MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – 56 games in a row.
Kimberly capped a 4th consecutive perfect season Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium with a 29-14 win over Franklin in the WIAA Division 1 State Championship game.
Just like last year, the Papermakers made it happen in the 2nd half. Last year Kimberly erased a 42-21 deficit to win. Tonight, it was a 14-0 halftime hole overcome in the pursuit of history.
The Papermakers flipped the script on the Franklin Sabers, scoring 29 unanswered points.
From the minute they stepped off the same field last year as Division 1 Champions, the pressure was on for the Kimberly Papermakers to come back to Camp Randall and bring home another gold ball.
They started the game by playing their worst football this season, with an interception and fumble that allowed Franklin to score twice.
But Kimberly knows how to come back in a game. In the third quarter, quarterback Danny Vandenboom found birthday boy Boyd Dietzen in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown. That made the score 14-7.
Later, Vandemboom connected with Alec Rosner on a 49-yard touchdown. That tied the game at 14.
In the fourth quarter, running back DJ Stewart had two rushing touchdowns, including a 24-yard run.
Kimberly Head Coach Steve Jones said, “Yeah, I was nervous. It wasn’t a good feeling at halftime not playing well, but you know again, our kids came out and responded the right way. I still remember standing in this tunnel four years ago with Danny Vandenboom looking out on the field. He was a freshman. We brought him up for the playoffs, and I said, ‘This looks pretty cool. Doesn’t it?’ And to be able to come back out here four years later and experience that with him and everybody else, again, it’s just remarkable.”
“It feels great,” Stewart said. “It feels really good to know we have all until next year to soak this in. We’re definitely gonna have it in the back of our minds when we’re in the weight room. Us juniors, the pressure is on, so we’ve got a bit of pressure, but pressure’s a good thing.”
The Papermakers own the country’s longest winning streak. That streak will live on for another season.