves on to the Division 5 semifinals to face powerhouse Central Catholic of Modesto.