The Brookfield East football team might be able to finally silence the critics after shutting out previously-unbeaten Menomonee Falls on Friday, 21-0.
"I was not surprised with how well Brookfield East played," Falls head coach John Baker said aftewards. "The kids are believing, they were 3-0, they played extremely hard."
The Spartans are now 4-0 overall following their impressive victory, the only team in the rugged Greater Metro Conference without a loss this season.
They are tied with Brookfield Central (2-0, 3-1) for first place in the conference, following the Lancers' 56-38 victory over Sussex Hamilton at home, giving the top of the GMC a Brookfield flavor.
East coach Tom Swittel continues to pull all the right strings in his second season at the helm, as he has put together a 13-2 record since taking over.
Swittel used the right combination of junior running back Zach Schober and a hard-hitting defense to shut down the Indians, who scored 49, 28 and 35 points in winning their first three games.
Schober carried the ball 30 times for 149 yards and scored a 3-yard touchdown to carry the Spartans offense.
"I could give him the ball 150 times a game, if he could handle it," said Swittel when asked about his running back's workload. "He has so much heart. He's in such great shape, he can handle the abuse."
Baker also talked up the durable Schober.
"He's a big physical kid," he said. "You see him on tape ... he's a real good football player; ran hard. He had his pad level low and he is really aggressive."
The Spartans defense — which has allowed one touchdown from scrimmage in 16 quarters now — also stepped up again, as they were led by sophomore linebacker Vince Schimborski and senior defensive back Nate Mikulsky, who each had eight tackles.
Co-defensive co-ordinators Ben Farley and Mike Harr have taken advantage of the Spartans speed so far this season.
"We have a much more aggressive defense this year," Swittel said. "It's more technique-oriented. No matter what offense we play against, if they read the right things and do the things we want them to do, they'll get to the football.
"We also have pretty good team speed and we want to spill things, get to the sideline and take advantage of our speed, and we didn't do that last year, so this has really suited us well."
East held running back Justin Johnson, who rushed for 139 yards last week in a 35-7 win over Wauwatosa East, to 24 yards. And quarterback Brett Krause was only 12-for-20 for 81 yards.
"We squandered some opportunitities early on in the game when it was 0-0," Baker said. "And in a game like this between two 3-0 teams, you have to make plays.
"I think we had a dropped ball down. We had a touchdown called back for holding. We had a missed field goal. We squandered opportunities. That doesn't take anything away from what Brook East did; they did a nice job inside, really played physical, hard all night."
Krause ran in a touchdown from 18 yards out on third and seven with 4 minutes, 27 seconds left in the first quarter which was called back for holding. After stopping East on a 3-and-out, the Indians missed a 32-yard field goal with 10:45 left in the third quarter.
East defensive lineman Jivanni Hudson came up with big third-down sack with 4:46 left in the half, and East took advantage of the opportunity.
The Spartans scored went 25 yards in five plays, as quarterback Bryce Pompos had a 9-yard run and reserve running back Nate Schneider broke two tackles and raced 10 yards down to the 1-yard line. Pompos took it in.
Schober's point after make it 7-0 with 2:17 left in the half, and that's the way it stayed at intermission.
Falls came out in the second half and put together a 6-play drive, but on fourth and one at midfield, defensive lineman Eric Hunt had the key hit in stopping Johnson from getting a first down.
Pompos then directed a 10-play, 50-yard drive, with Schober accounting for 35 yards in seven carries and scoring from 3-yards out with 5:23 left in the third quarter for a 14-0 lead.
The Spartans then took advantage of another opportunity when Hutson caused a fumble and Alec James recovered at the Falls 8-yard line. Two plays later, Pompos scored from 4-yards out to capped the 21-0 win with 9:38 left to play.
"I talked to our guys about it," Baker said. "We have to be able to take advantage of field position and make plays in big games. And Brookfield East came up with more big plays than we did tonight."
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