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Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Elk River

Prep Bowl XXXVI Preview: 5A

By Ryan Phelps
US Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN

Prep Bowl Previews

9M / 1A / 2A / 3A / 4A / 5A / 6A


State Tournament Brackets

9M / 1A / 2A / 3A / 4A / 5A / 6A


Head coaches

Owatonna: Jeff Williams, 22nd year, 159-71 career record

Elk River: Steve Hamilton, 20th year, 116-87 career record


Where they rank

Owatonna: #8 in QRF, #8 in AP

Elk River: #1 in QRF, #3 in AP


Head to Head

11-18-16: Elk River def. Owatonna in the state semifinals, 19-7


Previous Prep Bowl Success


  • 5th state championship appearance (1982, 98, 12, 13, 17)
  • 1 state championship win (2013)

Elk River

  • 3rd state championship appearance (1990, 16, 17)
  • 1 state championship win (2016)


Points Per Game

Owatonna: 49.4 points per game (#1 in 5A)

Elk River: 46.7 points per game (#3 in 5A)


Points Against

Owatonna: 15.0 points against (#7 in 5A)

Elk River: 27.9 points per game (unranked in 5A)


Margin of Victory

Owatonna: 34.4 margin of victory (#1 in 5A)

Elk River: 18.8 margin of victory (#6 in 5A)


Road to the Bank


Section finals: defeated Rochester Century, 37-0

State Quarterfinals: defeated Mahtomedi, 59-34

State Semifinals: defeated Brainerd, 56-28


Elk River

Section finals: defeated St. Cloud Tech, 14-13

State Quarterfinals: defeated Andover, 66-60

State Semifinals: defeated Apple Valley, 51-40


The Skinny

Saturday, November 25, 4pm at US Bank Stadium

These teams met in the 2016 semifinals, with Elk River winning 19-7. The Huskies of Owatonna return for their second consecutive and seventh overall appearance. If the Huskies win, it would be their second championship. They won their first in 2013. The defending champions from Elk River return for their second consecutive appearance and eighth overall.

Owatonna can keep its game on the ground or take to the air. The Huskies garnered 2,926 rushing and 3,093 passing yards this season. Senior Jason Williamson carried the ball 288 times for 2,101 yards and 33 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Abe Havelka completed 168 of 276 passing attempts for 3,018 yards and 40 touchdowns. Havelka’s favorite target is senior Noah Budach, who had 65 receptions for 994 yards and 16 touchdowns. Senior Zach Mensink anchored Owatonna’s defense with 73 tackles. Senior Tucker Alstead cornered three interceptions for the Huskies. Owatonna averages 49.4 points per game and their opponents average 15.0 against them.

Elk River rushed for 5,661 yards this season while netting 275 yards passing. Junior Adam Nelson and senior Sherrod Kpahn led the ground game for the Elks. Nelson scored 21 touchdowns on 160 rushing attempts and gained 1,705 yards. Kpahn added 12 touchdowns on 127 carries for 1,025 yards. Senior quarterback Mitchell Stroh completed 13 of his 34 pass attempts and threw for five touchdowns. Stroh also led Elk River’s defense with 126 tackles, four interceptions, and one fumble recovery. Elk River averages 46.7 points per game and their opponents average 27.8 against them.

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