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Aaron Peterson

Created: 11/20/2013 10:54 PM KSTP.com

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's hard to believe when you look at all 170 pounds of him, but Aaron Peterson started football as a big boy.

"I was a lineman until fifth grade, and then I moved to running back," Peterson said.

Now, the Owatonna senior has the Huskies on the brink of a state championship.

"Aaron has been a real workhorse for us," Huskies head coach Jeff Williams said.

In Owatonna's four playoff games alone, Peterson's totaled 686 yards on the ground, including 170 in last week's Class 5A semifinal win over St. Michael-Albertville.

"He gets more carries than a kid at 160 pounds should probably get," Williams said. "Last year, against Mankato West, we shoved it to him almost 40 times."

"I haven't broken yet, so I'll take the ball as many times as they want to give it to me. It's my job to run with it," Peterson said.

Peterson has good speed, but despite being a smaller back, he can pack a punch.

"I like to be able to lower the shoulder in goalline situations. I don't feel like I can't run anybody over, but I have a great o-line, so all I have to do is read their blocks and hit the crease," Peterson said.

He's hoping to hit several creases next week, when the Huskies play Brainerd in the state championship.

"We fell a little short last year. Just couldn't win that last game, and I'm really proud to be back there getting a second chance. Not many people get that second chance," Peterson said.