Through its first five games this season Waconia's starting defense hasn't given up a touchdown. The Wildcats continued that momentum Friday in their 16-0 shutout at home against Suburban White rival Chaska.
Ranked fifth in Class 5A, Waconia (6-0) forced two Hawks turnovers in a first half in which kicker Tim Stapleton made three field goals, including a 36-yarder as time expired in the second quarter.
Stapleton's efforts gave the Wildcats a 9-0 lead at halftime.
Waconia extended its lead to 16-0 late in the third quarter after running back Mitchell Garnatz rushed for a 2-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining.
The Wildcats' victory came nearly a year to the date after Chaska (3-3) defeated Waconia 44-30.
"We were a different team last year," Wildcats coach Corey Shea said. Alluding to his defense, he added, "We have some great players on that side of the ball this season. They put us in good field position all night long."
Quarterback Ethan Swanson led Waconia with more than 120 yards rushing.
"Defense played really well — that's what we've come to expect," Swanson said. "Our job on the offensive side of the ball tonight was just to grind it out."
While Chaska held Waconia to just one touchdown, the Hawks struggled to move the ball on a rainy night.
"Credit to [Waconia]; they are 6-0 for a reason," Chaska coach Bryan Dahl said. "Defensively we hung in there, but we missed too many tackles and too many blocks up front."