Homestead's Jake Raddatz (#52) had one of the most dominating defensive performances we've ever seen at state
Brookfield Central opened the scoring, but Homestead closed things out in a big way, getting the final 41 points of the game as the Highlanders topped the Lancers 51-14 to claim the WIAA Division 2 state football title at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
Brookfield Central nearly hit a home run on its first drive, but Julian Banda couldn't haul in a deep pass with no Homestead defenders near him, and the Lancers punted.
On its second possession of the game, coming off a Joey Cleary interception, Brookfield Central got on the board first when Drew Leszdzynski hit Julian Banda from ten yards out for a score.
Homestead was able to get a field goal on its next possession, as the first quarter ended with Brookfield Central leading 7-3.
On the first play of the second quarter, the ball slipped from Leszczynski's hands and into those of 6'3", 275-pound Homestead defensive lineman Matt Thompson, who rumbled 39 yards to the Kimberly one. Quarterback Emory Weeden took it in for a touchdown on the next play to give the Highlanders a 10-7 advantage.
Brookfield Central answered again, driving 80 yards in 14 plays, capped by a four yard Julian Banda scoring run.
The back-and-forth continued, as Homestead marched down for a score of its own on a one-yard Emory Weeden plunge. The Highlanders added to their lead with a 37-yard touchdown run from Jared Schneider a short time later.
Brookfield Central appeared to be on the brink of a big score shortly before halftime, as a double reverse pass from Banda to Connor Kolb was wide open but slightly underthrown. Kolb was forced to wait for the ball a bit, and when he turned towards the end zone, Garrett Wilson caught up to him and punched the ball out, as Homestead recovered on the three.
It was a 24-14 game at halftime, as the teams combined for more than 500 yards of offense.
Homestead put together a typical Homestead drive to open the third quarter, but it was a Brookfield Central mistake that kept the drive alive. On third and goal from the 31, a Homestead pass was incomplete, which would have brought on fourth down, but Brookfield Central was penalized for roughing the passer, giving the Highlanders a first down. Schneider would go in from three yards out a short time later to put Homestead up 31-14.
Things unraveled quickly for Brookfield Central, as the Lancers turned the ball over on its next two possessions, both of which Homestead converted to points.
The Highlanders would tack on another score in the fourth quarter to finish the game with a running clock.
Jake Raddatz was a monster on defense for Homestead, recording nine tackles, six tackles for loss, and a state finals record 4.5 sacks.
Jared Schneider led three backs with at least 90 yards, going for 109 on the ground with two touchdowns. Quarterback Emory Weeden finished with 98 rushing yards and two scores, while Willie Garrison chipped in with 94 yards and two scores.
Despite battling a lower leg injury much of the game, Brookfield Central quarterback threw for 153 yards and a touchdown and made some nice plays on the ground as well. Rashad Lampkin led the Lancers with 97 rushing yards.
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