Due to a chance of thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening in Mankato, Owatonna's season-opening game will start at noon Saturday. Kat Kountry 105FM will carry the action live.

Saturday night was already an early start to the high school football season. Now some games are being moved up to avoid the chance of weather delays. Owatonna will face the defending state champions with a noon kickoff Aug. 22. Radio coverage will be heard on Kat Kountry 105FM, as well as on the radioPup app and at katkountry105.com.

Mankato West returns just three starters from the team that beat Owatonna last season. That includes a pair of all-Big Nine players in running back Van Niels and linebacker Charlie Scwartz. The Scarlets won their fourth state title last fall.

The Huskies return their starting quarterback, Alex Emanuelson, from a 6-4 season in 2014. He passed for a little over 100 yards per game. Three of the top four receivers are back with Alec Holcomb, Blake Westphal and Jake Borchert. Two of the top three running backs return. Sam Hylle and Alec Holcomb combined for more than 800 yards. Holcomb and Borchert were the top two in defensive points last year and both were honored as All-Conference players.

Owatonna travels to Rochester JM on Friday, Aug. 28, before opening their home schedule Sept. 4 against Faribault. This year marks the 20th season as head coach for Jeff Williams.

The early start to the season was made necessary by the availability of TCF Band Stadium for the high school Prep Bowl.

The Huskies practice for a game in 2014. Prep time for the 2015 just got shorter with the rescheduling of their game at Mankato West. Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media