NORTHFIELD — For about four minutes, it looked like the Northfield football team was going to hang with Owatonna.
And then Isaac Oppegard snared a 12-yard pass on 4th-and-long to move the chains on the Huskies’ opening drive.
OHS was in the end zone three plays later and celebrating the first of its nine touchdowns in what quickly transformed into a Big Southeast District blowout at Memorial Field.
Owatonna punished the Raiders in the trenches, racked up 482 yards of total offense and looked every bit the part of the top-ranked team in Class 5A with a 63-0 rout on the road.
The victory moves the Huskies to 2-0 with the combined score in those games being 107-7. More impressively, Owatonna’s Week 1 victim, Rochester Century, rebounded from its thrashing last Friday night with a 35-14 thumping of No. 4-ranked Mankato West in its home-opener.
“Yeah, this was huge,” Owatonna captain Isaac Gefre said moments after the game. “You know, we were a little nervous coming into this (field), but we executed well and came away with the win. We have to continue to get better every week and we still have a lot of work to do, but this one feels good.”
The Huskies’ lethally-balanced offense was on full display once again, gobbling up 292 yards on the ground and adding another 190 through the air.
Starting quarterback Brayden Truelson continued his masterful start to the season, completing 7 of 9 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. Sol Havelka also looked the part of a big-time player as the senior added 128 yards of total offense (89 passing, 39 rushing) while flinging his second touchdown of the season — this time finding Ethan Walter from 43 yards out on a screen-and-run — with just 1:04 left before halftime to help make the score 42-0.
Walter looked nothing less than dynamic as the team’s shiny new offensive toy, piling up 155 yards of total offense — all in the first half — and finding the end zone twice, once on the ground and once through the air. He needed just four carries to reach 40 rushing yards and added a team-high 115 yards on seven receptions, showing off a number of nifty moves as he knifed through the Northfield defense.
Matt Williams helped blow the game open and brought the packed visitors section to their feet with a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown, tip-toeing through a mess of tacklers before accelerating through a crease and crashing into the end zone with 1:29 left in the first quarter to give OHS a three-touchdown lead.
“I pretty much just caught the ball and saw (Payton) Beyer coming down and I hit him a little while he was trying to block and then I just saw space on the outside and went,” he said. “Great blocking on the outside. I saw Gefre up front, had an excellent block and I saw Seykora with a great block. Excellent blocks up front. I mean, there’s no way I’m taking that back (for a touchdown) without those blocks.”
Owatonna bullied the Raiders in the trenches and yielded just 13 rushing yards and 70 passing yards before the starters took a seat for the duration of the second half. Northfield gained nine yards on its opening possession and failed to convert on 4th-and-short and accumulated just four rushing yards for the remainder of the half.
“We just believed in our keys and read them and executed very well and shut down the run game,” Gefre said. “That was huge.”
Owatonna allowed its starting offensive line to take one possession to start the second half — a drive that ended in a Tanner Hall 20-yard touchdown run — before taking a seat for the game’s final 20 minutes.
Chewing up yardage at a steady rate before finally popping a 45-yard run late in the fourth quarter, Jerez Autridge led the Huskies in rushing yards with 100 on 10 attempts. Hall added 68 rushing yards and caught one pass for 17 yards. The junior finished with a pair of touchdowns.
Beyer caught a 25-yard touchdown from Truelson in the second quarter.
Sam Henson and Lane Versteeg finished a combined 9-for-9 on extra points.
Owatonna plays again on Friday against New Prague. The Trojans lost, 36-21, to Rochester Mayo in a game they trailed by just one point with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Spartans, who beat Northfield 48-15 in Week 1, move to 2-0.
Owatonna 63, Northfield 0
O—Isaac Gefre 2 run (Sam Henson kick), 6:22, 7-0
O—Ethan Walter 23 run (Henson kick), 4:31, 14-0
O—Matt Williams 56 punt return (Henson kick), 1:29, 21-0
O—Payton Beyer 25 pass from Brayden Truelson (Henson kick), 6:49, 28-0
O—Tanner Hall 2 run (Henson kick), 2:40, 35-0
O—Walter 43 pass from Sol Havelka (Henson kick), 1:04, 42-0
O—Hall 20 run (Henson kick), 8:26, 49-0
O—Jerez Autridge 3 run (Lane Versteeg kick), 56-0
O—Logan Gauthier 2 run (Versteeg kick), 4:08, 63-0
Owatonna individual stats
RUSHING—Ethan Walter 4-40-1, Sol Havelka 5-39, Logan Gauthier 1-2-1, Abe Stockwell 2-17-0, Jerez Autridge 12-100-1, Tanner Hall 10-68-2, Isaac Gefre 2-2-1, Cole Earles 4-24-0
PASSING—Sol Havelka 5-9-89-1-0, Brayden Truelson 7-9-101-1-0
RECEIVING—Matt Williams 1-9, Isaac Oppegard 2-29, Payton Beyer 1-25-1, Ethan Walter 7-115-1, Tanner Hall 1-17
TACKLES—Payton Beyer 1, Ethan Walter 1, Jaden Dallenbach 1, Grant Achterkirch 2, Carson DeKam 3 (1 sack), Keenan Young 2, Connor Budach 4, Matt Seykora (1 sack), Jerez Autridge 1, Blake Sommers 1, Hunter Menden 1, Isaac Gefre 3, Alex Vereide 1, Bailey Keck 1, Hudson Aase 1, Pedro Munoz 1, Ethan Rohman 2, Nate Smith 1, Tony Villarreal 2, Lane Wagner 2, Alex Stenzel 1, Josh O’Daffer 5