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Chris Murphy, Published October 04 2013

Strand breaks Barnesville career rushing record in win over Upsala-Swanville

BARNESVILLE, Minn. – Michael Strand has rewritten the Barnesville record book. And he’s signed his name all over it.

On Friday, the senior added another signature.

Strand put the finishing touches on his title as best running back to walk the halls of Barnesville High School in the Trojans’ 61-6 thrashing of previously undefeated Upsala-Swanville in Minnesota high school football action.

On his second carry, Strand passed Dean Halverson’s Barnesville record of 2,453 career rushing yards and Barnesville graduate Tony Harris’ 2,473 rushing yards – which was as part of the co-op team between Barnesville and Rothsay – to become the all-time leading rusher in Barnesville history.

In one 33-yard gallop to the end zone, Strand broke a record not touched in three decades. And he had no idea he did it.

“I had no clue,” Strand said. “I was just like, ‘Wow. That’s awesome,’ and I thanked all my linemen. I was so happy.”

Strand’s Barnesville career began with him keeping the stats as the manager for the Trojans. Now, he’ll be remembered for his own stats.

Strand destroyed the points record for Barnesville football, pushing his career points on Friday to 443, with Adam Rice’s 278 in a distant second. His 48 rushing touchdowns are a Barnesville record, and he even has the points record for Barnesville in basketball.

If that’s not enough, he’s one touchdown shy of tying the Trojans’ record for receiving touchdowns and two punt returns for touchdowns away from tying the state record of nine.

His record-breaking run, which was the first of eight consecutive touchdown drives for Barnesville (6-0), was 33 of his 158 yards and one of his two touchdowns rushing on 14 carries. That pushed his career total to 2,599 yards and counting.

Strand has rushed for 889 yards on 59 carries this season, averaging more than 15 yards a carry. He has only six second-half rush attempts.

“Barnesville sports means everything to me,” Strand said. “I grew up here, and I’ve been doing everything for the football team since fourth grade. Now that I broke the record, it’s just awesome.”

The first person to hug Strand when he was taken out of the game early in the second half was his dad and coach, Bryan Strand.

“He has been in the weight room since seventh grade,” Bryan Strand said. “He’s earned this, and he couldn’t have done it without his teammates. I’m proud of him, just like I am in anything that he does.”

Michael may not have known the record was coming, but his dad certainly did. After watching him struggle to get his 1,000th point in basketball, fully aware of how many points he needed, Bryan decided to stay away from informing Michael of the rushing milestone.

“He’s worked really hard for what he’s gotten,” Bryan Strand said. “I didn’t want him to worry about it or anyone to talk about it to him. I wanted him to just concentrate.

Barnesville, ranked No. 5 in Class 2A – has now outscored opponents 311-44 after rolling the No. 6-ranked team in Class 1A Upsala-Swanville. Barnesville has never won a state championship, which is a record both Strands would like to break.

“We’re pumped,” Michael Strand said. “That’s our main goal. I hope we get there.”

As for his rushing record, Michael already knows who is going to break it. His 3-year-old brother, Jacob, is already on the Trojans sidelines preparing.

“I really hope my little brother breaks it,” Michael Strand said. “He’s got a long way to go though.”

U 0 0 0 6– 6

B 20 22 13 6–61

B-Strand 33 run (kick no good)

B-Nosal 16 run (Trowbridge run)

B-Nosal 5 run (kick no good)

B-Holland 10 pass from Martz (Martz pass to Strand)

B-Strand 23 run (Strand kick)

B-Trowbridge 15 run (Strand kick)

B-Randklev 13 run (Strand kick)

B-Tweeton 47 run (run no good)

B-Brenner 47 run (kick no good)

U-Valencia-Loudin 49 run (kick not attempted)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

PASSING: B, Martz 4-7-0 52 yards. U, Evans 0-5-0.

RUSHING: B, Strand 14-158, Nosal 6-28, Randklev 4-30, Trowbridge 8-85, Meyer 2-20, Martz 2-(-6), Tweeton 1-47, Anderson 1-43, Dent 1-6, Brenner 1-47, John 1-0, Roste 2-9, Haugrud 1-(-3). U, K. Lange 3-(-1), M. Lange 21-87, Evans 4-(-13), Ripplinger 1-5, Graves 1-(-3), Valencia-Loudin 6-57, Koetter 2-0.

RECEIVING: B, Strand 1-3, Ishaug 1-20, Holland 2-29.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548