What a rush

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2005

If anything was made evident in the first week of the high school football season it’s that there are several talented runningbacks in the area and they can tote the football a long, long way.

Of the six area teams that played under the Friday night lights &045; Glenville-Emmons did not play as a precaution due to illnesses of some of its players &045; three had at least one 100-yard rusher.

Leading the way was Alden-Conger’s Ryan Wach who rolled up 240 yards and five touchdowns.

Email newsletter signup

It was a great beginning for the 2005 season, and now the Knights will be looking to turn some of that running dominance into a victory as they fell just short Friday.

NRHEG did pick up the win and did so with a pair of backs that eclipsed the century mark.

Blake Kerkhoff and Chris Somage both racked up impressive totals of 159 and 135 yards, respectively, but the scary thing for all future Panther opponents is that those numbers could have been even bigger had penalties not negated several quality runs.

Northwood-Kensett &045; a state semifinalist in Iowa a season ago &045; rode the 182 yards and three scores provided by Matt Hengesteg to victory in their season-opener.

Derek Schmidt was five yards short of making United South Central the fifth team with a 100-yard runner.

The Rebels came up short 28-21 in the game, but it wasn’t for an inability to

run the ball as they wrapped out 154 yards on the ground.

Even if a team didn’t have an individual 100-yard rusher that didn’t stop them from running the ball well.

Lake Mills got 80 yards from Peter Brekken and easily went over 100 yards on the ground as a team.

The Bulldogs showed that they can have just as much success in the air as third-year staring quarterback Tony Norris had just one incompletion in 11 attempts for 163 yards and a pair of TD tosses.

Albert Lea had eight different players run with the football, and while it did not have a single runner with big numbers that group still managed to account for 111 yards.

Most any coach will tell you that in order to win games the first thing they have to be able to do is establish the running attack.

Well, I would have to say that all the area schools are headed in the right direction.

I have to send my congratulations to the Albert Lea girls’ soccer team for its victory over Owatonna.

I am new to the area, but just talking to some people who were at the game it is clear even to me that the win was a big, big accomplishment.

Those are the kind of victories that successful programs are built on.

The team has shown how much it has improved by being able to pull out a tight win against a quality team.

Head coach Rick Barnhill has done a good job of developing a young team which figures to be in the hunt for several more seasons to come.

Both the girls’ and boys’ teams are making statements early in the season coming off sub-.500 campaigns.

Even if they aren’t beating top-notch competition they are playing close games and improving along the way.