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Williamson powers Owatonna past St. Thomas Academy to another 5A title

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 11/24/18, 6:15PM CST


Gopher recruit Jason Williamson scored touchdowns on runs of 71 and 44 yards in the second half to lead the Huskies to a 14-3 victory.

Owatonna's Jason Williamson (22) scored on a 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. Photo: Shari L. Gross • shari.gross@startribune.com

Jason Williamson wasn’t worried. There was no frustration in the mind of Owatonna’s superstar halfback, despite having little room to run for the entire first half. Something would open up.

It did, early in the third quarter. Trailing by a field goal, Williamson, a senior, took a toss left, side-stepped one tackler, shed two others and raced 71 yards into the end zone, propelling Owatonna to a 14-3 victory over St. Thomas Academy in the Class 5A championship game.

It was the second consecutive state title for Owatonna (13-0) and third since 2013.

“Our running back coach was saying at halftime that I was going to get a big one,” Williamson said. “I just trusted that.”

Prior to his long run, Williamson, a Gopher recruit, had been bottled up by a stubborn St. Thomas Academy defense in the first half Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium, putting up just 38 yards rushing.

He’d seen this before, however. Teams were always scheming to stop him. Thing is, not one had done it yet.

“I don’t get frustrated,” he said. “All the teams game plan for me. I trusted I was going to break one.”

First report

It wasn’t vintage Jason Williamson, but it didn’t have to be. Owatonna’s superstar running back was bottled up for most of the game, but broke loose two times, which proved to be enough in the Huskies’ 14-3 victory over St. Thomas Academy in the Class 5A championship game.

Owatonna trailed 3-0 at halftime, but Williamson remedied that with a 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for a 7-3 lead. He shed three tacklers and side-stepped another on the run, showing the ability that makes him a University of Minnesota recruit.

Williamson’s second long run came after the Owatonna defense had held St. Thomas out of the end zone after the Cadets had reached the Owatonna 6.

With St. Thomas overcommitting on defense, Williamson slipped through the line for a 44-yard TD to ice the victory. He finished with 184 yards rushing.

Owatonna (13-0) won its second consecutive Class 5A title. St. Thomas fell to 12-1.

Check back later for more on the game.

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