MINNEAPOLIS — It took until the 4:29 mark in the fourth quarter before Caledonia High School football fans could breath a sigh of relief.
Up until then, the Minnesota Class 2A state championship was a one-score game, with the Warriors leading and a fourth state title on the line.
But, after Tate Meiners 1-yard touchdown run, it wasn’t long before the Warriors had a nation’s best 54-game win streak.
After Meiners’ TD, Caledonia’s Payton Schott sealed it with a 43-yard interception return for a score on Barnesville’s ensuing possession, finishing off the 21-0 win Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The 54-game win streak caps off four consecutive undefeated seasons for the Warriors (13-0). The last time they lost was back on Nov. 15, 2014 in state semifinals, 21-0 to BOLD.
Since 2007, Caledonia is 8-0 in state championship games.
The last time the Warriors lost a state title was 2005, a 21-7 defeat to Eden Valley-Watkins in the Metrodome.
In Friday’s championship, Caledonia outgained Barnesville (11-3) 240-132. The Warriors were just plus-1 in the turnover battle.
Nick McCabe led all backs with 14 carries for 115 yards. He opened the scoring late in the second quarter for the Warriors with a 22-yard run. Quarterback Noah King had 10 carries for 34 yards, including an 18-yard long. He was also 9-of-19 for 84 yards with one interception.
Barnesville was led by Adam Tonsfeldt’s 88 yards on 18 carries.
The Warriors now have 10 state titles. In 1976, Caledonia was the Class B champion.