November 16, 2017 06:59 PM
(ABC 6 News) – One word can describe the Caledonia Warriors string of success over the past three years—dominance, as the Warriors are heading to their third consecutive Prep Bowl.
The Warriors defeated Paynesville, 49-16, in Thursday’s Class AA Semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Warriors have now won 40 straight games—39 of those victories coming by double-digits.
“It's rewarding, Warriors head football coach Carl Fruechte said. “It's always next game up too. We don't look any farther, these guys will tell you that that's all we talk about is the next game. That's how we handle it.”
Caledonia senior quarterback Owen King, a Minnesota Mr. Football Finalist, advanced to 40-0 as the Warriors’ starting quarterback. In the win over Paynesville, King completed 13-16 passes for 214 yards and threw three touchdown passes.
“It didn't surprise me (that we were so successful),” King said. “We went into the game that we wanted to be second and short if we could be, and we broke even more tackles and happened to get first downs and we built off of that."
“We always take everyone seriously,” Fruechte said. “They’re a good football team and program, we were fortunate to win.”
The Warriors received a huge boost at wide receiver, as senior Andrew Goergen returned from injury. Goergen finished with six receptions for 97 yards and caught two touchdown passes. Fellow senior wide receiver Jordan Burg added four receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, Warriors running backs Nick McCabe and Mason Staggemeyer each rushed for two touchdowns. McCabe finished with 106 rushing yards, Staggemeyer with 72 yards.
“Offensive line did a great job,” Fruechte said. “Everything starts up front. The offensive line got off the ball and was able to give (King) time to hit his receivers and gash the line.”
“I wasn’t touched all game,” King added. “There was a clean pocket around me the whole time. We talked about that the whole week, the offensive line did their job and did a great job giving me all day back there and our receivers made plays. They got heart, I can tell you that.”
Defensively, the Warriors gave Paynesville a tough afternoon, registering eight tackles for loss and three sacks (McCabe and Ryan Wagner finished with one sack each; David Seymour and Luke Twite registered a 0.5 sack).
The Warriors led 42-0 after the first two quarters, and 49-0 early in the third quarter before Paynesville scored two second-half touchdowns. Prior to Paynesville’s two late touchdowns, the Warriors had only allowed 96 total yards of offense.
“The big thing was that everyone on the defense did their job,” Staggemeyer said. “Defensive line was stopping the run, so were the linebackers, and the defensive backs and the safeties were keeping the routes in front of them.”
Caledonia will play either Pipestone Area or Moose Lake/Willow River in the Class AA Prep Bowl. A win for Caledonia in the Prep Bowl would mark their 9th in school history--Eden Prairie is the only other school in MSHSL history with at least nine state championships.
The Class AA State Championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday, Nov. 24.
Updated: November 16, 2017 06:59 PM
Created: November 16, 2017 05:18 PM
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