Male Area Athlete of the Week: Lunde rushes for big game in win
WDC senior earns athlete of the week
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 been doing better these last couple of games,” Lunde said. “The holes have been huge for us running backs. We’ve been able to find the holes and get a few yards each carry.”
On the season, Lunde’s rushed for 660 yards and 13 touchdowns on 85 carries. He’s averaged 7.8 yards per carry and 94.3 yards a game.
“He’d be the first to tell you that the guys up front have done a nice job blocking for him,” Petermeier said. “I think the guys up front understand the schemes we’ve been doing and have been playing football together now so that whether they see an odd or even front, they know what they are supposed to do. And Evan is just a patient runner. He gets to a certain spot, gets to a hole and once he sees it, he gets 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 both the Wolverines first two games against Staples-Motley and Menagha.
“Now that he's in his second year being full time back there, where he is getting all the carries, I think football comes with experience,” Petermeier said. “He knows how to be really patient back 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 pass catcher, Lunde’s caught four passes for 44 yards.
Lunde also plays middle linebacker as the leader of the Wolverine defense. He’s 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 one sack.
“It’s tiring playing both ways, but those water 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 statistics seven games into this season.
“He knows where to be and that being patient isn’t a bad thing,” Petermeier said. “Sometimes you want to hit the hole as fast as you can, but learning that sometimes that’s not good because the blocks aren’t set up and you get hit before things open up.”
Lunde echoes his coach when he talks about where he’s improved.
“I’m just a lot more patient,” he said. “I’m a lot better at reading the defenses. I think that one year of experience really helped me a lot.”
WDC was more of a passing offense last year, however, this year with Lunde the Wolverines shifted more to a ground and pound style.
“Last year, we had a tremendous quarterback, who could throw the ball a ton,” Petermeier said. “This year, we can throw the ball, but doing what we do, it opens it up in the middle more. We can take advantage of that if teams want to pile on in the middle and stack the box. We have a good balance right now of taking what the defense gives us. In games this year, teams have loaded up on the outside because we have thrown the ball a lot in the pass. So we’ve tried to run the ball a little more and it’s been good.”
Petermeier said Lunde has good lateral quickness and is able to shift and cut well.
“Once he is able to get free he has good breakaway speed,” Petermeier said. “He’s a hockey player, so I think that helps with him laterally and going 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 are going to be throwing the ball a lot, to help out in pass protection, to help us be successful as a team,” Petermeier said. “He’s a team driven type of guy, so it’s cool to see him have some individual success. He’s a yes sir type of guy and a good teammate.”
Lunde is also a captain for the WDC football team.
“I just try to be vocal with some of the younger guys,” Lunde said. “We had a bunch of leaders last year, so some of us needed 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 field.”
Other notable performances:
Football: Hank LeClair, Little Falls, rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Derek Hoglin, Pillager, rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Grant Loge, Pequot Lakes, threw for 306 yards and four touchdowns.
Gabe Ridlon, Crosby-Ironton, rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown.
Owen Dabill, Pine River-Backus, rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
School: Wadena-Deer Creek
Position: Running back/middle linebacker
Highlights: He rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in a win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.