MINNEAPOLIS — Isaac Hennen ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns as Minneota beat Minneapolis North 35-18 to cap off its second consecutive Minnesota Class A state football title Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
It is the Vikings' (14-0) second straight perfect season, the program's first consecutive titles since winning three straight from 1986-88. Minneota went 40-1 over the past three years.
"For our staff, a back-to-back championship has been elusive for us. To have that is very important," Minneota coach Chad Johnston said. "For some of these kids, Isaac included, they have parents who were part of the back-to-back championships in the 80s. So I think for them to experience this is huge for our community."
Isaac Hennen, a sophomore, teamed with senior running back Bryce Bruner to lead the way. Bruner finished with 107 yards and a score on the ground. They filled in admirably for starting senior fullback Garrett Hennen, who was injured in the first quarter.
"I kept telling the guys we've got to do this for Garrett," said Isaac Hennen, Garrett Hennen's younger brother. "Garrett carried us all year. He's been the workhorse. We just had to come in and fill in for him and win the game for him."
The Vikings compiled 221 of their 345 yards on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Alex Pohlen complemented that ground attack with 124 yards in the air and one passing touchdown to senior receiver Kyle Hennen.
Minneota took the lead for good on a 34-yard Isaac Hennen touchdown run with 10:08 to play in the second quarter.
The Vikings held the Polars scoreless in the second half.
"Their defense didn't give up on the play at all," North senior quarterback Tyler Johnson said. "You knew they were out of the play, but they never gave up."
North finished the year 12-1, capping a four-year journey for the team's current seniors that began with a 2-7 campaign as freshmen. The group steadily improved their record, culminating in this year's championship game.
Johnson was the centerpiece of the offense. On Saturday, he accounted 295 of North's 326 total yards, including 186 and two touchdowns on the ground. But Minneota made the right second-half adjustments, holding him to just 40 yards after halftime.
"The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but I'm still proud of my teammates," Johnson said. "We've come a long way."