Brookfield East will be counting on senior quarterback Zach Damico a lot this season. Friday night's 39-7 victory over Beaver Dam is a good example of that.
Damico combined for 273 yards passing (96 yards) and rushing (177), tossed in a 18-yard touchdown pass and ran for scores of 38 and 1-yard to spark the Spartans to an easy win.
Overall, he completed 7-of-16 passes, an average of 13.7 yards per completion. He rushed the ball 18 times, an average of 9.8 yards per attempt.
"Zach has picked up where he left off last year," coach Tom Swittel said. "He's our leader. He makes us go. Every team we play designs their defense to stop him."
Whereas running the ball is his game, Damico is effective in the short passing game.
"If we had to pass all the time, that wouldn't be a good thing," Swittel said. "We're not not geared that way. (He) escapes pressure well and a couple of times he forced it out and still completed it."
The Spartans (1-1) now open the Greater Metro Conference season Friday night against Marquette (1-1). The Spartans beat MUHS, 31-7, last year at Hart Park. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 32.
The Hilltoppers lost to Wisconsin Lutheran in the opener, but then were awarded a 2-0 forfeit win when it was discovered the Vikings used an ineligible player. Last week the Hilltoppers dropped a 31-8 decision to Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.).
"Marquette played two quality opponents," Swittel said. "Loyola Academy was a state champ a few years ago. Marquette is so big; they're huge. They are so much bigger than us, so it will be interesting to see what happens on Friday."
The Spartans scored first when Damico raced 38 yards for a score with 4 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Josh Rhea got the Beavers right back in the game when he returned East's kick-off 85 yards for the score and Kyle Ingram's point after tied the score at 4:34.
But Damico then took the Spartans down the field and he tossed an 18-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Chad Kluender with 2:51 left in the first quarter.
All-GMC place kicker Connor Allen's PAT made it 14-7.
The Spartans then opened the second quarter and scored on a safety at the 9:33 mark for a 16-7 lead when the defense blocked a punt out of the end zone.
East got good field position when the Beavers punted from the 20-yard line and a few minutes later, Damico scored on a 1-yard run at the 7:50 mark for a 23-7 advantage.
Then right before the half, Damico drove the Spartans down the field and Allen drilled in a 21-yard field goal with 39 seconds left for a 26-7 lead at intermission.
Junior running back Josh Dempsey added touchdowns from 25 yards out at 5:39 of the third quarter and from 10 yards out with 4:39 left in the game.
Dempsey was in the game for senior running back Gerald Childs, who injured his ankle on the first play.
"Josh was pressed into service and did a nice job," Swittel said of Dempsey. "He's a wrestler, a tough kid, with decent speed. He went in and stepped it up for us."
Another bright spot was Allen, who finished 4-for-5 on PATs and connected on a 21-yard field goal to add seven points to the scoreboard.
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