Caledonia wins fifth football state championship

Caledonia football claimed its fifth consecutive state title on Friday with a 26-0 win over Minneapolis North.

Eli King caught two touchdown passes and recorded two interceptions, but it was a special teams play of his that provided the spark that helped Caledonia take control of the game for good.

With Caledonia up 6-0 in the second quarter, North sent a punt that hit at midfield and began to bounce further into Caledonia territory. As North’s gunners slowed up to let the ball bounce further, King ran toward and scooped up the ball, burning past the unsuspecting defenders for an crowd-inspiring 58-yard punt return touchdown.

“I knew it was going to be short and everything,” King said. “I was running over there and saw those guys stopped and then I was just hoping it would take a good bounce, and if it did I was going to take it. If it didn’t I was just going to let it go.”

That play put Caledonia up 13-0 and the team didn’t look back. Noah King threw three touchdown passes in total, two to brother Eli and a 15-yarder to Cole Kronebusch. Jed Kasten led a swarming Caledonia defense with 16 tackles, and he and the Warriors were able to largely contain Polar running back Terrance Kamara all afternoon.

After the game, the players and coaches agreed the Warriors had made a statement against a talented North team.

“They had a couple players who are really elite in the [speed category], but we felt like our overall team speed was better across the board,” Noah King said. “I think it shows if you have a lot of guys, and not let one or two guys beat you. I think we did a great job of that today.”

“North is a very respected school in the Twin Cities. I think it’s a big win for showcasing that we have athletes that can run,” head coach Carl Fruechte said. “Now hopefully It’ll open up even more college coaches’ eyes that we have kids who can get up and down the field, too.”

This is the third shutout Prep Bowl win for Caledonia, who have now won 68 consecutive games.

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