Caledonia coach Carl Fruechte had his fill of the common refrain regarding the Warriors' Class 2A championship game opponent, Minneapolis North.
Yes, the Polars are fast. Thing is, Fruechte believed his Warriors were just as fast.
They proved it Friday, beating previously undefeated North 26-0 to win their fifth consecutive Class 2A state championship.
"I thought we were the fastest team on the field, and I thought we were the most physical team on the field," Fruechte said. "That made me very happy."
Caledonia (14-0) not only won its 68th consecutive game, it became just the second team in state history to win five straight state titles. Stephen-Argyle won five consecutive Nine-Man championships from 2003 through 2007.
After going three-and-out on its first two drives, Caledonia took a 6-0 lead when senior quarterback Noah King hit his younger brother, Eli, in stride. Eli King outraced the Polars to the end zone for a 42-yard score.
The Warriors made it 13-0 early in the second quarter on the type of heads-up play that defines Caledonia football. A short punt by North (12-1) bounced in front of return man Eli King. As North players appeared to think it was going out of bounds, King slipped in, picked the ball up on the run and raced through the stunned Polars for a 58-yard touchdown.
"I saw their guys kind of stop and I was just hoping it took a good bounce," King said. "I feel like they thought, with the short punt, I was just going to leave it."
North had been intercepted deep in Caledonia territory on its first drive — by Eli King. After giving up the punt return score two possessions later, the Polars stumbled again when they got the ball back. Running back Terrance Kamara fumbled and Caledonia recovered at the Polars 34. Noah King followed four plays later with a 15-yard scoring pass to Cole Kronebusch for a 20-0 lead.
"You've got to play mistake-free football," Polars coach Charles Adams said.
Fruechte said the victory provided proof of the level of play Caledonia has worked hard to reach.
"They've got great athletes, but we wanted to showcase that we have great athletes, too," he said. "Now, hopefully, it will open up more college coaches' eyes that we have kids that can get up and down the field."