Owatonna Devours Second Half with Mammoth Drive, Reaches Section Final
Owatonna forced Northfield to punt on their first possession of the second half in Saturday's Section 1-5A semifinal. And the Huskies did not. Give. The. Ball. Back. Owatonna went on a mammoth, thing-of-legend drive, and went on to win the game 33-7 to reach the section final for the sixth straight season.
OHS took over at their own 21-yard line with 6:33 to go in the third quarter. They held the ball for the next 23 plays and 11:44 of clock time. The drive consisted of 17 runs, five passes, and a 25-yard field goal by Drew Henson that extended Owatonna's lead to 26-7.
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Huskies coach Jeff Williams told Jon Wiesbrod, writing for the Owatonna football website, "The field goal made it a three-score game, so that was critical. Obviously we would have liked to come off with a touchdown, but to get three points and make it a three-possession game with the time that was left, that pretty much sealed it up."
The longest play on The Drive (seems to deserve capitalization) was a 14-yard pass. The longest run was nine yards. Two plays went for no gain. Seems there was a fourth down conversion at some point as well. Dylan Maas was the work horse on the drive, and the night, finished with 33 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown. (Stats through owatonnafootball.com.) Connor Grems had five carries for 43 yards.
The Huskies scored on their first possession on a Maas four-yard run. The drive started when Collin Vick made an interception. Northfield answered a couple of drives later on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Soren Richardson to Austin Koep on third down and long. Riley Glassmaker sacked Richardson on the previous play.
Owatonna mirrored that score with a 19-yard scoring strike from Jacob Ginskey to Nick Williams on a third-and-goal. OHS led 14-7 at the half.
The Huskies took the first drive of the third quarter 80 yards in eight plays, while using just four minutes of clock time. After three straight handoffs to Maas, running right each time, Ginskey faked the give on the next play and dashed left for a 52-yard gain. He finished the drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for a 21-7 lead.
The ensuing drive for Northfield ended with a three-and-out. The punt snap went over the punter's head and the Huskies got a safety when he was tackled in the end zone for a 23-7 advantage.
OHS started THE DRIVE (maybe all the letters should be caps for this one) after the Raiders' free kick.
Owatonna ended the scoring with Ginskey hitting Williams over the middle from 36 yards out with 4:36 remaining in the game.
The Huskies go to Rochester Mayo Saturday, November 6 for a 7 pm kickoff with a trip to state on the line. OHS has won the last five section titles, including a 30-28 come-from-behind victory in the abbreviated 2020 playoffs.