Owatonna Outslugs Austin, Will Host Section Football Finals
On a day where top seed Northfield got upset and No. 1 ranked in the state Chaska lost, nothing could be taken for granted in Owatonna's match-up with Austin in Saturday's Section 1-5A football semifinal. The Huskies and Packers combined for over 100 points for the second time this season with Owatonna coming out on top 62-41. OHS will host Rochester Century, who ended Northfield's season, in the section final Friday November 3 at OHS at 7PM on KRFO AM 1390.
Owatonna never trailed on Saturday, and seemed to pull away in the second quarter, but Austin had other ideas. The Packers started connecting on plays that they just missed on early in the game. Austin pulled within 35-27 after the teams combined to score 56 points in the second quarter.
OHS led 7-0 after closing out their first drive of the game with an Abe Havelka-to-Noah Budach touchdown pass, the first of Budach's school-record four scoring catches of the night. The quarter ended with that score.
Austin converted an Owatonna fumble into a 22-yard touchdown run by Joe Seeman to even the game at 7-7 early in the second stanza. The Huskies answered a couple of minutes later with another Havelka-to-Budach TD. Jason Williamson found the end zone on each of the next two Owatonna drives to put the Huskies up 28-7 with 4:34 remaining in the second.
Four more touchdowns would come before halftime.
Austin struck on a two-play 78-yard drive, with Seeman racing for 64 yards and quarterback Tate Hebrink hitting Gavin Owens for a 14-yard touchdown with 4:02 left. The Huskies responded with a 32-yard, picture-perfect over-the-shoulder, in-stride touchdown reception by Alex Raichle with 2:59 left to lead 35-14.
The Packers drove the field in seven plays, but just 1:20 of clock time, ending with Hebrink-to-Luke Hawkshead from 21 yards out to pull within 35-20. After forcing an Owatonna punt, Austin's Hebrink ended a three-play, 66-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run to put the tally at 35-27 going into halftime.
The teams traded punts early in the third quarter. Owatonna pushed the lead to 41-27 on a ten-yard, Havelka-to-Budach connection. Austin answered less than a minute later with Hebrink-to-Owens and it was 41-34. Havelka and Budach pulled off their magic one last time and the Huskies led 48-34 entering the four quater.
Jason Williamson, who scored a school-record tying seven touchdowns in Austin in week three, scored his third touchdown of the night for a 55-34 advantage with 5:26 left. Williamson would have three apparent touchdowns called back Saturday, including one where he illegally hurdled an Austin player at the goal line.
Austin scored with 4:02 left on another Hebrink-to-Owens pass to make the score 55-41. Williamson, who had about 270 yards rushing, ended the scoring with a 42-yard dash with 2:16 to go for the final 62-41 margin.
OHS beat Austin 70-36 in their regular season game in week three.
Owatonna (8-1) will host Rochester Century (5-5) Friday at 7PM. The Panthers have won two road games in the playoffs, beating Mayo 7-6 and Northfield 14-12. The Huskies topped the Panthers 46-7 on October 6, but now is not the time to take anything for granted.