Three-thousand, eight-hundred, ninety-two.
That's the new school record rushing total set by this year's Pequot Lakes Patriots football team.
On 469 carries, Pequot gained 3,892 yards and scored 47 touchdowns in a ground attack that carried Pequot to a 10-2 record, Section 8-3A championship and a school-first spot in the state football tournament.
While Matt Michaelson gained most of those yards, it was bulldozing fullback Cody Chambers and the offensive line that helped pave the way.
Chambers was no slouch running the ball himself. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior carried the ball 83 times for 519 yards and eight scores.
With Michaelson ill during the section final against Perham, Chambers rushed for 83 yards on 14 carries, including three touchdowns. That helped the Patriots to a 41-16 victory and a spot in the Class 3A state tournament for the first time.
School: Pequot Lakes
Key stat: Led the Section 8-3A champion Patriots with 134 tackles
In the state quarterfinal loss to Mora, Chambers rushed six times for 28 yards and a touchdown.
"We'd run a quick dive to Cody and he would gain eight or nine yards," said Pequot head coach Chip Lohmiller. "If we needed one yard he would get that, too. He was a great pass receiver. He was our leading receiver. He didn't gain many yards, but he always caught the ball and then got extra yards after the catch."
Chambers led the team with 11 catches for 175 yards, helping Pequot to another school record of 415 points scored.
"My favorite part was catching the ball and making the play," said Chambers. "I felt like a bigger part of the team. Cole (Engen, Pequot's quarterback) said I was his favorite target because he could depend on me to make the catch.
"Most teams knew Matt was going to get the ball and whenever I did they wouldn't be expecting it. I don't need all the press. I know I played a part in what Matt did. It was fun watching him go down the field for a touchdown knowing that I helped him do that."
The three-year starter's main contribution to the record-setting season was on defense where he led the team with 134 tackles, 74 solos. He added two sacks and one forced fumble.
"He's got good speed and he understands the concept of the game," said Lohmiller. "He knew where to go and what to key on to read the offense. He was our leading tackler for two years. He was all-conference the last two years. He was all over the place. He was in on so many tackles it's hard for people to run away from him because he reads his keys so well and has the speed to get to the ball.
"He was just a good all-around player. We counted on him for three years. He was a great leader on this team."
A good leader on a good team makes for a winning combination and a fun season. That's what Chambers enjoyed the most.
"It was a lot of fun this season and a lot of good memories," he said. "We came into the season and our goal was to win the conference and section and we did exactly what we wanted to do. It's a lot of fun winning.
"We had good team chemistry. We didn't have any fights and all that. We were all on the same page and were able to get it done. We all helped."
Other notable performances:
Football: John Omann, Pierz, rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown against Eden Valley-Watkins.
Amos Schmidt, Verndale, ran for 122 yards and a touchdown against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.
Matt Michaelson, Pequot Lakes, rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown against Mora.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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