13 Huskies Named to All-District Football Team
Section champ Owatonna had enough players named to the Big Southeast All-District Team to field an entire football team with a pair of reserves. Nine Huskies were included on the First Team with four more as honorable mention. OHS won the Red Division title for the fourth time in five years while securing their fourth straight Section 1-5A title this season.
Senior co-captain and linebacker Isaac Gefre also earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Red Divison after leading Owatonna's strong defensive unit. Coach Jeff Williams said, "Isaac has led our defense in points the last two seasons. He is a great tackler and played a large role in our ability to stop the run." He had 55 solo tackles and 22 assists to go with a sack, an interception, and two pass deflections. Gefre also had four touchdowns as a fullback. Additionally, Gefre averaged over 32 yards per point, though only had to punt 17 times this eason.
Senior co-captain Zach Wiese was named Lineman of the Year in the division after moving over to center most of the season due to a knee injury to Isaiah Noeldner. Wiese was an All-District guard last year. Williams said, "Zach was the heart and soul of our offensive line for the past three seasons. He is tremendously athletic within his lineman's body...One of the the finest lineman to ever play in Owatonna." Wiese is also a Mr. Football nominee.
Senior co-captain and linebacker Carson DeKam was an impact player at linebacker. Williams says, "Carson's athleticism allowed him to be an impact player at both linebacker and tight end. He flows well to the ball and doesn't miss a tackle. He is also a reliable receiver who found himself in the end zone following virtually every catch." DeKam had 34 solo tackles and 17 assists and four-and-a-half sacks. He had five receptions with three going for touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver Matt Williams had 36 catches for 465 yards and seven touchdowns. His coach and father said, "Matt is a great route runner and caught everything in his vicinity. He is able to take the lid off a defense, but also make great possession receptions underneath. He was our most productive return man this year as well."
Senior offensive lineman Carter DeBus helped anchor an offense that produced 2,183 rushing yards and 1,961 passing yards and a 10-1 record for a team that reached the state tournament quarterfinals. Williams said, "Carter does a great job in both run and pass blocking. We called on him to play defensive line after some injuries, and he was a standout on that side of the ball as well."
Senior receiver Ethan Walter, "was an electric player in the open field. Anytime he had the ball is his hands in space, he was a threat to go the distance." Walter had 30 receptions for 514 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed 24 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Walter, who also played defensive back, missed some time due to a sprained ankle.
Senior defensive lineman Ethan Rohman, "was a game-changer in the defensive line. He was disruptive on every snap and made some huge plays for us up front." Rohman had a three sacks, two interceptions including one returned for a touchdown, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He had 13 solo tackles and four assists.
Junior defensive back Payton Beyer had five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He broke up six other passes. He recovered a fumble (and nearly returned that for a score in the same game as the interception return). He also hauled in 25 catches for 520 yards and six touchdowns. Williams said, "Payton is a tough matchup for defenses who tried to cover him one-on-one. He is a great cover guy and was instrumental in shutting down a team's best receiver."
Junior quarterback Brayden Truelson went 101-for-161 for 1,606 yards and 18 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also rushed for six touchdowns. "Brayden reads route progressions very well and possesses great accuracy. He knows where to put the ball and is usually successful in doing so. His leadership made the offense hum."
Senior wide receiver/defensive back Isaac Oppegard had 20 receptions for 299 yards, an interception, and five pass breakups. "Isaac demonstrated his considerable athleticism as both outside receiver and as one of our best cover guys."
Senior linebacker Hunter Menden "did a great job setting the edge from his outside linebacker position." Menden had two-and-a-half sacks, two interceptions, 20 solo tackles, and seven assists.
Junior running back Tanner Hall had 177 carries for 1,117 yards for an average of 6.3 yards per carry. He scored 13 touchdowns. "Tanner was a very pleasant surprise for us this year. He is elusive and quick, and really grew in his pass protection skills as well."
Senior kicker Sam Henson went 45-for-47 on point after attempts and 5-for-7 on field goals with a long conversion of 34 yards. His 64 kickoffs resulted in 25 touchbacks and he averaged 55.6 yards per kickoff. "Sam became one of the most accurate placekickers in school history and his ability to kick the ball deep have our team a considerable advantage." Henson also earned Red Division Special Teams Player of the Year recognition.
Coach Williams was named the Red Division Coach of the Year.