Wanouses bookend Prep Bowl at Dome

Posted at: 11/28/2013 6:47 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- When the Metrodome opened in 1982, high school players took the field to play in the very first Prep Bowl held in the building that would represent Minnesota sports for years to come.

"When you exit the tunnel and enter the facility, it's something one never forgets," Doug Wanous said.

Wanous was the starting center for what was then the Owatonna Indians.

"Doug was a very good player. He started both his junior and senior year. He was a very intelligent player," Ed Drahiem said.

Drahiem was an assistant coach that year. He watched on the sidelines as Owatonna lost to Stillwater 34-27.

"It was a game that whoever had the ball last was going to win," Drahiem said.

But the excitement in the community was anything but defeated.

"There were signs everywhere. We had a parade when we came back and we were going to ride on the fire trucks and I thought that won't be a big deal and I was surprised it was a really big deal," Drahiem said.

Doug is now a coach for the Owatonna Huskies. His son is now the team's starting tight end and linebacker.

"As a coach, it's your goal to get to the state finals. As a dad, it's your dream to watch your kid," Doug, said. 

That dream came true with a 27-7 Owatonna victory over St. Michael-Albertville in the 5A semifinals back on November 15th.

"It's going to be amazing. There are no words that can describe it," Luke Wanous said.

This Saturday, the Huskies will emerge from the tunnel in the final Prep Bowl game ever to be played at the Metrodome.

"You know, kids aren't even running; they're floating on the cement and turf." Doug said.

Win or lose, Owatonna will be remembered for more than just the final score.

"They will be remembered as the last team and if they can win the championship they will be the first football state championship in Owatonna," Drahiem said.

"Football and this whole game is larger than me and Luke, and we're just lucky to be a part of a first Prep Bowl and a last Prep Bowl. It's pretty special," Doug said.