It wasn’t expected that Elk Mound – or any other Northwest Wisconsin school – would produce another back the caliber of and with the numbers put up by Jake Morris.
Well, it hasn’t happened yet, but Brady Redwine came close.
To review, Morris put up 5,420 rushing yards and scored 87 career touchdowns to gain state Player of the Year honors in 1992 as he led the Mounders to the Division 5 state finals.
He went on to a record-setting career at North Dakota State and signed an NFL contract and played the preseason with the Detroit Lions.
Almost three decades later, Redwine took a shot at the numbers but came up a little short. Still, he left his mark.
Doing almost all his work in his junior and senior years, the 6-foot, 185-pound blockbuster totaled 4,954 yards and 70 touchdowns in leading the Mounders to back-to-back playoff appearances. It puts him fifth in rushing and eighth in touchdowns on the area list.
After rushing for 2,598 yards a year ago, he came back for 2,106 this year when he scored 32 touchdowns. He ranked ninth in the state this fall in yards.
Redwine aided his total with monster games of 359, 350, 338 and 324 yards in his career. Morris’ best was 327 in 1991 but he was far more consistent.
Redwine, who ranked sixth in the state with an average of 191.5 yards a game, was followed by Grantsburg’s Leo Chenal, a Badger recruit who ran up 2,038 yards and scored 42 touchdowns, which ranked second in the state.
Logan Sorenson of Menomonie averaged 13.6 yards a carry and Rice Lake’s DeAuris Clerveaux, who ran for 915 yards, averaged 13.1 to rank among the state leaders.
Also among state season leaders in yards were Northwestern’s Reagan Ruffi with 1,981, Somerset’s Jack Peterson 1,672, St. Croix Central’s Ryan Larson at 1,563, Chippewa Falls’ Matt Pomietlo at 1,203, River Falls Seth Kohel at 1,569 and in figures reported to the Leader-Telegram Mondovi sophomore Tanner Marsh with 1,006.
Pomietlo finished his career with 2,601 yards, which ranks third on the Chippewa all-time list.
Leo Chenal is the younger brother of John Chenal, who shot to the top of the single game rushing list a year ago when he ran for 435 yards against Cumberland.
Two area passers made the state’s top 25 passing list. River Falls’ Logan Graetz threw for 2,129 yards and led the state in touchdowns with 32 (and only four interceptions).
Memorial junior Bryson Johnson passed for 2,043 yards and 25 touchdowns, tying a state record with eight touchdown tosses in the 67-65 loss to Chippewa Falls.
Jared Creen of River Falls was the 11th-ranked receiver in the state with 57 catches for 1,001 yards and 18 touchdowns. Memorial’s Calvin Tanner was among the area leaders with 41 catches for 620 yards and nine TD.
Besides John Chenal’s single game rushing mark of 435 yards, one of five over 400, other leaders are Nathan Harms of Owen-Withee, with 2,799 season yards in 1992 followed by Morris’ total of 2,767 the same year. Clear Lake’s Matt O’Connell ran for 5,525 yards in 2007-10 with Morris’ 5,420 yards next.
In all, 61 backs have run for 300 yards or more.
Three backs scored eight touchdowns in a game with Morris heading a group at seven. Morris holds the season mark at 49, while in a career, Josh Murray of Pepin scored 91 TD in 2004-05, O’Connell 89 and Morris 87 with Redwine eighth at 70.
Passing records are 531 yards in a game by Cumberland’s Kobe Berghammer in 2017 with Ben Gardow of McDonell holding the season mark of 3,507 in 1987, the career record of 9,047 yards in 1987-89 and also the touchdown pass record of 87.
The receiving marks are 1,449 by Randy Baier of McDonell in 1986, 2,946 yards by Mike O’Connell of Regis in 2004-06. O’Connell shares the mark for career touchdowns (35) with Nick Simon of Regis (1996-99).