Kimberly's streak is over, and the 2003-2008 Stratford teams could be heard popping sparkling grape juice, as Muskego de-throned the Papermakers 24-21 for the Division 1 state championship Friday evening.
Thus ends one of the most impressive streaks in state history, as Kimberly had won five consecutive titles, the last four in Division 1 after a D2 championship in 2013.
Muskego's running game out of the Wing-T offense was too much for the Papermakers, as the Warriors rolled up 306 yards on the ground, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt.
The game was back-and-forth throughout, with Kimberly scoring first on a four-yard Caleb Frazer run late in the first quarter. Less than 20 seconds later, Muskego's Alex Current tied things up on a 74-yard touchdown run.
The team's traded scores in the second quarter, but a short Lucas Amaya field goal gave Muskego a 17-14 halftime lead. Kimberly was in a position to possibly tie or take the lead right before half, but the Papermakers saw the clock run out after getting inside the Muskego 10-yard line.
Kimberly got a big boost right after the break, as Peter Biolo forced a fumble that the Papermakers recovered on the first play of the half. A few plays later, Cody Staerkel found Conner Wnek for a five yard touchdown, as the Papermakers went up 21-17.
Muskego put together an 11-play drive to follow, but missed a long field goal.
The next Kimberly possession was a key turning point, as the Papermakers stalled out and were forced to punt near midfield. A bad snap sailed over the punter's head, resulting in a 24-yard loss, with Muskego taking over at the 27. On the very first play, Current scored his second touchdown to put the Warriors on top 24-21.
After driving into Muskego territory on its next drive, Kimberly would turn it over on an interception. Muskego punted on its next possession, but Kimberly went three and out, punting the ball away with five minutes left on the clock on fourth and 14 from their own 23-yard line.
Kimberly had all three timeouts remaining, but could not get the stop they needed, as Muskego ran off the final five minutes on 10 plays to seal the deal.
Muskego's Alex Current finished with 127 rushing yards and two scores on just seven carries, while John Reiske had 112 yards and a score as well.
It is the first state championship for Muskego, who finished as runner-up in 1994 in its only previous state appearance.
After seeing its 70-game winning streak ended back in Week 1 this year, Kimberly's five year run as state champions comes to a close as well. The Papermakers had been attempting to join Stratford (2003-2008) as the only team to win six straight state titles.
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