Football: Packers are hoping for improvements when they take on Winona

Published 6:47pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Austin football team is hoping to share the wealth on offense and lock down on its pass defense as it prepares for its game at Winona, which will kick-off at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Packers (0-3 overall, 0-3 Big Nine) have relied mostly on receivers Bret Lukes and Zach Wessels over the first few weeks of the season and they’re hoping to get more players involved on offense this Friday.

“We have to start running the offense the way we should be running the offense,” Austin head coach Brett Vesel said. “We haven’t been doing that and we’re doing some things to try and spread it out a little.”

Lukes has led the Packers on offense this season as he has 22 catches for 275 yards and three TDs, but he knows the team has the potential to be more effective when they have the ball.

He’s hoping this Friday could be a breakout performance for the Packers.

“We know we have a chance of winning this game, so we’re going to have to play good,” Lukes said. “At some point we’re just going to explode and we’re just waiting for that right now. There’s points in practice where we’re running everything close to perfect and we have to get to the point where we can run it perfect in a game.”

The Winhawks (1-2 overall, 1-2) Big Nine are coming off a big 47-7 win over Rochester Century and they like to move the ball through the air.

The Packer defense may get a little bit of a break this week compared to the first three teams they played, but it will still have to limit the big passing plays it allows.

Austin’s first three opponents this season are all averaging at least 35 points game and the Winhawks are scoring just 19.7 points per game.

“We think they’re strength is passing the ball and we know that’s our weakness right now,” Vesel said. “We’re working on shoring up our coverage and working on our pass rush.”

The Packers and Winhawks each lost to Rochester John Marshall this season. Austin lost to the Rockets 42-22 last Friday and Winona lost to the Rockets 28-12 in week one.

Vesel said his team has bounced back from the JM loss in practice this week.

“Our kids are doing really good,” he said. “We weren’t happy that we lost and it was a tough loss, but Monday’s practice was probably our best practice of the year. It’s been a really good week of practice so far.”






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