Owatonna Speed Difference in Rout of Elk River
The Owatonna Huskies are the Class 5A state champions after a convincing 63-26 win over the defending state title holder Elk River Elks Saturday.
One thing that's definitely a factor when you get on turf is speed and the Huskies, and in particular junior Jason Williamson, showed more of it.
Williamson tied a Prep Bowl record with five rushing touchdowns and tied a record with six total td's in the game after also recording a kickoff return for a score.
I stated the obvious going into the game. Both teams showed during the course of the season their tremendous ability to score.
Whichever team could muster some defense would win and the Huskies were very disciplined against the Elk River running attack.
Getting the huge lead didn't hurt either. it forced Elk River to do something they don't want to do. Throw the football.
That was the other difference in the game in my mind.
Owatonna was more balanced on offense with 138 yards passing to Elk River's 73 yards.
When you look at the statistics in the game you would think it was a one or two touchdown game.
First downs Owatonna 20 and Elk River 17.
Yards Rushing Elk River 333 and Owatonna 303.
Total yards Owatonna 441 and Elk River 406.
Biut in the not so little things on the stat sheet.
Owatonna had just one penalty for 5 yards and Elk River tallied 7 for 45 yards.
The Huskies were 5 of 7 on third down conversions and the Elks 4 of 12.
Elk River had two turnovers (one leading directly to a score) Owatonna had no miscues.
Williamson finished the game with 213 yards rushing on 23 carries and Noah Budach added 66 yards on just three holds of the rock.
Senior quarterback Abe Havelka was super efficient 11 of 15 for 138 yards while connecting with four different receivers.
I love the fact that Owatonna throws to their running backs.
Doesn't it make sense when you have someone with the speed of Williamson to get him in space?
Elk River had no tackles for loss in the game and Owatonna collected three.
SeniorCole Rocha led the Huskies defense with 15 total tackles and a forced fumble and senior Logan Starkson wasn't too far behind with 12 total tackles. Both had 9 solo tackles in the game.
Owatonna's only loss came at Northfield when the Raiders staged an incredible late game comeback to win.
Head Coach Jeff Williams would tell you they learned from that game that you can not let your guard down against good football teams.
He would also tell you he is blessed with some very good assistant coaches.
Owatonna had an incredible 31 seniors on this year's team. That kind of leadership is hard to replace but Williamson is a pretty good place to start building a repeat state championship team around.
Congratulations Owatonna Huskies. You are the Class 5A Minnesota High School Football Champions!