High school football teams from smaller schools in Western Wisconsin understood just how strong Eleva-Strum was for 2007.
Now the rest of Wisconsin knows.
Senior fullback Nick Zander scored two touchdowns as the Cardinals rolled to a 41-6 victory over Southwestern in the Division 7 state football title game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
Eleva-Strum finishes the year with a 14-0 record. The closest opponents came to beating the Cardinals this year was 27 points: Independence/Gilmanton lost 27-0 to Eleva-Strum in the regular season before the Cardinals' 41-14 win over Gilman in the Level 4 playoffs.
Zander opened the scoring early in the first quarter with a 9-yard scoring run. Southwestern tied the game in the second before Lance Rongstad ran the ensuing kickoff back 79 yards for a touchdown. Mitchell Klopp added a 12-yard touchdown run to put the Cardinals ahead 19-6 at halftime.
Levy Cleasby scampered for the Cardinals' next score, late in the third quarter. Nick Rogness and Zander closed out the touchdowns in the fourth, for the 41-6 Eleva-Strum victory. The Cardinals ran for 265 yards on just 36 rushes.
Eleva-Strum lost in the 2006 WiAA Division 7 state championship game to Gilman. Today's victory caps off an amazing two-year run for the football program and the 17 seniors on the roster.