Male Athlete of the Week in the Region: Lunde rushes to the big game by winning – Brainerd Dispatch
That’s the word Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Kyle Petermeier kept using to describe his senior running back Evan Lunde.
Lunde showed his patience in a big way last week as he rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in the Wolverines’ 48-18 win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
“Our line has done better in the last two games,” Lunde said. “The holes were huge for us running backs. We were able to find the holes and gain a few meters on each run.
During the season, Lunde rushed for 660 yards and 13 touchdowns on 85 carries. He’s averaging 7.8 yards per carry and 94.3 yards per game.
“He would be the first to tell you the guys up front did a good job of blocking for him,” Petermeier said. “I think the guys up front understand the schemes we’ve put in place and are playing football together now, so they see an even or odd front, they know what they’re supposed to do. And Evan is just a patient runner. He gets to a certain place, gets to a hole, and once he sees it, he runs through it.
In a week six game against Bagley, Lunde rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.
He found the end zone twice in Wolverines’ first two games against Staples-Motley and Menagha.
“Now that he’s in his second full-time year there, where he’s getting all the runs, I think football comes with experience,” Petermeier said. “He knows how to be very patient out there and explode through an opening.”
After not finding the end zone against New York Mills, he scored twice against Red Lake and twice against Warroad – both WDC wins.
As a wide receiver, Lunde caught four passes for 44 yards.
Lunde also plays center linebacker as the leader of the Wolverine defense. He is second on the team in tackles with 34.5, including five tackles for loss and one sack.
His biggest defensive game came against Bagley where he recorded 10.5 tackles including 10 solo tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
“It’s tiring to play back and forth, but those breaks and timeouts are huge,” Lunde said.
Last year, Lunde rushed for 645 yards and six touchdowns on 85 carries. He’s already eclipsed those stats seven games this season.
“He knows where to go and that being patient is not a bad thing,” Petermeier said. “Sometimes you want to hit the hole as fast as you can but learn that sometimes it’s not good because the blocks aren’t in place and you get hit before things open up.”
Lunde echoes his coach when talking about where he has improved.
“I’m just a lot more patient,” he said. “I’m much better at reading defenses. I think a year of experience really helped me a lot.
WDC was more of a passing offense last year, however, this year with Lunde, Wolverines have shifted more to a ground and book style.
“Last year we had a terrific quarterback, who could throw the ball a ton,” Petermeier said. “This year we can throw the ball but by doing what we do it opens it up more in the middle. We can take advantage of this if teams want to stack in the middle and stack the box. We have a good balance right now to take what the defense gives us. In games this year, teams charged away because we threw the ball in the pass a lot. So we tried to run the ball a bit more and that was good.
Petermeier said Lunde has good lateral quickness and is able to move and cut well.
“Once he’s able to break free, he has good breakaway speed,” Petermeier said. “He’s a hockey player, so I think that helps him side to side and side to side.”
As a leader, Petermeier said Lunde does whatever it takes to win games.
“He’s had success lately running the game obviously, but he’ll be the first guy, if we’re going to throw the ball a lot, to help pass protection, help us be successful as a team,” Petermeier said. . . “He’s a team player, so it’s cool to see him having individual success. He is a type of type yes sir and a good teammate.
Lunde is also the captain of the WDC football team.
“I’m just trying to talk with some of the younger ones,” Lunde said. “We had a group of leaders last year, so some of us had to take over. The younger guys look up to us and we just have to show them what to do and how to act on the pitch.
Other Notable Performances:
Soccer: Hank LeClair of Little Falls ran for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Derek Hoglin, Pillager, rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Grant Loge of Pequot Lakes threw for 306 yards and four touchdowns.
Gabe Ridlon, Crosby-Ironton, had 170 yards and a touchdown.
Owen Dabill, Pine River-Backus, rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
School: Wadena-Deer Creek
Position: Running Back/Center Linebacker
Highlights: Ran for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in a win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.