After watching his Providence Academy team shut out six opponents in seven games, first-year coach Colin Rooney didn't mind having his defense give up some points in Wednesday's regular-season finale at Fridley.
The Lions, who outscored their first seven opponents 259-6, trailed for the first time this season and led by only seven points early in the fourth quarter before pulling away for a 42-21 victory to cap an 8-0 regular season.
"We wanted our guys to be battle-tested, to get in a fight and have to respond and deal with adversity," Rooney said. "We've had some games where we've kind of cruised to victory, and that can be a dangerous thing. Now we're ready to face a tough section."
Fridley (6-2) took advantage of a short field to take the lead in the first quarter. Shortly after the Lions fumbled away the opening kickoff, Tigers quarterback Kaleb Blaha found wide receiver Casey Fisher for a 27-yard touchdown.
The Lions responded by scoring touchdowns on four of their next five possessions. Senior quarterback Max Anderson scored on a 1-yard sneak and then found wide receiver Julian Cavin for a pair of touchdowns. The first was a 71-yard pass play before halftime, followed by an 18-yarder that put the Lions ahead 28-14 midway through the third quarter.
Anderson completed eight of 15 passes for 160 yards. Senior running back Jeff Ekiyor ran for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
"[The offense] learned how to play a complete game and make adjustments," Rooney said. "Our defense has been great, but our offense is really good, too, and it's kept getting better and better as the year has gone on."
Jaden Morton's 60-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter put the Lions back up by two touchdowns. The team forced three turnovers.