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Caledonia’s Nick McCabe, shown here during the Warriors’ Class AA semifinal victory over Paynesville at U.S. Bank Stadium last season, has rushed for more than 1,250 yards this season.

CALEDONIA — Nick McCabe is a very quiet high school senior, so it’s not surprising that the Caledonia running back lets his on-field performance do the talking.

McCabe and the Warriors hope to continue the conversation — and extend their 50-game winning streak — at 8 p.m. Friday when Caledonia (9-0) plays Chatfield in a MSHSL Section 1AA final at the Rochester Regional Sports Stadium.

McCabe has helped take the load off quarterback Noah King, and has been the spark of a team that has one of the nation’s top winning streaks.

The Warriors running back, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 205 pounds, scored three touchdowns in Saturday’s 49-14 playoff win over Lewiston-Altura. On the season, he’s tallied 1,188 yards and scored 16 touchdowns.

“Personally, I think I’ve been doing better, but as a team, we’re really growing and we have to come together,” McCabe said. “You have to lead the younger guys to get the job done.”

Caledonia coach Carl Fruechte, whose program has won three consecutive Class AA state titles, doesn’t mind that his leading rusher is quiet when asked about himself. He likes that McCabe is humble, which doesn’t surprise him, either.

McCabe is Fruechte’s nephew. Fruechte’s dad, Al Fruechte, is McCabe’s grandfather.

“He’s very much like Grandpa Fruechte,” Carl Fruechte said with a laugh.

McCabe, however, is growing with confidence and aggressiveness.

“He’s not asking as many questions,” Fruechte said. “He knows what he’s supposed to do. Nick also wants to play college football. You want to play college football, you’re going to have to be confident at the next level. He’s going to have to be or people will fly by him.”

McCabe, a powerful, shifty and speedy runner, is known as the guy the Warriors turn to when a big play is needed. In the Aug. 31 season-opener against Plainview-Elgin-Millville, McCabe rushed 11 times for 164 yards and three TDs, including a first-quarter scoring run.

On Saturday, L-A backed Caledonia deep into its own territory four times. McCabe helped the Warriors out of trouble and was a key factor in the Warriors’ big drives.

“He makes teams have to worry about the run game,” King said. “They try loading up the box a lot more, which helps the passing game. It’s a big help when we have a back like that.”

His longest run this season was for 79 yards, and he is averaging 9.74 yards per carry.

King appreciates what McCabe has done in the backfield, because filling his brother’s shoes (Owen) has been challenging at times.

Heading into Friday’s game, King is 101-for-175 for 1,281 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has thrown nine interceptions, but both Fruechte and King knows that’s part of the package.


Caledonia’s Nick McCabe, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior, breaks loose for a big gain during the Warriors’ Class AA semifinal game last season. The Warriors (9-0) face Chatfield (8-2) in a Class AA Sectional championship Friday in Rochester.

“I think I’m making better reads and taking what the defense gives me,” said King, in his first season as a starting quarterback. “And, maybe not throwing some of the risky stuff.”

The Warriors blanked the Gophers 20-0 on Sept. 28, but Caledonia wishes its offense would have clicked better.

King believes the offense created one good drive that ended up in a score.

“We have to get off to a better start, and score more points,” King said. “I think we’re a better running team and a passing team since that game.”

The Warriors’ quarterback believes that the offensive line has improved since the initial win against the Gophers. That improvement has certainly helped McCabe find more holes to run through, and has given King more time to pick apart defenses with the passing game.

“The main thing is that we have to be more nasty than when we played them last,” Fruechte said. “If we flinch, we’re going to be in trouble. We can’t flinch. We have to be physical.”

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Sports reporter

Zach James covers sports for the La Crosse Tribune.