Picking the biggest rival for a team is tricky. Whether you consider proximity or success against a certain school. Maybe animosity is a factor. If part of the determination includes recent close games, a showdown in the state tournament a few years ago, and overall head-to-head record, then Owatonna and Mankato West have a great rivalry.

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The Huskies won last year 24-20, coming from behind with the Scarlets in town for the Huskies' homecoming game. That result ended a three-game West winning streak over the Huskies. OHS leads the overall series 43-40-1, but West has won five of the last eight games. Since 1999, the Huskies and Scarlets have evenly split 16 games at eight apiece, with seven being decided by ten points or fewer.

Back in 2013, No. 1 rated Owatonna edged No. 2 ranked Mankato West 24-21 on Carter McCauley's 38-yard field goal as time expired at Todnem Field in Mankato. The Huskies went on to win their first state football championship later that season.

The year before, OHS and West met in the state quarterfinals at Lakeville North High School. The Huskies won 28-0 on the way to a state runner-up finish. Owatonna has nine state tournament appearances and three championships in their history. West has gone to state 12 times and taken back championship hardware four times. OHS has the advantage in conference/district titles with 19, compared to nine for the Scarlets.

On the question of their rivalry with West, OHS coach Jeff Williams said since 1999, "There have been multiple Big Southeast and Big Nine titles on the line...We don't run into each other in section play. But I think we provide a pretty good opponent for one another."

"Between the two schools we've got seven state championships since 1999. I put that rivalry up there with the best of them in the state, as far as the competitiveness, the quality of the teams, year in and year out, and just with what's at stake every time that we meet. Pretty cool." The winner Friday will secure at least share of the Big Southeast, Red Division title.

Watch for a game preview of this week's showdown between West (4-0 overall, 3-0 Big Southeast District, Red Division) and Owatonna (3-1, 3-0) Friday, November 6 at 7 pm at the OHS stadium field. Radio coverage will be heard on AM 1390 KRFO.

Any of these schools might be the Huskies biggest rival in your eyes. Here is how OHS breaks down against some of the other Big Southeast teams.

  • vs Mayo: OHS leads series 37-33 and has won seven straight
  • vs JM: Rockets lead series 46-41-1. OHS has won 17 straight
  • vs Faribault: OHS leads series 59-41-3 and has won 8-of-last-9
  • vs Winona: OHS leads series 47-24-5 and has won 13 in a row
  • vs Century: OHS leads series 22-7 and has won last 12
  • vs Austin: OHS leads series 54-43-7 and has won 21 straight