St. Thomas Academy pounded away at Mahtomedi to win a battle of Class 5A top-five teams 21-0 on Friday at Jerry Brown Stadium.

The fifth-ranked Cadets (4-0) wore down the Zephyrs defense and finished with 264 rushing yards. Senior Brendan McFadden led the way with 162 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 16 receiving yards.

"I was definitely really lucky tonight," McFadden said. "The [offensive line] came to play. The holes were there, I just had to hit them. I was lucky to run behind those guys. It's a credit to them."

The Cadets made big defensive stands to get the ball back on downs on the first two Zephyrs possessions. The Zephyrs (3-1), ranked fourth in Class 5A, had moved the ball inside the Cadets 40-yard line.

"[Those stops] were critical," Cadets head coach Dan O'Brien said. "When they came, they were moving the ball. They were having their way on us. They ran a trap play and a counter play that were giving us trouble. To be able to hold them was a big momentum change."

After McFadden started the scoring early in the second quarter, junior quarterback Joe Deyak capped the next drive with a 1-yard sneak that gave the Cadets a 14-0 lead at halftime.

Senior Erik Bjork led the Zephyrs with 102 rushing yards. He had 44 yards on the Zephyrs' first two possessions.

Joe Gunther