Hutchinson spent the season making a case for being the most complete team in Class 4A. It made a convincing final argument Friday with its most decisive performance of a dominant season, routing Holy Family 67-7 for the Class 4A state championship.
"All week our coaches kept saying, 'Don't take them lightly, don't take them lightly,'" defensive end Shaun Schindler said. "This was probably our best game of the year."
If the final score was startling, it wasn't a complete surprise. The teams played in the regular season, with Hutchinson winning 60-7. With improvements made by Holy Family since then and the magnitude of the game, however, no one expected a repeat.
It wasn't. It was worse.
Bigger and faster than their Wright County Conference rivals, the Tigers took one series to warm up, then hit the gas and pulled away, leaving Holy Family sputtering and stunned.
Hutchinson fumbled on its first drive, then scored touchdowns on six consecutive possessions. Quarterback McKinley Anderson finished three consecutive scoring drives with 1-yard touchdown runs.
"We talk all the time about scoring when we get close because we know that McKinley will call his number if we don't," joked running back Tory Adams. "Seriously, it really doesn't matter who scores."
Adams, Evan Metag and Mitch Petersen got in on the action soon after, helping Hutchinson to a 42-0 halftime lead. The Tigers rolled up 303 yards of offense before halftime, all rushing, and finished with 534 yards on the ground.
The third quarter was more of the same. Taking the opening kickoff of the second half, Hutchinson (13-0) moved effortlessly through the Holy Family defense, going 57 yards on six plays and increasing its lead to 48-0 when Petersen snake-danced his way for a 3-yard touchdown. Another Petersen run for a touchdown -- a 24-yard end around -- made it 54-0.
Even the Hutchinson backups got into the action. Jordan Yira returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown, and Robbie Grimsley had a 54-yard scoring run.
Holy Family (10-4) avoided a shutout late in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Connor Byrnes.
Hutchinson's 67 points were the second most in a Prep Bowl. Triton scored 70 in the 2006 Class 2A championship game.
"This is the best feeling ever," said Anderson, who did not throw a pass. "It means a lot to us and to the town. There's so much tradition in Hutchinson football that it's unbelievable to say we won one."
Holy Family coach Dave Hopkins was realistic afterward.
"That," he said, "was the best team I've ever coached against."