St. Anthony's 2018 season ended in disappointing fashion when it blew a 22-point lead in a 24-22 loss to St. Paul Johnson.
Coach Todd Niklaus brought up that state tournament quarterfinal loss Wednesday after his Huskies took a 20-point lead over Johnson midway through the second quarter.
"I brought the whole team together and reminded them that they can come back on us," Niklaus said. "We played so hard and so physical after that, and really got after it."
The Huskies (7-1), ranked ninth in Class 4A, scored on their next drive and didn't let up as they pulled away for a 43-7 victory.
Senior running back Jonathan Kieren capped three consecutive drives with touchdowns as the Huskies built a 27-7 halftime lead. His 7-yard score with 32 seconds left in the first half was his 26th touchdown of the season.
"Last year [against Johnson] we broke down in the second half," Kieren said. "We made sure that didn't happen again. Everybody stayed locked in and stayed aggressive."
Kieren's presence in the St. Anthony running game opened up things for quarterback Josh Cary. He threw touchdown passes to fellow seniors Owen Martin (48 yards) and Troy Ellison (78 yards) in the second half.
Ellison started the scoring with a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown on Johnson's first drive of the game.
"A lot of teams focus on the run, and that opens up things for us," Kieren said. "I'm glad those guys can make it fun and get us the win. Their success is my success."