FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS RETURN
The Owatonna Huskies suffered their first loss in the season opener against a very tough Rochester Mayo Spartans team.
The tone of the game was set early, as the Spartans leaped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a long touchdown run.
After a Huskies punt on the ensuing drive, the Spartans capitalized on another big run to take the lead at 14-0.
The Spartans would tack on another field goal before the Huskies started to get into rhythm.
A huge passing touchdown from senior quarterback Taylor Bogen to senior wide receiver Nick Williams created the first points of the game for Owatonna and breathe more life back into their visiting fans.
Cutting the deficit to 10 points, the home crowd began to quiet down as the initial onslaught seemed to come to a halt temporarily.
The second quarter continued the high scoring trend of the first, bringing another 21 points onto the scoreboard.
However, the Huskies were not on the receiving end of any of the points.
Another long touchdown run and a pair of pick-six interceptions led to 21 more Spartan points, catapulting Mayo out to a 38-10 lead at halftime.
Facing a steep climb to get back into the game, the Huskies battled through the adversity on their first drive back from half.
A loose ball fumble as the result of an errant snap gave the Huskies very promising field position in Spartan territory.
After a drive that saw some key fourth down conversions, Bogen once again managed to find an open receiver for a score.
This time it was junior wide receiver Ayden Walter who found pay dirt as he battled through the crowded secondary across the middle of the field for the touchdown grab.
However, this would be the last time the Huskies drew near contention for the victory.
The rest of the way the Spartans managed to hold their lead, never relinquishing a three-score lead, and winning 58-31.
The Huskies saw some injuries during the matchup as junior tailback Conner Grems and junior offensive and defensive lineman Ethan Anderson both spent some time off of the field getting attended to.
Some top performers for the Huskies team in the matchup were Williams and Bogen who supplied the majority of Owatonna’s offense.
Williams finished with 9 receptions for 205 yards and one touchdown, constantly finding open space downfield for the Huskies.
Bogen found some rhythm in the passing game completing 20-32 attempts for 328 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.
However, the quick deficit in the score called for a game script that was pass-heavy, keeping the Huskies’ rushing attack at bay.
Defensively, the Huskies were spread fairly evenly across the board in production.
On the schedule next for the Huskies will be a home matchup against Rochester Century.
The Huskies won their meeting with Century last season to the tune of a 42-0 victory.
The game will take place Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.