Muskego (14-0) ended the reign of former four-time defending Division 1 champion Kimberly with a 24-21 triumph over the Papermakers in the championship game Friday evening at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.
The Papermakers had won five straight championships, one came in Division 2 (2013) and four in Division 1 (2014-17).
Kimberly scored the game’s first points on a four-yard touchdown run by Caleb Frazier with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter. The Warriors responded on its next play from scrimmage with Alex Current racing 74-yards to the end zone to tie the game at 7-7 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter.
Muskego grabbed its first lead of the game on a 18-yard field goal by Lucas Amaya with 6:29 to play in the half. The Papermakers regained the lead at 14-10 on a 31-yard pass from Cody Staerkel to Conner Wnek at the 3:12 mark of the second quarter.
The Warriors retook the lead when John Reiske broke free on a 45-yard scoring jaunt, giving Muskego a 17-14 advantage with 2:04 remaining in the first half.
Kimberly scored on the opening drive of the second half on Wnek’s second touchdown catch from Staerkel, a five-yarder at 9:29 to give the Papermakers a 21-17 lead. The Warriors took advantage of an errant snap from center on a Kimberly attempted punt to gain possession of the ball the Papermakers’ 27-yard line. Current took a handoff on the first play of the drive and sprinted to the end zone to put the Warriors ahead to stay, 24-21, with 11:42 left on the clock.
Current and Reiske led the potent Warrior’s rushing attack that amassed 306 yards. Current ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns, and Reiske added 112 yards and a score with RJ Bosshart chipping in with 74 yards. AJ Makinen only attempted three passes, completing one for 13 yards. Defensively, the Warriors were led by Hunter Wohler with 15 tackles, and both Mitch Borkovec and Sam Chovanec were credited with interceptions.
Kimberly was led in rushing by Frazier with 71 yards and a touchdown, and Cody Staerkel completed 17-of-30 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite receivers were Zach Lechnir with seven catches for 80 yards and Conner Wnek with five receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Briar Barglind led the Papermakers on defense with seven tackles and a forced fumble.
Muskego wins its first State title in its second experience in the finals, and Kimberly finishes runner-up in its ninth appearance in the championship game.
Homestead (14-0) capped an undefeated season with a 51-14 win over Brookfield Central (12-2) to win the Division 2 title Friday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium.
The 51 points ties a Division 2 championship game record.
The Lancers got on the scoreboard first on a 10-yard, side-armed pass from Drew Leszczynski to Julien Banda for a 7-0 lead at the 7:27 mark for the first quarter. Homestead responded with a 22-yard field goal by Jordan Gomez on its next drive to narrow the deficit to 7-3.
Homestead’s Matt Thompson intercepted a deflected pass in the Lancers backfield and returned it to the Brookfield Central 1-yard line early in the second quarter. The Highlanders scored on the next play with a run by Emory Weeden to take a 10-7 lead with 11:27 remaining in the first half.
Brookfield Central went 80 yards on 13 plays on its next possession to regain the lead at 14-10 on a four-yard run by Banda. However, Homestead counter-punched on another one-yard touchdown run by Weeden on its next possession by marching 77 yards on nine plays to take a 17-14 advantage with 4:01 remaining in the first half.
The Highlanders began seizing the momentum on a 37-yard dash by Jared Schneider to take a 24-14 lead with 1:47 remaining in the second quarter. They retained the momentum to start the second half, driving 70 yards on their first possession of the half to take 31-14 lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Schneider. They added another score at 4:54 of the third quarter on a 29-yard, hook-and-ladder pass play. Weeden threw to Luke Konik, who pitched to Schneider, who took it the remaining 25 yards for a touchdown.
After a Lancer turnover deep in their own territory, the Highlanders increased its lead to 45-14 on a Willie Garrison four-yard run with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter. Garrison found the end zone again with 10:42 remaining in the game on a 17-yard run to increase the Homestead lead to 51-14.
The Highlanders rushed for 337 yards in the game. Schneider ran for a game-high 109 yards and two scores; Emory Weeden added 98 yards and two touchdowns; and Willie Garrison contributed with 94 yards and a pair of scores. Weeden completed 2-of-9 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, and his top target Luke Konik had two catches for 32 yards. Defensively, Jake Raddatz set a State championship game record with 4.5 sacks, which are included in his team-leading nine tackles and six tackles for loss.
Leszczynski completed 10-of-18 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown for the Lancers. Rashad Lampkin gained 97 yards on the ground. Banda was the top pass catcher with five receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown, and Connor Kolb had two catches for 102 yards. The defense was paced by Drew Seymour with nine tackles, including two for lost yardage.
Homestead wins its third Division 2 crown, and its sixth State championship overall. Brookfield Central finishes runner-up for second consecutive season.
Catholic Memorial (13-1) won the Division 3 championship of the State Football Finals with a come-from-behind 37-24 victory over West De Pere (13-1) Friday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.
West De Pere took nearly half the first quarter to score on their opening drive of the game. Josh Blount capped an 81-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give the Phantoms a 7-0 lead at the 6:09 mark. They increased their lead to 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter on one-yard scoring run by Cody Cavil after the Phantoms recovered a fumble in Crusaders’ territory. West De Pere took a 17-0 lead on the final play of the half on a 22-yard by Sawyer Grovogel.
The Phantoms intercepted a Crusaders’ pass on the opening play of the second half and returned it deep into Catholic Memorial territory. They scored three plays later on a two-yard run by Cavil to up their lead to 24-0.
The Crusaders began their comeback by scoring their first points of the game on the ensuing drive. Luke Fox connected with Cole Dakovich for an eight-yard touchdown strike to narrow the deficit to 24-8. They scored on back-to-back possessions when Alex Oechsner broke tackles on a short pass from Fox to race 42 yards down the sideline and into the end zone to make the score 24-16.The Crusaders got back to even at 24-24 with a 15-yard run by Tate Kopulos followed by the two-point conversion with 9:30 to play in the fourth quarter.
Catholic Memorial took its first lead of the game at 31-24 with 7:47 remaining on a 70-yard Luke Fox sprint to pay dirt. The Crusaders added insurance on a 56-yard interception return by Joe Oechsner to increase their lead to 37-24 with 3:42 to play.
Luke Fox completed 19-of-29 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns for the Crusaders. He also ran for 84 yards and a score. Tate Kopulos led the Catholic Memorial ground game, rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown. Alex Oechsner caught a game-high six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, and Joe Sikma chipped in with five receptions for 51 yards. Defensively, Luke Hubley made a game-high 15 tackles, including four behind the line of scrimmage.
Josh Blount led the Phantoms offensively, completing 10-of-17 passes for 154 yards, and rushing for a team-high 87 yards on 28 carries. Cody Cavil added 45 yards and two touchdowns running and Sam Mommaerts caught two passes for 60 yards. Ben Pawlek led the defense with seven tackles and an interception.
Catholic Memorial wins the programs’ third State title in its sixth appearance in the finals. West De Pere finishes runner-up in its fourth State championship game experience.