PEQUOT LAKES -- Pure speed and a host of blockers.
That's what James Baumann used to rack up impressive numbers for the Pequot Lakes Patriots football team in its first win over Blackduck Sept. 13.
Baumann finished with 268 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 19 carries in the 56-7 pounding.
On his first carry of the season, Baumann raced 60 yards for a touchdown. He later scored on runs of 36, 40 and 17 yards.
"I was expecting a big night," said Baumann. "I needed to make a statement. I just tried my best and the linemen made the holes.
"I was expecting that, I guess, but not as much as it turned out to be."
The 170-pound running back turned receiver was a runner first and foremost and wanted to give "props" to his blockers.
The line of Brad Simpson, Drew Harris, Paul Fox, Matt and Marcus Mailand, tight end Chris Liedl and fullback Tony Craig carved holes big enough for Baumann to blast through.
"The blocking was excellent," said Baumann. "Basically, Tony would go hit somebody and I would follow him and the rest of my blockers down the field."
Pequot head coach Tony Maurer said the line has played well all season, but needed somebody with Baumann's 4.6-second speed to capitalize.
"The line has been doing a nice job all year, but we've had some younger backs that played the first two games," Maurer said. "The younger backs just didn't have the experience of Baumann. That will come, but James made a big difference."
Last year, Baumann played receiver and was equally effective split out wide. As a sophomore, he raced onto the scene in a Oct. 5 game against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
With the score 7-0 after three quarters, Pequot broke open the game thanks to a 55-yard touchdown reception by Baumann. He finished the year with 10 receptions for 242 yards and five touchdowns. He also returned a kick 90 yards for a touchdown.
"Up to his freshman year he was a running back but last year we had some pretty good backs who were older," said Maurer. "He needed to be on the field so we moved him to wideout."
Now the junior is back to his original position. Aside from running back, Baumann plays middle linebacker, returns kickoffs and punts and is on the punt and kickoff teams. He rarely comes of the field.
"The kid is incredibly fast," Maurer said.
Other notable performances:
Cross country -- Crosby-Ironton's Joe Radinovich won the Pequot Lakes Invitational with a time of 16:39.
Pierz's Zach Solinger won the Royalton Invitational with a time of 18:07.
Football -- Craig Luberts of Pierz rushed for 178 yards and four touchdowns against Maple Lake. Teammate Mark Poepping added 121 yards receiving and a touchdown on four catches.
C-I's Brandon Laffin rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns vs. Hermantown.
Verndale's Kyle Ashman rushed for 141 yards and five touchdowns against Chokio-Alberta-Herman-Norcross.
Staples-Motley's Tyler Frisk rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns vs. Warroad.
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