Talk about a way to end a high school career.
Owatonna’s Jason Williamson capped his career Saturday with a second consecutive Class 5A title, this time a 14-3 win over St. Thomas Academy where he ran for both touchdowns and 185 yards. He’s only the second running back in state history to rush for more than 6,000 career yards and he finished the state tournament with 695 yards and 12 touchdowns in three games to push his season total over the 3,000-yard mark.
Williamson erased a 3-0 deficit with a 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter where he put a hand on the ground to avoid falling to the ground before sprinting away from the Cadets defense.
After the top-ranked Huskies (13-0) recovered a St. Thomas Academy fumble at the Owatonna 43-yard line, Williamson dashed 44 yards with 1 minute, 27 seconds left to play to give the Huskies a 14-3 lead and their third state title in school history.
As good as Williamson was, the Owatonna defense played just as impressively in limiting Cadets running back Brendan McFadden to just 105 yards on 30 carries. McFadden came into the game with more than 1,700 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns. The Huskies also bottled up St. Thomas Academy quarterback Charlie Fafinski, who finished with minus-29 yards rushing due to the relentless pressure Owatonna brought when he dropped back to pass. Fafinski completed just 3 of 10 passes for 60 yards.
Blake Roman had two sacks while Nick Staska and Joseph Stransky added sacks for the Huskies, who defeated Elk River 63-26 for last year’s Class 5A title.
For much of the game it was a battle of defenses, St. Thomas Academy punted on seven straight possessions and fell short of the end zone early in the fourth quarter when a Fafinski pass fell incomplete on a fourth down from the Owatonna 6-yard line.
The Cadets took a 3-0 lead on their first possession of the game when John Copeland hit a 27-yard field goal and it stayed that way until the second half.