The top two offensive players in the Greater Metro Conference showed up at Brookfield East last Friday before an estimated crowd of 2,000 and both players lived up to their hype.
Brookfield Central senior quarterback Jason Meichtry and East junior running back Zach Schober accounted for 28 and 26 points, respectively, in the Lancers’ 34-28 overtime victory Friday, which moved Central into a first place tie.
Meichtry passed for one touchdown and rushed for three more (16, 5, 2), the last from two yards out in the first overtime giving Central the win. He was also 6-for-11 passing for 88 yards, rushed 21 times for 65 yards, accounting for 153 total yards and kicked four extra points.
Schober scored three touchdowns (55, 19, 1), booted two field goals (31, 25) and two extra points. He rushed for 202 yards on 33 carries and caught one pass for 29 yards, totaling 231 yards.
Meichtry remembered last season’s 14-10 loss to the Spartans and he didn’t want to see that happen again.
“We just came out at halftime knowing (we were not) settling for what happen last year (14-10 loss in final minutes). You don’t do that (lose to East) as a Lancer. You don’t do that ever.”
He also talked about the team’s mindset going into overtime after losing to Marquette last week in double overtime.
“We had so much confidence we knew our defense would stop them,” Meichtry said. “We saw the goaline and we knew we were going to put it in.”
East got the ball first and after a 2-yard run by Schober, threw three incomplete passes to turn the ball over to Central. After Meichtry was stopped for no gain, DeMario Harris raced off right tackle down to the 2-yard line, setting up Meichtry’s score.
Central coach Jamie Meulemans talked about the Lancers’ adjustment after being shutout 6-0 in the first half.
“(We were) playing around with the option of who we were reading,” he said. “We changed, re-keyed it; that helped.
“(This win was) big for us. Just for these kids to battle back in the short week means the world to us right now.”
East had two huge penalties to start the second half on a long kick-off return and a long run and then fumbled the ball to Central on the Spartans 17-yard line. Meichtry ran in the score and kicked the PAT for a 7-6 lead at 11:11 of the third period.
Central cornerback Billy Schim, who had three key interceptions, then intercepted a pass on the 33-yard line, setting up Meichtry’s 4-yard TD run at 9:23 for a 14-6 lead.
“Turnovers gave Brookfield Central great field position,” East coach Tom Swittel said, talking about the opening of the second half. “We got a good return, had a penalty. We had a big play, had a penalty. Then the quarterback drops the ball.
“We gave them great field position and they capitalized on it. The bottom line was we didn’t play well enough to win. Brookfield Central earned it; they deserved it, they outplayed us. The way we played it was amazing that we made it to overtime.”
Schober quickly got the Spartans back in the game when he raced 55-yards down the right sideline and quarterback Bryce Pompos passed to Brian Smith for a 2-point conversion to tie the score at 14-14 with 7:04 on the clock in the third quarter.
Central then scored at 11:23 of the fourth quarter when Meichtry hit Harris with a swing pass on the right side and he scored from nine yards out for a 21-14 lead.
But Schober struck again with a 19-yard run at 5:53 to tie the game at 21-21.
Central return specialist Marcus Crum then took the opening kick-off back 88 yards down the left sideline for a 28-21 lead with 5:41 left to play, but the Spartans bounced back with an amazing drive.
Pompos took his team on a 98-yard drive in 12 plays, with Schober scoring from a yard out with 30 seconds left to play to send the game into overtime.
“We want to use this game as a learning tool,” Swittel said afterwards. “What can we get from this game? It was a tough loss losing to your rival. There’s a lot of hype and everything, but we’ll bounce back.”
East and Central are now 3-1, one-half game ahead of Hamilton, Menomonee Falls and Marquette, all at 2-1, in the Greater Metro Conference.
“It’s big; we still have a chance to be GMC champs,” Meichtry said. “So does Sussex (Hamilton), so does Marquette, everyboyd does.
“We win out, we control own destiny.”
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