Defense, special teams and offense each came up with big plays and sequences in Owatonna's 16-14 win over Rochester Century Friday night in the Huskies home opener. Having a vocal crowd on hand also played a big role in making the night feel normal under the Friday Night Lights.


The Huskies put good pressure on Century's quarterback all night. Late in the second quarter, on a fourth down play, he was sent rolling to his right under heavy pressure from the entire defensive line. He desperately tossed the ball away, right into the arms of Husky linebacker Luke Wottreng who sprinted about 65 yards for the touchdown. With Drew Henson's PAT, Owatonna took a 7-0 lead into the halftime locker room.


After Century scored early in the third quarter to tie the game at 7-7, Owatonna marched on a 12-play drive, covering about 45 yards. Henson entered and drilled a 44-yard field goal, three yards shy of an OHS record. The Huskies led 10-7 with 4:05 to go in the third.


A couple of drives later, the Panthers sprung an 85-yard touchdown run to take a 14-10 lead with 2:57 remaining in the third. The Huskies responded with a drive of about 10 plays and 52 yards. They converted a long third down and got a defensive penalty on a short fourth down play. Dylan Maas ended the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run with the offensive line opening up a big hole. That put OHS up 16-14 with 10:06 to go in the fourth.


After OHS grabbed the lead, the Panthers had the ball three more times. On their last drive they moved inside the Huskies' 20-yard line. On fourth down, Owatonna's defense came full-out will several players getting to the quarterback before he could even dream of attempting a pass. Drew Kretlow was the first man there.


The game had a great "Friday Night Lights" feel to it again after the limited season of 2020. OHS had a big student section, dressed in Hawaiian gear. The pep band played. The cheerleaders hosted an exhibition with participants from their cheer camp on Thursday.

Owatonna (1-1) plays at No. 1 rated Mankato West (2-0) on Friday, September 17 at 7 pm with coverage on AM 1390 KRFO / 94.7 FM, plus on the app and onlilne.

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