Packers put up a good fight in loss to No. 1 Huskies

Published 11:35pm Friday, September 27, 2013

The Packers didn’t show any signs of intimidation against the No. 1 ranked Huskies, but they couldn’t keep up with Owatonna’s size and speed in a 49-26 loss at Art Hass Stadium Friday.

Austin (1-4 overall, 1-4 Big Nine) came on strong at the end of the first half when Ryan Synoground ran in a 3-yard TD to cap a six play, 80 yard drive to make it 28-7 at the break, but it was plays the Packers missed out on that had them thinking they really could’ve given the Huskies (5-0 overall, 5-0 Big Nine) a game.

Austin had a third and five from Owatonna’s six-yard line on its third possession of the game and it threw two straight incomplete passes and it just missed scoring a defensive TD at the end of the first half when Owatonna quarterback Ian Langeberg was ruled down before he fumbled. The play wasn’t immediately blown dead and Austin’s Ethan Horstmann ran the loose ball back for a score, but the Huskies were given the ball back and the TD was nullified.

“I thought we should’ve scored at least two more touchdowns and maybe our defense would’ve played a little better in the end,” Austin head coach Brett Vesel said. “We felt really good going into the half knowing that we could’ve been 28-21 and that didn’t happen, but we were doing good things.”

Austin defensive lineman Tony Baudler had a good view of Langeberg losing the ball at the end of the half, and he thought the Packers should’ve scored. But he wasn’t going to let it bring down his effort.

“I thought it was a touchdown personally and I was right there. But you’ve got to play through it and you can’t worry about the refs,” Baudler said.

Austin recovered two onside kicks and two Owatonna fumbles in the game to stay in it and their defense held Langeberg to 121 yards passing.

Owatonna running back Aaron Peterson had his way as he gashed the Austin defense for 238 yards and four scores on 34 carries.

Owatonna had a physical line on both sides, and Andrew Stelter, who has committed to play football wight he Gophers, made his presence known throughout the game.

“They had some pretty big guys and they were fast,” Baudler said. “They’ve got a good line and we put up a decent fight tonight.”

Austin’s offense produced six plays of 15 yards or more and Ryan Synoground threw for 278 yards and three scores, while running for 45 yards and another TD.

“We competed,” Vesel said. “I wasn’t sure what they were going to do and you don’t know what they’re going to do when you play the number one team in the state. Our guys came to play and if you take a few of those opportunities we had and turn them into something better, you never know.”

Zach Wessels had another big night for the Packers as he hauled in 11 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. He also made a TD saving tackle on a kick-off and he picked off a pass in the first half.

“In the first few games (Wessels) was just going out there and he didn’t know what the heck he was doing,” Vesel said. “Now he’s starting to run the offense and we know what to expect out of him.”

Bret Lukes finished with 80 yards receiving and two scores for the Packers.


Rushing: Ryan Synoground, 18-for-45, TD; Cory Hepler, 15-for-44; Bret Lukes, 1-for-9; Nate Conner, 3-for-1; passing: Synoground, 21-for-37, 278, 3 TD; receiving: Zach Wessels, 11-for-160, TD; Bret Lukes, 3-for-80, 2 TD; Nik Gasner, 4-for-37; Hepler, 1-for-3; Jacob Kempen, 1-for-2; Conner, 1-for-(-4); sacks: Logan Hotek (1); Devin Klapperick (1); fumble recoveries: Gabe Gerstner (1); Ethan Horstmann (1); interceptions: Wessels (1); penalties: 5-for-25


Rushing: 338; passing: 121; penalties: 7-for-70


Owatonna 14 14 7 14 — 49

Austin 0 7 0 19 — 26

First quarter

(O) Aaron Peterson 5 run (McCauley kick) (5 plays, 39 yards) 10:21

(O) Peterson 5 run (McCauley kick) (5 plays, 50 yards) 4:59

Second quarter

(O) Ian Langeberg 2 run (McCauley kick) (8 plays, 94 yards) 3:56

(A) Ryan Synoground 3 run (Wessels kick) (6 plays, 80 yards) 1:51

Third quarter

(O) Luke Wanous 39 pass from Langeberg (McCauley kick) 3:19

Fourth quarter

(A) Bret Lukes 5 pass from Ryan Synoground (kick failed) (8 plays, 45 yards) 8:07

(O) Peterson 1 run (McCauley kick) (2 plays, 60 yards) 7:26

(A) Lukes 39 pass from Synoground (Wessels kick) (2 plays, 43 yards) 5:04

(A) Wessels 5 pass from Syoground (pass failed) (4 plays, 10 yards) 4:18

(O) Peterson 3 run (McCauley kick) (10 plays, 53 yards) :46.2


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