Rushford gold rush: Carlson carries Trojans to U.S. Bank Stadium

Noah Carlson owns fourth-best rushing season in MSHSL football history

Five-time Minnesota high school state track and field champion Noah Carlson put himself in a bit of a predicament this fall.

While becoming Rushford-Peterson’s star senior out of the backfield, Carlson statistically now stands as the top ball carrier in the entire state this season.

“If I do a sport in college, I would just want to do one,” Carlson said. “It would be too overwhelming for me. It is either track or football and right now I am kind of leaning towards track.”

Trojans head coach Davin Thompson says the phone calls continue to come in for Carlson. The University of Michigan and Iowa want the AP student for track and field. For football, the interest includes the Minnesota Gophers and FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.

“He is a humble kid. He coaches our youth football, coaches our youth basketball and helps with the youth track,” Thompson said. “If you order a pizza from The Creamery on Saturday night he is probably cooking it.”

“We just love him. he is just a good kid, all around,” Debbie Kitchens, owner of The Creamery restaurant, said. People come in just to talk sports with him. It’s great when we can get him to work (laughs).”

The genes are just fine too. Carlson’s grandfather, Dean Carlson, quarterbacked Iowa State in 1971 to its first bowl appearance in school history. Dean later spent three seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs before finishing his career in Green Bay.

So here we are, 47 years after Dean graduated high school in Rushford, and his grandson heads to the MSHSL Class A semifinals with a state-leading 2,396 rushing yards and 42 total touchdowns.

“You almost kind of feel lucky just to be able to grow up with a kid as talented as he is,” Tojans junior wide receiver/linebacker Jacob Paulson. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.”

Rushford-Peterson (11-1) meets Browerville-Eagle Valley (9-3) 9:30 a.m. Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.