OWATONNA – After a 42-6 dismantling of Rochester John Marshall, the Owatonna High School football team looked to keep the train chugging full steam ahead against Mankato East.
For the second-straight game, the Huskies defense stole the show.
Allowing 150 yards of total offense, the No.2 ranked Huskies rolled to its fifth-straight win with a 48-0 shutout over the Cougars in a Big Southeast crossover matchup Friday night at OHS Stadium on Homecoming.
“It was good to establish the line of scrimmage,” commented Head Coach Jeff Williams. “Came out on that first series and ran the ball very effective and set the tone up front, which was what we wanted to do.”
For the second-straight game, the starting defensive unit for the Huskies recorded a shutout. Last week, the Rockets were able to score late in the fourth quarter on the second team defense. It was another stellar showing against the run for the Huskies. Owatonna was also able to limit big plays for the second-straight showing. In 61 snaps, the Huskies allowed one play over 10 yards on the ground and four plays total. The lone run that recorded double-digit yardage was a 29-yard scamper by Tim Bremer on the second possession of the game.
“I thought our perimeter run defense was very good,” added Coach Williams. “They had some speed there getting to the boundary, our edge defense played very well.”
Through the air, the Cougars didn’t have much luck, registering a total of 66 yards. In fact, despite three drives ultimately ending by failed fourth down conversion attempts, the Cougars crossed midfield three times in the first half. In the second half, the Huskies recorded the lone turnover for the unit tonight on an interception by Parker Westphal.
Continuing to develop game-after-game, the Huskies offensive line displayed another strong performance in the first half. On the game’s opening drive, the Huskies marched 72 yards in seven plays with five of those coming on the ground. The drive would end with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Kubista. The senior wide receiver has now recorded a touchdown reception in every game this season.
After moving the ball seemingly with ease, the Huskies were stall on their next two drives. However, the offense turned to star running back Jason Williamson to regain the rhythm. Of a six-play, 44-yard drive, Williamson carried the ball for 26 yards. Nine of those yards would give the Huskies a 14-0 lead with 3:05 left in the first quarter.
After senior quarterback Abe Havelka tossed an interception early in the second quarter, the Huskies went back to the ground. In fact, of the final three drives of the half, Williams recorded a pair of scores. He needed just one play to race 43 yards to give the Huskies a 28-0 lead. However, on the final drive of the half, Owatonna had a bitter ending. After an offensive pass interference penalty pushed the Huskies back to the Cougars’ 27-yard line, Coach Williams called a timeout to stop the clock. However, as soon as the ball was set the final two seconds of the half ran off the clock.
“Apparently if there is a penalty on the offense, the clock winds as soon as the ball is set,” Williams added. “I’m assuming ‘hey it’s an incomplete pass, we’re coming out of a timeout, obviously the clock was going to stop.”
On the opening drive of the third quarter for Owatonna, Williamson’s 21-yard run would give the Huskies a 34-0 lead. That would end another stellar performance from the junior, gaining 197 yards on 20 carries. Despite pulling Williamson and much of the starting skill players for the Huskies, the rushing attack was still red hot. All thanks to sophomore Ethan Walter.
Midway through the third quarter, the sophomore made a nice move to avoid a defender and race Owatonna to a 41-0 lead. Walter carried the ball seven times for 76 yards, only having one run registering for no gain.
“We like Ethan,” Williams added. “We’ve had our eyes on him for a little bit; he’s just a sophomore so we’ll take our time with him.”
The Huskies will be back in action Friday against Rochester Century at OHS Stadium.