MADISON, Wisconsin — The smallest Division 1 school proved it could play with the big boys.
Junior tailback Blair Mulholland rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns as Kimberly won its second straight state title in a 31-6 victory over Arrowhead in the WIAA Division 1 championship Friday at Camp Randall Stadium.
"We were a little overlooked last year with people saying Arrowhead was the true powerhouse in the state," Mulholland said. "Coming here and doing this shows what Kimberly football could be."
It was the fourth championship in seven seasons for the Papermakers (14-0), the defending Division 2 state champions who were the last team moved up to Division 1 based on enrollment.
Going up against an Arrowhead program that had won the last two state Division 1 state championships, Kimberly never was intimidated despite being out sized, using its speed to out gain the Warhawks (10-4) 440 yards to 249 yards and build a 28-6 halftime lead.
In addition to Mulholland, the Papermakers got 129 passing yards from quarterback Austin Weyenberg and 115 rushing yards from senior Evan Dux.
"Our kids were really excited to play Division 1 and have a shot at doing something that had never been done in school history," said Kimberly coach Greg Malling. "It's an exciting time."
It was a rough night for Arrowhead, which was held to its lowest point total of the season after averaging 36.1 on a seven-game winning streak.
A year after Johnny Duranso threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the state finals, Arrowhead's junior quarterback managed just 144 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
"They're fast and physical, and we knew that coming in," said Arrowhead junior lineman Ben Bredeson, one of the top recruits in the 2016 class. "We schemed for it and tried our best, but they're good. They're good for a reason."
Arrowhead had a chance to climb back in the game after Cody Sellhausen's 61-yard run down to the Kimberly 6-yard line but couldn't punch the ball in the end zone. Arrowhead's next two drives also got into striking distance, but ended in a turnover on downs and an interception to punctuate the victory.
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