The Underdogs Do It Again

Brookfield East’s Road to State


Jack Bagby

The last time the Brookfield East Spartans were in the WIAA state championship was in 2016 when they beat Monona Grove, 42-36. 

Now, they are back. All of the freshmen from 2016 are now seniors looking to cement their place in history. Let’s look at the Spartans road to Camp Randall.

Level 1- The Slinger Owls (5) versus the Brookfield East Spartans (4)

The Spartans were ranked as the 4 seed going into the opening game against the 5th seed, Slinger. At halftime, the game was close with the score of 14-3 Spartans. 

In the 3rd quarter of the game, running back Donavan Hunt (12) took charge and ran for two touchdowns.  He finished with three rushing touchdowns overall in the game. 

Hunt (12) also made plays on defense, intercepting a pass and taking it back for a touchdown. This game ended with a 42-10 win in favor of the Spartans.

Level 2- The Brookfield East Spartans (4) versus the Brookfield Central Lancers (1)

Next up for Brookfield East was a familiar foe from across town: Brookfield Central. The Lancers were the number 1 seed in the region so they held the home-field advantage. 

Earlier in the season, the Lancers took down the Spartans at Brookfield East. This time the Spartans were looking for revenge. Things went differently, as the Brookfield East defense proved to be too much for the Lancers.  

The most impressive part of this game was the goose egg on the scoreboard for the Lancers as East held them to zero points. The defense held the Lancers to under 200 yards.

East also got three interceptions, two from quarterback Sam McGath (12) and one from defensive back Hayden Doyle (11). McGath (12), who also plays quarterback, rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown helping East win 20-0.

Level 3- The Brookfield East Spartans (4) versus the Menomonee Falls Indians (2)

The next opponent for Brookfield East was another conference rival: the number 2 seed Menomonee Falls Indians.

Earlier in the season, the Spartans lost a nail-biter at Menomonee Falls, with a final score of 7-9 in favor of the Indians. 

The second game was close for the first three quarters, shaping up to be another close game between the two teams. The score was 13-6 Spartans through three-quarters of good defensive football. Then the fourth quarter hit, and it was all Spartans.  

The backfield duo of quarterback McGath (12) and running back Hunt (12) exploded. McGath (12) ran for a touchdown and Hunt (12) ran for two in the 4th quarter alone extending the Spartan lead to 34-6.  

Hunt (12) finished the game with a stat line of 201 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The defense also got two interceptions one from defensive back Simon Attenberger (12) and one from linebacker Nate O’Connell (12).

Level 4- The Brookfield East Spartans versus the Superior Spartans @ Merrill High School

Next, the Spartans were on their way to Merrill for the state final against the number 4 seed: Superior. All the games Superior has played before the Spartans have been close, with Superior winning by less than ten points. Their last one was a battle with Kaukauna, where they came out victorious, 22-20.

Brookfield East struck first with a passing touchdown from McGath (12) to Hunt (12). However, Superior answered with a touchdown and a two-point conversion, putting them up 8-7. Superior’s lead was short-lived when McGath (12) ran for a 37-yard touchdown to put East up 14-8, seconds before the half ended.

East came out of halftime strong as Hunt (12) ran for two touchdowns and McGath (12) ran for one, giving East a 34-8 win punching their ticket to Camp Randall and the WIAA Division II State Championship.

Division II State Championship- the Brookfield East Spartans (4) versus the Waunakee Warriors (2)

Wisconsin’s Division II State Championship game holds a matchup between the 2 seeded Waunakee Warriors and the Brookfield East Spartans. 

Going into the game, Waunakee outscored opponents in the WIAA State Tournament 139-70. Brookfield East held their opponents to 24 points and scored 130. East started fast as McGath (12) ran for a 44-yard touchdown. However, Wanaukee answered with a touchdown of their own.

Going into the second half, it was a relatively high scoring game. Hunt (12) ran for three touchdowns giving the Spartans a 28-17 lead. The Warriors weren’t giving up as with eight seconds left they scored a touchdown to put them down by one. 

Waunakee decided to kick the extra point, likely tying the game and sending it to overtime. Waunakee still had a chance to win State after having been down the whole game.

After a series of events, including a recovered onside kick and a fumble on Waunakee’s last play, Brookfield East was named the State Champions for the second time in school history.

This season was a historic one for Spartans running back Hunt (12), who rushed for 1,908 yards and 27 touchdowns. McGath (12) rushed for 941 yards and nine touchdowns while passing for 954 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Spartans had a spectacular season, losing two games to two cross-town rivals and then beating them in the playoffs to help their efforts to Camp Randall. The 2019 Spartan Football team won the second State Championship in school history, cementing their place in Brookfield East history.