Monona Grove can’t solve Brookfield East running game, falls 42-36 in D2 finals

MADISON, Wis. — The Monona Grove football team came up short in the Division II WIAA State title game, falling to Brookfield East 42-36 behind the five touchdowns of Sam Santiago-Lloyd.

Santiago-Lloyd’s five rushing scores set a new Division II championship game record, most recently being set by Kimberly’s Blair Mulholland in 2015. He ran for 197 yards on his way to the state record. Santiago’Lloyd’s efforts also earn Brookfield East its first ever State Championship.

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The Silver Eagles got out to a 14-0 start thanks to a Jackson Thomsen touchdown run and blocked punt recovered for a touchdown on the Spartans’ first possession. It was all Spartans from there, controlling the clock for 34 minutes and 50 seconds, compared to the Silver Eagles’ 13:10. Brookfield East collected 20 first downs along the way.

Monona Grove finished second in the Badger South Conference this year, advancing to the title game despite the graduation of running back Toren Young (Iowa). Head coach Brandon Beckwith said that meant a change in their offensive strategy.

For Monona Grove, it was their first championship appearance since their 2013 title run. Quarterback Alec Ogden was 10-of-15 for 138 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. His favorite target was receiver Andryhi Nahirniak, who hauled in four catches for 111 yards and one score.

Aside from Santiago-Lloyd, Brookfield East’s biggest offensive threat was quarterback Jake Graf. His main contribution came in the ground game, where he gave the defense fits all day, racking up 179 yards in the process.

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