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2012 Returning 1000 Yard Rushers - Capsules

Posted Monday, July 16, 2012, at 10:33 PM

Cozad's 1000 yard flyer, Jake Paulsen
(Part of a 2 part Series)

*Tanner Fate-High Plains-2,014 Yards 每 Not often do you have a returnee that rushed for over 2000 yards the season before. Fate is a quarterback and slick as they come. Fate, without a doubt is a duel-threat QB. Along with his 2,014 yards rushing last season, he passed for 605 yards and 11 TDs. As a Sophomore though, he passed for 901 yards (12 scores) and ran for 526 and 8 touchdowns, so it*s pretty clear he can throw the forward pass. This young man is a proven leader and the Storm should be very good in 2012. Problem is Class D-1 will be crazy good this Fall#.the strongest it has been in years and that is an understatement.

*Nate Hass-West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic-1,937 Yards 每 Hass has been on 2 state finals* teams since WPGACC has dropped down to 8-man football. Hass is just the right size back for 8-man football, around 5-10 and a buck eighty. Hass was also the Bluejay*s defensive leader, recording 112 total tackles, including an unreal 78 unassisted. These are tough kids at West Point CC and there is no reason to think these Bluejays will not field a strong team in 2012, but once again they will be competing in the toughest Class across the board. (D-1).

*Devin Washington-Lincoln SE-1,907 Yards 每 Arguably the best back in Class A and that*s saying something since four thousand yarders return in that class. Washington will again be running behind the best line in ※A§ and taking the ball from one best there is in quarterback Najee Jackson. Southeast*s offense will be close to unstoppable with the deadly run/pass weapons they possess and Washington will reap the benefits of opposing defenses being off balance trying to cover all the options the Knights present.

*Tyler Kavan-Wahoo-1,895 Yards 每 Kavan is just one in a long line of great running backs from the land of the Warriors. Hard telling what weight Kavan will play at this year. Last season he was a rock solid 5-10, 180 pounds and very difficult to bring down. Reminded me of Jake Fowler of Adams Central. Wahoo may be poised to give Norfolk Catholic and Pierce both a run this season and they play Catholic at home on September 21st. Kavan says he loves to run around people, but this guy will run over defenders with the best of them and his stiff arm may be the best I*ve seen since Scott Siegel of GI in 2004.

*Isaas Aakre-Millard North-1,893 Yards 每 Had the Mustangs not have to forfeit some games in 2011, Fred Petito*s forces would have been right in thick of the Class A race. But drawing the #16 seed and having to face Omaha Burke right off the bat didn*t help matters. Aakre is the cog that makes Millard North jell. Freddy once told me by the time the football season starts, his starting quarterback will have been through several thousand reps of the option play. That give you as hint why Mustang QBs are always among the top rushers in the state? MN*s defense should put them in the right spot to play Lincoln SE for all the marbles in November. Aakre will take care of things on offense and get his 2000 yards rushing along the way.

*Jake Fowler-Adams Central-1,764 Yards 每 All-State Class B running back dropping down the C-1? Oh my goodness. Nobody stopped Fowler last season#.not even Elkhorn. Twisting, turning, and churring for yards every time he touches the pigskin, few backs in his Class or well beyond will match Fowler. A threat to go the distance on every play, Fowler*s incredible balance and great vision make him numero uno. The Patriots will be tough to beat in 2012. The opener with Cozad will match 2 of the best RBs in the state when Fowler and Haymaker speed merchant Jake Paulsen match strides. Yes, I will be there.

*Josh Coyle-Atkinson West Holt-1,729 Yards 每 Holy smokes, 1700+ yards as a Sophomore! West Holt has only had one other 1000 yard runner in it*s history (Tannen Dvorak/2000/2001) and Coyle may be better when it*s all said and done. So#.here*s all you need to know about Coyle:

1).May very well be the absolute, finest tackle shredder in any class, 2). Can run the ball out of several formations including the direct snap from the Wildcat formation, 3). Is an outstanding pass catcher, often times reeling &em with one hand going out of bounds, 4). Can field a direct snap, appear to be running a sweep, the unleash a 40 yard plus rugby-style punt, 5). Is a sure-handed, vicious tackler from his linebacker position on defense. 6). Is an 11.2 100 meters man on the track, runs around :23.0 in the 200 and low :52∩s in the 400, 7). Finished 36-6 and grabbed a 4th place in the 182 pound class at the State Wrestling Meet last winter. Get the picture#.this kid may be the best pure football player I*ve watched in a while.

*Austin Blume-Hitchcock County-1,508 Yards 每 Only 6-Man thousand yard man returning this fall. He was part of a 1000 yard rushing duo for Hitchcock last season. Only a junior and not very big in stature, Blume is elusive and makes difficult to execute a clean hit when he glides. 6-Man football teams that are highly successful usually have a nice pass/run mix, so it s unusual to see an overabundance of 1000 yard runners in that class. If Hitchcock County can get some line blocking, Blume should have a good shot at a second 1000 yard campaign.

*James Kruger-Norris-1,501 Yards 每 Already a 2 year thousand yard runner, Kruger may push the 2000 mark in 2012#.he*s that good. Kruger shocked powerhouse Aurora on the first play of scrimmage during round one of the Class B playoffs last season. He bolted through the line, blasted over a couple of would-be tackers and raced 82 yards for a touchdown. Nobody came close to catching him. Kruger has powerful legs and superior balance and is capable of pushing that 2000 yard mark rushing if his line blocks. Kruger*s 1,058 yards as a Sophomore were all earned#every single one.

*Jackie Davis-Omaha Central -1,481 Yards 每 One thing is for certain. Central is not ※I-Back High§ since Jay Ball took over the program. A balanced approach on offense has molded the Eagles into a powerhouse once again, but if any running back at Omaha Central has approached the glory of the ※old days§ it*s Jackie Davis. Davis is every bit the back Devin Washington is and when the Eagles want to pound the ball and eat some clock, the 5-7, 190 pound flyer is the Man. Davis is a swifty, shifty runner with deception that will make defenders look silly. He will need some blocking in 2012 to approach his 2011 numbers, but Davis is one of Class A*s best.

*James Rathjen-Ft. Calhoun-1,431 Yards 每 How could a 1400 yard rusher fly under the radar? Rathjen seemed to a year ago, but 2012 will be an entirely different story. In 2011, not one team held the 6-0, 180 pound RB under a 100 yards#not one. The powerful Ft. Calhoun back averaged nearly 8 yards a carry. He and QB Jordan Kann make a nice backfield duo for the Pioneers, who may have another great shot at a C-1 playoff berth after finishing 6-3 a year ago.

*Jake Paulsen-Cozad-1,368 Yards 每 Paulsen didn*t have an overabundence of blocking last season, but when you run a :10.5 hundred, :21.5 two hundred and high jump 6*7∪ as a Sophomore, all you need is a quick opening and it*s to the house. Looks to me like my friend Jake has grown quite a bit since being listed at a 160 pounds last fall in football for the Haymakers. This kid has the potential to have back-to-back 2000 yard rushing seasons if he has any line at all. Cozad is famous for it*s 2000 yard backs, and the fleet, shifty Paulsen is next in line. This young man is worth the price of admission to watch. Before his career is in the books, Paulsen will have a decent shot at a full ride football scholarship##and maybe at the D-1 level.

*Luke Glenn-Shelton-1,362 Yards 每 Another 2 year thousand yard rusher from a Shelton team that has risen from the ashes in recent years and become a powerhouse 8-Man 1 football team. After running for 1,012 yards as a sophomore, Glenn improved his 2011 total by 350 yards and averaged 7.7 yards a pop along the way. He ran for 21 TDs, had 226 yards receiving for 3 scores and averaged 17 yards a return fielding punts. Glenn is 5-10 and 170 pounds of tough guy. Shelton won a couple of playoff games last season and could match that this Fall with players like Luke Glenn.

*Devon Marteney-Pawnee City-1,355 Yards - At 6-0 and 190 pounds, Marteney is a feared player for the Indians and one of Class D-1∩s best all-around football players. He averaged an insane 11 yards a carry last season and was a ferocious hitter from his linebacker/DE slot as witnessed by his 81 tackles a year ago. Pawnee City suffered ssome big graduation loss like QB Garret Borcher, but Marteney will lead them to another playoff berth in 2012 despite those graduated players.

*Jac Bailey-McCool Junction-1,352 Yards 每 Yet another 2 season 1000 yard runner and one of the toughest, most versatile in 8-Man football. Bailey played almost his entire sophomore season with a torn labrum in his hip and still rushed for 1,264 yards. McCool just doesn*t have a ton of players out for football and many times, Bailey has to get the yards on his own. He is a big lad at 6-1, 185 pounds and hitting him head on when he has the pigskin is not recommended. Bailey is the do-it-all, pure football player for this McCool bunch and the brutal schedule but lack of bodies has taken a toll on it*s football program. Jac Bailey could play small college football for sure#..he is just that talented anywhere you put him on a football field.

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