Minneapolis - Owatonna claimed its second Class AAAAA crown by dethroning defending champion Elk River in a 63-26 victory in the championship game on Saturday  at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Huskies, the Class AAAAA champion in 2013 in the final game during the Metrodome Era of the Prep Bowl, received a record-tying performance from junior running back Jason Williamson in capturing a state crown title for the second time in five trips to a championship game.

The 6-foot-1, 191-pounder rushed for 213 yards on 23 carries and scored five touchdowns. He had another touchdown on a 67-yard kickoff return early in the second quarter that lifted the Huskies into a 14-all tie at the time.

The six combined touchdowns equaled a mark that was set in 1994 by Kirk Midthun of Triton, Dodge Center, who threw for six TDs in a 40-21 victory over Becker in the Class B championship game. The mark was equaled one day earlier in the 2017 Prep Bowl by Caledonia senior quarterback Owen King, who threw for five touchdowns and ran for another in a 57-6 victory over Pipestone Area in the Class AA championship game.

The Huskies (12-1) accumulated 441 total yards of offense, including 303 on the ground. Williamson accounted for 334 all-purpose yards: 213 rushing, 54 receiving and 67 return yards.

Owatonna used a 42-14 blitz in the second and third quarters to turn and early back-and-forth battle into a 49-20 lead entering the fourth quarter. In that spree, senior defensive back Tucker Alstead had a 29-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown as Elk River was trying to carve into a 35-14 deficit. Williamson’s final touchdown was a 5-yard scamper that gave Owatonna a 56-20 lead with 10:28 left in regulation time.

Owatonna’s 63-point output is the most in a Prep Bowl championship game since Hutchinson recorded a 67-7 victory over Holy Family Catholic, Victoria, in the Class AAAA title game in 2012.

Elk River, which ran for 700 yards in its semifinal victory over Apple Valley, had bright moments against the Huskies, but were unable to keep pace. Junior running back Adam Nelson rushed for 172 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also set a Prep Bowl record with 157 kickoff return yards. That broke the longstanding mark of Stillwater’s Aaron Oden, who had 146 during the 1984 Prep Bowl.

Two other Section One teams won their title games. Spring Grove blanked Nevis 32-0 and Caledonia blew out Pipestone 57-6. St Croix Lutheran - the team that knocked out Rochester Lourdes in the quarterfinals - was upended by Pierz 34-21 in the 3A title game. SCL had eight fumbles in the game.

By MSHSL  Staff


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