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Caledonia’s ridiculous numbers in winning eighth state title in 11 seasons

Caledonia’s ridiculous numbers in winning eighth state title in 11 seasons


MINNEAPOLIS — A lot of numbers come with winning a state championship. A lot more come with winning three consecutive titles.

And, when it’s eight titles in 11 years, the numbers start getting ridiculous, beginning with a 140-6 record over that time period.

This is the run that Caledonia High School’s football team has been on.

Friday, at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Warriors capped off 41 consecutive wins with a 57-6 victory over Pipestone for its second three-peat during these 11 seasons.

Senior quarterback Owen King tied a Prep Bowl record with six total touchdowns — five passing and one rushing. Three of those five TD passes went to Sam Barthel, who missed the previous three games with a concussion. King finished 18 of 28 for 246 yards. All Barthel’s catches went for TDs and he finished with 103 yards.

The Warriors, which were up 36-0 at half, held Pipestone to negative-11 yards on 38 plays, most notably because its starting quarterback, Cody Thompson was out because of mononucleosis. Thompson came into the tournament having thrown for 2,054 yards and 23 touchdowns.

By comparison, King finished the season — including playoffs — with 2,893 yards and 45 touchdowns.

King, who will play basketball for Division I South Dakota State, finished his career throwing for 8,621 yards, 139 touchdowns. He also rushed for 25 TDs and never lost a game his last three seasons during this 41-game win streak.

You could call this an 11-year run for Caledonia and, now its nine total state championships — in won its first back in 1976. But, really, this all started with a 21-7 loss in the state championship back in 2005.

That was Karl Klug’s senior season. Klug, of course, went on to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes and is now in his seventh season with the Tennessee Titans. Caledonia lost that state title. It hasn’t lost one since.

The Warriors did miss the state playoffs the year after Klug before this eight-title run began. That 2006 team, however, lost in the section finals 21-10 to Thomas O’Brien and Winona Cotter. O’Brien was a full scholarship quarterback on his way to South Dakota State, where he started as a freshman.

The next season, Caledonia finally got over the hump, beating LuVerne 14-7 at the Metrodome. Since, including that win, it’s 8-for-8 in state championship games.

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