Whitefish Bay's record football season came to an end against Waunakee in a WIAA Division 2 state semi-final game at Wisconsin Lutheran College Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 28-14 less than three minutes to go, the Blue Dukes (10-1) came from behind with two touchdowns to tie up the game and force the Waunakee Warriors (11-0) into overtime for the first time in multiple seasons. Waunakee scored in overtime to win the game 35-28.
Waunakee has won the Division 2 state title the last three years, and in this year's state title match, it will face off against Homestead, who Bay beat earlier in the season. Saturday's game against Whitefish Bay was Waunakee's 48th consecutive victory, matching Manitowoc (1983-87) for the longest streak in state history.
Whitefish Bay quarterback Grant Menard injured himself in a quarterback keeper in the fourth quarter, but returned — hobbling — to the field to throw the touchdown pass that sent the Blue Dukes into overtime.
"They said 'Start warming up the backup QB,' but I said there's no way I was coming out," he recalled. "I had to leave it all out there."
Although his team missed out on a historic upset, Menard said he had no regrets.
"The season in itself is historic. First conference championship since 1993. Making (state semifinals) for the first time in school history. We fell one play short, one block short, one tackle short, but I have no regrets in the season," he said. "We gave it all every play. We left it all on the field."
Whitefish Bay Coach Jim Tietjen said: "It was a great year, but anything less of the state championship is less than satisfactory."
"They worked at it, they did everything I asked them to do all year. We played a great season. We've beaten some very good football teams," he said. (Waunakee), in their 48 straight wins, have not been to overtime. We scrapped 'em good and played 'em hard."
Whitefish Bay reached the semifinals by rallying to defeat previously unbeaten Brookfield East 24-14 Friday. Waunakee smashed Watertown 55-27 after taking a 28-0 lead in the first half.