Hutchinson's McKinley Anderson was sacked for a 10-yard loss the only time he dropped back for a pass. But that's the only thing that went wrong for the Tigers' quarterback — who spent the rest of the night happily handing off the ball to running backs while Holy Family's defenders struggled to catch up.
Mitch Petersen ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns as Hutchinson routed Holy Family 67-7 on Friday night to win the Class 4A state championship.
"We pride ourselves on being able to just turn around and hand off and run hard," Tigers coach Andy Rostberg said after watching his players record 516 total yards of offense, all rushing. "If anyone can stop that, you know we can throw. But when you don't have to throw, then we're not going to run our whole offense if you don't have to."
The Tigers (13-0) set a Prep Bowl record for margin of victory and narrowly missed the record for most points in a game. Both records were set in 2006 when Triton beat Luverne 70-21.
Petersen was one of three Tigers to record a run of 40 yards or more, and he averaged 18.5 yards per carry.
And he wasn't even Hutchinson's leading rusher. Tory Adams ran for 197 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers. Anderson also ran for three short scores in the first half.
"We came back to him a couple times saying 'Oh sweet, now you're going to get the touchdown even though we ran it down to the one,'" Petersen said of his quarterback with a laugh.
It's Hutchinson's fourth state title in school history, and first since 1998.
The rematch between the two Wright County Conference foes looked a lot like their first meeting — when the Tigers beat the Fire 60-7 on Sept. 28.
Connor Byrnes scored Holy Family's first and only touchdown, a 2-yard run with 3:03 left in the game. Byrnes led the Fire (10-4) with 65 yards rushing, and backup quarterback Hank Hopkins threw for 122 yards in relief of starter Ben Baker.
Holy Family won eight straight after their first blowout loss to Hutchinson behind an improved running game. Both teams were leaning heavily on their ground game heading into the championship matchup. Hutchinson lived up to its billing, but Holy Family never got going.
After topping 100 yards rushing in each of the Fire's previous six games with 11 total touchdowns, Chazz Johnson gained only 33 yards on 12 carries against the Tigers. The Fire fumbled six times, losing three, and Hopkins was picked off twice.
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"I thought we were playing much better this time of the year and I think if we would've just not turned the ball over we could've made it respectable, 42-14, or 42-21," Holy Family coach Dave Hopkins said. "It's pretty bad when you wish that bad of a loss."
Hutchinson led 7-0 after a sloppy first quarter that saw the teams combine for five fumbles. Things changed in a hurry after that. Anderson ran for his second 1-yard score of the game on the first play of the second quarter and added another on Hutchinson's next possession.
Then Adams and Petersen took turns ripping off runs of 40 yards or more, helping the Tigers to a 42-0 halftime lead.
"We told them just pedal to the metal," Rostberg said. "Don't worry about the score."
That's basically what Dave Hopkins had to tell his players, too.
"I just said, 'Hey, life will be much tougher than this and you've just got to look to the next moment, the next day,'" the coach said. "'The biggest thing is to stay positive.'"