Century vs. Byron Football

Century's Isaiah Huber (1) catches a pass against Byron on Oct. 11 at Century High School. Huber scored a touchdown on the play, one of 11 TDs he has had this season. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

Isaiah Huber doesn't just like football, he loves it. 

The Rochester Century junior is a three-sport athlete who is always on the go. But he cherishes football so much that he switched some of his sports around just in the hopes of getting better at football.

And so far, the move seems to have paid off.

"I used to play baseball, and I love football, so I quit baseball to do track and become faster," Huber said. "A lot of the football guys do it, so it's just really fun to be with all of them. And it really helps in football for getting faster."

Speed is a big part of Huber's game in football.

The running back says he has been hand-timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds last summer. He also made a big splash with the Century track and field team last spring.

"He went out for track for the first time last spring and it was huge for him," Century coach Jon Vik said.

As a sophomore, Huber had a top time of 11.07 seconds in the 100-meter dash. He was also a member of three Century relay teams that earned state berths, the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400. 

"The kid comes and he works hard," Vik said. "His off-season regiment in the weight room has made a huge difference."

Huber has been Century's top running back this season. Going into Wednesday night's game against rival Mayo, Huber had rushed for 548 yards and was averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

"My offensive line does so much for me," Huber said. "They do all the hard work and they make me look good."

Huber's success has come despite missing more than a game and a half with a sprained ankle.

"It was frustrating, mainly because I had the exact same injury last year," Huber said. "Just having the same injury kind of sucked, but it wasn't as bad this year. "

Last year he missed four games and he still wasn't 100 percent when he came back, but he wanted to play.

"I'd say I'm 100 percent now," Huber said. "I just tape it up and I feel pretty good, especially when game time comes around and you're moving and the adrenaline is flowing."

Huber has rushed for more than 100 yards in three of the five full games that he has played. 

"I think I just read the field very well," he said. "I just know when to cut, when to go. And when I get in the open space, I'm really good at being fast from track."

He has also had a knack for finding the end zone. Huber has 10 rushing touchdowns and he has also caught a touchdown pass.

"I'm running the ball pretty good and it's fun running like that and scoring touchdowns," he said. "And as a team, we're doing well."

The Panthers took a 5-2 record into Wednesday's game against Mayo with the winner likely earning the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Section 1AAAAA playoffs.

"Getting to the section championship and obviously going to state is a huge goal," Huber said. "I know we have Owatonna in our section which is really hard, but being the first (football) team from Century ever going to state is always in our heads."

Following the football season, Huber will lace up his skates and play hockey for Century.

"I really don't have any breaks," he said. "During the hockey season I just lift (weights) a lot for football, too. I like hockey a lot, too."

He also enjoys snowboarding, much to the chagrin of Century hockey coach Josh Klingfus. And when the snow melts in the spring, Huber will again be running track. But he hopes college ball is in his future. 

"That's a huge goal of mine," he said. "I don't have any offers (yet), but I have gotten a few game-day invites."

Among those are the University of Minnesota, the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University, all Division I schools.

"I just really want to play college football," he said. "I love the game so much and to be able to do that would be awesome."

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