Friday's football game between Wauwatosa East and the visiting Spartans from Brookfield East was summed up on the first play when Brookfield's Will Sutton returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The Spartans would cruise on to a 54-7 win, keeping their hopes for both the playoffs and a share in the Greater Metro Conference Championship alive.
"I don't think we've had a kickoff return for a touchdown this year," said Spartans coach Tom Swittel, " but you know we've got some pretty quality return guys and good speed, so we practice like it could happen any time. Tonight it worked out that way. It was a great start to the game, no question. We wanted to come out and start fast and play fast and we did that. We did pretty much what we intended to do tonight, so I'm happy with the effort and everything else. We need one more win to get into the playoffs."
The Spartans went up 47-0 on a touchdown run from Gerald Childs, his second of the night. The Spartans also scored on a run from Sam Santiago-Lloyd, two runs from quarterback Zach Damico, and an interception returned for a touchdown by Justin Muro.
"That team is a lot better than we are, and we're trying to focus on positive things," said Tosa East coach Mike Richards. "There weren't a whole lot of positives that came out of this game, unfortunately, so I told the kids when I talked to them after the game we've got a short memory, got to forget about it, and focus on West Allis Hale next week. I credit coach Swittel; he's a very good coach. He's got a good staff, he's got a very good ball club, and we're hoping to get as big and as fast and as strong as they are."
The Raiders did manage to score a touchdown just before the end of the first half on a pass from quarterback Jackson Telderer to Ryan Kelnhofer. With a running clock in the second half, Brookfield East managed just one more touchdown on a short run by Josh Dempsey.
"It was great to get a big win like this today," said Damico. "We definitely needed to get this win, and it was also great to be able to get the young kids in in the second half and get them some experience as well going down the line."
Brookfield East next faces Menomonee Falls and would qualify for the playoffs with a win.
"We're trying to take this one game at a time," Damico said. "We know we need one more win to get to the playoffs. We also know that if we win out, we still have a chance to share the conference title, and we definitely want to get that done. We're going to definitely need some help for that, but we're going to do everything we can that's in our control."
"We're improving, which is the key," added Swittel. "We're getting better every week, and that's important to us. We lost a really good player tonight, Nate Schieble. He's tremendously important to us and (it) looks like he tore his ACL, and that hurts us immeasurably. We're going to rally around Nate and hopefully we can overcome. He's such an important part of this team; it's just a massive loss for us."
For Tosa East, the loss means that the Raiders will not get a shot at the playoffs this season.
"I thank our fans for coming out and supporting us," Richards said. "We unfortunately didn't give them a real good show, but they support us, and I appreciate all the things our fans do for us. Eventually, we'd like to give them their money's worth."
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