ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Caledonia High School football team has played host for some coaches from South Carolina this week and saved their big presentation for Friday night.
The coaches made the trip to pick the brains of Carl Fruechte and his coaching staff and find out the source of the program's success. Everything was presented to them in game format when senior quarterback Noah King put on a show.
King threw for six touchdowns and rushed for another to help extend the nation’s longest current win streak to 66 games, as the Warriors defeated Pipestone Area 56-14 in an MSHSL Class AA state quarterfinal at Rochester Mayo High School.
The Warriors (12-0) move on to the state semifinals on 11:30 a.m. Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where they will await the winner of a game between Osakis and Barnesville, which play each other on Saturday.
It was a bit of a slow start for the Warriors on Friday.
Pipestone drove down the field before scoring on a 25-yard heave in the end zone on fourth-and-11. The ensuing Caledonia drive then started with a pair of pre-snap penalties. But then, like all good players do, King made a play, running for a 34-yard gain on second-and-long on a designed quarterback run. You could see the Caledonia sideline take a breath. Three plays later, King found receiver Cole Kronebusch for a 25-yard touchdown.
“The energy really picked up after that,” King said of his run. “We didn’t get off to a great start defensively on kind of a crazy play that they scored on, and then the penalties kind of put us back, but I think after that big play and really after that first touchdown. We kind of got our mojo going and felt really good about ourselves.”
From there it was all Caledonia.
The Warriors scored 56 unanswered points as Pipestone just simply had no answer for King.
You have free articles remaining.
The South Dakota State basketball commit completed 13 of 19 passes for an eye-popping 324 yards and six touchdowns while adding another 97 yards and a touchdown with his legs.
“I hate it when people compare families, especially brother to brother,” Caledonia coach Carl Fruechte said. “All we want out of our kids is to work hard and do their best. And Noah has done that just like Owen (King) did. Noah is just doing great and doing everything we want. He’s making great decisions and I couldn’t be prouder.
The Warriors made it 14-6 when Donnie Lakey picked up a great block from Austin Klug on a wide receiver screen that sprung him for a 49-yard score. Less than two minutes later, King found his brother Eli, who weaved through what felt like the entire Pipestone defense for a 58-yard touchdown to cap off the first quarter. It was the first of two receiving touchdowns for Eli, who finished with three receptions for 90 yards.
“Just collectively guys made plays,” Noah King said. “The line did a good job, because they were blitzing their linebackers a lot. The receivers got to the middle of the field and found open space, and we were able to get some big plays out of that. When the linemen rode guys out, I just stepped up in the pocket and took off and tried to make a play.”
One of those guys that made plays was Kronebusch.
The senior receiver caught five passes for 122 yards and had touchdown receptions of 25, 14 and 67 yards. He is an important piece and will continue to be as the Warriors try to win a fifth straight state title.
“It really makes it tougher to double me when you have him on the other side,” Eli King said. “Somebody that can run right by the defense and make plays for touchdowns and have huge nights.”
In all, the Caledonia offense tallied 545 yards of total offense and it appears the Warriors are firing on all cylinders as they head into warm and friendly confines of U.S. Bank Stadium.
“It’s just a great atmosphere, and it’s a great place to play a football game,” Noah King said of U.S. Bank. “And it’s a lot better than playing in the cold.“