DODGE CENTER, Minn. — The Caledonia High School football team found itself in a very unfamiliar position on Friday night, and coach Carl Fruechte didn’t hesitate before saying that panic infiltrated his sideline for the first time in years.

Carl Fruechte MUG


Ninth-ranked Triton had its way with the top-ranked Warriors for nearly three quarters before Caledonia put together a comeback for the ages and beat the Cobras 34-27 in a Southeast-White opener after trailing by 20 points in the third quarter.

“We talk about these situations, like what we do if we are down 14 or 21 points,” Fruechte said. “But there was a little bit of panic in the second quarter.

“And then the kids responded really well, I think.”

Triton (1-1, 0-1) put Caledonia on its heels by scoring four touchdowns on its first five possessions. The Warriors opened the game with a touchdown drive, but the next four times they had the ball resulted in two punts, a turnover on downs and a lost fumble.

By the time Calvin Johnson scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, the Cobras held a 27-7 lead with 7 minutes, 4 seconds left on the clock.

It was time for the Warriors (2-0, 1-0) to show how they’d won their last 29 games, and they did just that.

Owen King mug


Senior quarterback Owen King directed four touchdown drives the rest of the way, and Caledonia’s defense forced a pair of fumbles to turn the tables on Triton. With the game tied at 27, Austin Heim forced a fumble with 50 seconds left, and King followed by connecting with Andrew Goergen for the winning touchdown on a 13-yard pass.

The Cobras had 361 yards on their first five possessions and 40 on their last six, and the Warriors survived to win their 30th straight game and 49th straight during the regular season.

“We know better than to do some of the things we were doing early in the game,” Fruechte said. “But you also have to consider how good of a team Triton is in this.

“We had to make some adjustment in what we were doing to get going.”

King passed for 287 yards and five touchdowns, but he completed an uncharacteristic 18 of 43 attempts. Jordan Burg caught six passes for 90 yards, but King found Goergen for touchdown plays three times.

“What we talk about now is are we going to be mature about the things we have to do moving forward,” Fruechte said. “This is something we have to use to build off of.”

HOUSTON BUSTS A STREAK: The last time Houston lost a football game, it was to Grand Meadow in the second round of last season’s playoffs.

But the Hurricanes exacted revenge on Friday by ending the Superlarks’ 51-game winning streak and handing the four-time defending Class 9-Man state champions a 30-16 defeat. Grand Meadow’s last loss was in the 2012 state championship game, and Houston (2-0, 1-0) scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to collect its biggest win in several years.

The magnitude of the victory was demonstrated in the welcome the team received at home after the victory. A crowd awaited the team as it unloaded the bus after the victory.

“Well I have all the respect for them in the world,” Houston coach Cody Hungerholt said of the Superlarks, who opened the season with a 71-27 win over Nicollet. “They have been on top for a while, and we have been trying to get that level. Real proud of the boys.”

Junior quarterback Jaytin Millen rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another. He provided the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run with 5:51 remaining, and Brady Happel put the finishing touch on the victory with a 16-yard run with 1:40 left.

James Hungerholt, who caught the first touchdown pass of the fourth quarter, had two of Houston’s three interceptions. Happel followed that TD catch with a conversion run that tied the score at 16 with 8:52 left.

The Hurricanes have outscored their first two opponents by an 82-41 margin.

“There’s room to grow, we have a lot of guys back,” Cody Hungerholt said. “Three of them ran for 600 last year, and we just take what the defense gives us. Anyone can lead us any given night.”

— Todd Sommerfeldt, Alex Vandenhouten