St. Thomas Academy running back Brendan McFadden (2) ran for a touchdown in the third quarter against Bemidji. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky * firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Thomas Academy running back Brendan McFadden padded his program record for touchdowns in a season as the Cadets dispatched Bemidji 33-21 on Saturday in the Class 5A semifinals.
Touchdowns No. 35, 36 and 37 for McFadden helped the Cadets advance to face defending state champion and top-ranked Owatonna in the Prep Bowl at 4 p.m. Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
McFadden, a senior, finished with 216 yards rushing for No. 2-ranked St. Thomas Academy (12-0), highlighted by touchdown runs of 32 and 71 yards in the third quarter.
“He’s been fantastic for us all year long,” said first-year Cadets coach Dan O’Brien, a longtime Gophers assistant. “Our entire offense runs through Brendan McFadden. Teams loaded up the box on him all year long, and he still found ways to get his yards.”
Bemidji coach Troy Hendricks called McFadden “a special kid. He passes the eye test and he runs extremely hard.”
Run-heavy St. Thomas Academy led 13-7 at halftime thanks to a screen pass to tight end Thomas Odegard. He picked up 43 yards to the Bemidji 9-yard line. McFadden later scored on a short fourth-down run and added the two-point conversion.