RICHMOND, Va. -- There is a battle being waged on West End football fields. It's not over who can run the fastest, throw the furthest, nor tackle the best.
The battle is over who's the better Owen.
Owen Fallen plays quarterback for Douglas Freeman High School.
A few miles away, Owen Fallon plays quarterback for the Collegiate School.
Both Owens have their respective teams off to solid starts this football season. But their similarities don't end there.
Each Owen started playing football at age eight. And of course, they were on the same team.
"Both of our dads were coaches on the team and it was constantly like. 'Owen!' And then Owen Fallen and Fallon. You'd never know who he was calling to so we'd both go,"
Owen Fallon said.
"Sometime over the announcements, it would be 'Owen Fallen for the touchdown.' I'd sit on the sidelines and look around and say it's not me," Owen Fallen added.
"Both of our moms would just have to cheer for whoever was in. They didn't really know," Fallon said.
The misunderstandings weren't limited to just family. Whenever one player is mentioned, someone almost always believes it's the other one who is being talked about.
That can lead to panic from coaches and embarrassing texts from college football recruiters.
"I saw your first three games of film. It looked great! I was like I haven't played three games yet," Owen Fallon said about one conversation with a recruiter.
The Owens have remained friends throughout school and even train together with quarterback coach Malcolm Bell.
They have never faced each other on the football field which makes it easier to root for one another to succeed.
But it also brings out the competitive side in each of them.
"He and I having the same name brings out the best in both of us. It's an ongoing thing, who's the better Owen?" Freeman’s Owen said. "It kind of brings out the best in me. I really want to represent my Owen Fallon. No disrespect to him but I want to be the better Owen Fallen."
"I would say I'm a better runner and I would say I'm probably a better thrower than he is too. I'm just gonna be honest!" Collegiate's Owen said. "I sort of feel like a weird connection to him. I want him to succeed, I want him to do great. His name is sort of my name."
Collegiate’s Owen Fallon's name is pronounced like Jimmy Fallon.
Freeman’s Owen Fallen's name is pronounced like “fallen down.”
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