Tie goes to the Huskies

Huskies take two of three battles with Elk River


Serena Omangi

Touchdown Huskies! Quarterback sneak over the goal line

Emily Maine, Writer

For the third year in a row, the Owatonna Football team has fought their way to the state tournament, and for the third year in a row, they’ve played the Elk River Elks at US Bank Stadium. In 2016, the Huskies fell 19-7 against the Elks in the semi-final game. In 2017, the Huskies beat them in the state championship. This year, the Huskies came out on top, winning 39-8. 

The Huskies ran the ball well- again and again. Senior captain Jason Williamson started strong with a 26 yard touchdown run in the first drive. To end the first quarter, Williamson ran 44 yards for a touchdown, bringing the Huskies up 12-0. With 1:09 left in the second quarter, quarterback Sol Havelka scored, rounding out the first half. The teams went into the locker room with the Huskies leading 19-0.

After Elk River scored at the beginning of the second half, Williamson scored once again near the end of the third quarter; the Huskies led 26-8. The rest of the game saw a fumble recovery by senior Zander Johnson, which set up one of Williamson’s final two touchdowns of the state semi-final game. Head coach Jeff Williams said, “Our defense has been really salty against the run all year, so we knew this was going to be a big challenge. Elk River runs the football better than anybody we’ve seen out of the last three years. To be able to hold those guys to eight and force them to throw in order to get their touchdown, we felt that that was a major accomplishment.” Elk River has run through most defenses all season.  In the end, the Huskies only let eight points past their defense. Senior All-State defenseman Chris Lewis said, “We’ve been pretty stingy against the run this year. It feels pretty good to hold a team that usually only runs the ball.” The Owatonna defense allowed the Elks only 140 yards, compared to the Huskies’ 301 yards.

Both the defensive and offensive lines had a great game. Havelka touched on the lanes he and Williamson were given to run through. Havelka said, “It’s pretty easy when you have the best O- line in the state of Minnesota. Any scheme that we draw up, they run perfectly; throw anything at them, they can do it.”

It’s easy when you have the best O-line in the state of Minnesota”

— Sol Havelka

The Huskies are now only one game away from another state championship title. Coach Williams said, “I think the teams that we saw throughout the course of the season prepared us for where we are right now. Our kids just continue to execute, and they have all year.” Huskies will play the state championship game will be held in Minneapolis at US Bank Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. vs. St. Thomas Academy.