Brookfield East (12-2) captured the State championship in its first title game appearance with a 42-36 triumph over Monona Grove (11-3) Friday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.
At the onset, it appeared the gold trophy was going to be in the possession of the Silver Eagles. They scored on the opening drive, marching 79 yards in nine plays. Jackson Thomsen culminated the drive by scoring on a 13-yard scamper to give Monona Grove a 7-0 lead. Spencer Hampton blocked a punt on the ensuing Spartans’ possession, and Willie Klein recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Silver Eagles a 14-0 lead.
Sam Santiago-Lloyd led the Spartans on a 65-yard drive and scored the first of his State finals record five rushing touchdowns on a 6-yard run with 2:30 remaining in first quarter to cut the Monona Grove lead in half. Santiago-Lloyd scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard plunge on the Spartans next possession to tie the game at 14-14 with 9:45 left in the second quarter.
Monona Grove regained the lead at 21-14 just 14 second later on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Alec Ogden to Andryi Nahirniak. The Spartans would tie the game at 21-21 late in the first half on a 22-yard connection from Jake Graf to Patrick Cartier.
Santiago-Lloyd scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the game on a 7-yard run with 6:11 remaining in the third quarter and on a 14-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to give the Spartans a 35-21 advantage.
The Silver Eagles narrowed their deficit to 35-28 with 4:42 remaining in the game on a 5-yard run by Ogden. Santiago-Lloyd scored his fifth rushing touchdown on a 42-yard burst on a four-and-one situation with 2:31 remaining in the game.
Monona Grove completed the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Ogden to Frankie Langer with just under a minute to play. The Spartans covered the ensuing onside kick to secure the title.
The Spartans rushed for 378 yards in the game, led by Santiago-Lloyd with 197 yards and five touchdowns on 37 carries. Jake Graf ran 25 times for 170 yards, and he completed 3-of-4 passes for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Ogden connected on 10-of-15 passes for 138 yards a touchdown for Monona Grove. Andryi Nahirniak led all receivers with four catches for 111 yards and a score. Thomsen led the Silver Eagles in rushing, compiling 94 yards on 14 carries.
Monona Grove finishes runner-up for the second time in its five State finals appearances.