Huskies advance after overpowering Rockets
It’s a different year and a different team, but the Owatonna Huskies earned the same result as they are once again advancing to the Section 5A championship. This year, they accomplished that feat by routing John Marshall 42-0 on Saturday, Oct. 27.
However, the game didn’t start that smoothly for the Huskies as the Rockets’ defense forced a punt on Owatonna’s first possession.
Following a John Marshall punt, the Huskies’ offense rebounded on their next possession.
Owatonna Head Coach Jeff Williams said some shorter passes got their offense going.
"After running a few underneath routes to Oppegard early, we were able to spring some vertical routes to Beyer, Willliams and Walter," he said.
Beyer caught the first touchdown pass and Williams’ 55-yard catch and run gave Owatonna a 14-0 lead later in the first quarter.
After that, John Marshall got its biggest offensive play of the night when quarterback Cole Peterson recorded a 40-yard run.
"It usually takes a series or two to adjust to wrinkles that teams present and scheme appropriately. Kids also tend to become more disciplined in their reads as time goes on and they see what happens if they aren’t," Williams said.
However, Owatonna’s defense clamped down and stopped the Rockets’ fourth-down attempt to keep them scoreless.
The Huskies’ offense once again got deep into Rocket territory, but a fumble stopped their progress.
Owatonna’s defense gave up only a few yards to John Marshall’s offense so the Husky offense started with great field position.
Running back Tanner Hall cashed in on that great field position with a short touchdown run to give Owatonna a 21-0 lead.
Williams was pleased with how his offense bounced back after the fumble, but he said the team knows it can do better.
"I think we have a feeling that we are leaving some points on the field. We need to clean that up," he said.
Even though the Huskies were leading 21-0 at halftime, he thought his team could play even better in the second half.
"We found some things in the pass and run games that presented themselves in the first half that we felt that we could exploit in the second," he said.
Receiver Ethan Walter added two touchdowns in the second half to break the game wide open.
Williams said the connection between quarterback Brayden Truelson and his receivers was clicking throughout the game.
“Our quarterback and receivers were outstanding,” he said. “I thought our pass protection was excellent as well.”
On defense, he was impressed with the play of the Husky’s front seven.
“Our defensive line and linebackers did a great job,” he said. “We got a good push against the run and put tremendous pressure on their quarterback when they tried to pass.”
That pressure led to another touchdown as defensive lineman Ethan Rohman earned a pick-six in the second half.
Overall, Williams was proud of how both his offense and defense played throughout the game.
“The kids did a good job executing a diverse game plan on both sides of the ball,” he said.
After beating John Marshall 42-0, Owatonna will now face another Rochester team, Century, in the section championship game.
Williams said slowing the Panthers’ offense will be critical.
“They are very explosive in both the run and pass games. It will be a challenge to contain them,” he said.
However, if Owatonna can contain Century, they’ll be on their way back to the state tournament.
Huskies 42, John Marshall 0
Owatonna 14 7 14 7— 42
Rochester JM 0 0 0 0— 0
PASSING Comp.-Att Yds. TD Int
Sol Havelka 0-2 0
Brayden Truelson 14-17 279 4 1
RUSHING No. Yds. Avg. TD
Sol Havelka 4 8 2 0
Brayden Truelson 4 4 1 0
Tanner Hall 16 70 4.4 1
RECEIVING No. Yds. Avg. TD
Matt Williams 2 59 29.5 1
Isaac Oppegard 5 52 10.4 0
Payton Beyer 2 48 24.0 1
Ethan Walter 5 120 24.0 2
DEFENSE Tackles Sacks Int
Carson Dekam 7 .5 0
Isaac Gefre 6 0 0
Grant Achterkirch 4 0 0
Zach Stransky 4 0 0
Cole Earles 4 0 0
Carter Debus 2 2 0