Madison East breaks record, snaps streak

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Madison East breaks record, snaps streak

Madison East hadn’t won a varsity football game in 27 tries. With each loss, the team’s frustration grew.

Purgolders head coach Steve Erato could feel the tension growing. 

“I knew it was really tough this year, because we’d lose those close games and there’d be tears in their eyes.”

The outcomes didn’t bother to senior DeJuan Reynolds as much as the hours of hard work that preceded the heartbreaking manner in which the losses came.

“We were working so hard and losing by like one or three points.”

Over the course of a 27 game losing streak, at times, even a leader like quarterback Zach Zilm loses hope. 

“You’re just sitting there thinking, can it get any worse?”

Things got better on October 2, 2014.

After several close losses to start the 2014 season, East finally broke through against Beloit Memorial. They did so in record fashion. Zilm fired six touchdowns as the Purgolders broke a state record with 787 yards of total offense. East won the game 64-35. Madison East finally broke their self-described “curse.” Zilm and his teammates shared the moment with the entire school. 

“Fans rushed the field, we rushed the field. It was amazing. Just relief.”

Reynolds won’t soon forget the historic win, either. 

“That brought tears to my eyes real quick.”

Now, for the first time since September 23, 2011, Madison East football has an unfamiliar feeling in their hearts–hope. 

“We want to get a win Friday, and the rest of the season.”