2023 was season of gridiron domination for Vikings
So dominating was the 2023 Minneota football season that the final numbers are staggering.
The Vikings finished with a perfect 14-0 record, capped by a 43-22 win over Springfield in the Class A Prep Bowl championship Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The win extends the Vikings' winning streak over the past two seasons to 20. In 12 Prep Bowl appearances, Minneota has now won nine times, including the past two seasons.
This season, the Vikings never trailed in any of its 14 games, outscoring their opponents 708-121, including a 209-7 scoring differential in the first quarter. Minneota also outgained its opponents 6,370-2,381 in total yards this season. The Vikings averaged 317 yards rushing per game, while limiting opponents to only 67.
Junior running back Ryan Meagher shattered the school's single-season rushing record with 2,224 yards, averaging 9.7 yards per carry. Garrett Hennen held the previous record of 2,070 yards set in 2015. Meagher also broke the school record for touchdowns in a season with 40, eclipsing Isaac Hennen's 2017 record of 37.
Even more amazing is that Meagher only fumbled once in 230 carries.
Junior running back Destin Fier also had an outstanding season running the ball, amassing 845 yards, while averaging 12.6 yards per carry, and also scored 13 touchdowns. Eight players rushed for 100-or-more yards this season for the Vikings.
Ryan Dalager, in his first year as starting quarterback, threw 24 TD passes with only eight interceptions. Max Rost caught 43 passes for 825 yards and 12 touchdowns.
On the defensive side, Sawyer DeSmet led the team with 12 sacks. Parker Bradley notched 15 tackles for loss.
Even facing some of the state's top teams in the state tournament, Minneota outscored its three foes 161-28 and outgained them 1,570-341.
The closest game the Vikings had all season was against an excellent BOLD team, winning 14-6 in the Section 5A final. Minneota had also beaten BOLD 42-28 in the third game of the season.