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MEMORIES & MOMENTS I Week 1

08/31/2022, 8:00am CDT
By Jon Weisbrod

Jon Weisbrod's weekly look at what happened with the Huskies in previous seasons.

MEMORIES & MOMENTS I Week 1

In Week 1 of the 2014 season, the defending state champion Huskies took the bus ride to Winona in the program’s first game since defeating Brainerd in the 2013 Prep Bowl. It wasn’t always pretty — accentuated by the gloomy, cold and rainy conditions — but Owatonna escaped with a 14-6 victory in Big Nine Conference action. Julius Franklin shouldered the majority of the offensive load for the Huskies, accounting for both of the team’s touchdowns and rushing for 217 yards on 36 carries. After his final TD with 5 minutes, 23 seconds on the clock, the OHS defense dug deep and stymied a pair of Winona drives late in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. The first Winhawks possession in the game’s final five minutes lasted just four plays and was abruptly halted when Matt Kingland jarred the ball loose after getting his hands on the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage and Alec Holcomb recovered the fumble. Winona got the ball back roughly four minutes later and gained just six yards before turning the ball over on downs following three straight incompletions.  

MEMORIES & MOMENTS I Hosting the Spartans

Against Mayo at the OHS stadium on Oct. 27, 2018, Jason Williamson posted the finest single-game statistical output in his illustrious career in Owatonna’s 63-28 victory in the Section 1-5A semifinals. Finding the end zone four times in the first quarter alone, Williamson kept his foot on the gas and went on to tie the MSHSL record with eight rushing touchdowns in a single game and rang up 441 yards on the ground. He averaged a staggering 14.7 yards per carry and sat out the final 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. At the time, the yardage was the eighth most in state history for a single game as Williamson scored six TDs of 25 or more yards. By halftime, he had rushed for six touchdowns and 331 yards.

MEMORIES & MOMENTS I 5 Years ago, entering Week 1

Entering Week 1 of the 2017 season, Owatonna was poised to avenge its loss to Faribault from the previous season and eager to take the first step in proving its lofty preseason expectations weren’t unwarranted. The Huskies were loaded with a talented senior class coming off a strong finish to the 2016 season in which they advanced all the way to the state semifinals after winning eight consecutive games following the uncharacteristic 21-10 loss to the Falcons in Week 3.

MEMORIES & MOMENTS I 10 Years ago, entering Week 1

Entering Week 1 of the 2012 season, Owatonna was preparing for a season-opening showdown against Chanhassen in the first year competing within the newly-recalibrated MSHSL football postseason structure. After being forced to participate in the state’s largest classification that mainly encompassed a large portion of the state’s largest high schools that reported enrollments that swelled comfortably past 2,200 students, OHS — which traditionally hovered around 1,400 students — was a major benefactor of the League’s decision to add a seventh competitive level (Class 6A) that would incorporate the 32 largest schools in a separate tier. As a result, the entire competitive landscape of the sport was substantially evened out at all levels and the Huskies were situated into the second-largest group, Class 5A. Moving forward, the school would no longer be required to punch unreasonably beyond its weight in the postseason and compete in a classification featuring opponents of similar size, roughly between 1,100 and 1,700 students.

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