Thirty nine touchdowns, one two-point conversion, 2,103 rushing yards and 125 receiving yards.
Those are the numbers the Pierz Pioneers football team was left to fill when all-state running back Craig Luberts graduated.
Enter the tandem of Christian Even and Warren Gall. The two have picked up where Luberts left off and have Pierz running wild again.
Christian Even rushed for 116 yards against Maple Lake.
The senior transfer student from Little Falls sparked Pierz to a 46-28 Central Minnesota Conference victory over Maple Lake. He rushed for 116 yards on 11 carries. He scored on carries of 23, 29 and four yards. The elusive back also caught a 50-yard touchdown reception.
"We split him wide right before halftime," said Pierz coach Leo Pohlkamp. "He caught the ball, broke a couple of tackles and jumped the score from 21-6 to 28-6. That was a big momentum boost for us.
"He's got really good hands. About two weeks before football started we had a little passing league at Milaca. I didn't have any idea how good he was. It was amazing."
Pohlkamp has Even handling kick and punt return duties and playing safety. His speed and quickness have helped him excel in those areas.
"The last game he had seven solo tackles," said Pohlkamp. "That's not what you really want from your safety, but Maple Lake was pulling a guard and running sweeps. He came up really quick on the runner. He also laid some hits on people."
Even's offensive expressiveness has been the key. Matched with Gall's toughness and strength, the two give Pierz a frightful one-two punch.
Pierz amassed 467 total yards against Maple Lake with 369 coming on the ground.
In a 66-15 victory over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Pierz amassed 567 total yards with 398 on the ground.
In four games Even had tallied 375 yards and seven touchdowns on 33 carries for an 11.4 per carry average. He also had three receptions for 105 yards and a score.
"Every time he touches the ball he's fun to watch," said Pohlkamp. "He's the quickest we've ever had. One-on-one in the open field he's tough to tackle.
"He's starting to get the blocking down and he makes really nice cuts. At least three or four kids had a real good chance of tackling him on the touchdown reception and he made them all miss."
Other notable performances:
Football: Travis Dixon, Pillager, gained 108 yards, caught two passes for 25 yards and had 13 tackles and two interceptions against New York Mills.
Warren Gall, Pierz, ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns against Maple Lake.
Josh Flavin, Little Falls, caught 12 passes for 109 yards against St. Cloud Apollo.
Tyler Fisher, Verndale, rushed for 161 yards and two scores against Eagle Valley.
Andy Mertens, Staples-Motley, rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Chris Jansson, S-M, caught three passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns against W-DC.
Soccer: Chad Kofoed, Little Falls, scored three goals against St. Cloud Apollo.
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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