Packers play through injuries

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2000

With just more than five minutes remaining in the second quarter last Friday night, Jaime Zavala ran for a 1-yard gain on a third down-and-10 play.

Thursday, September 14, 2000

With just more than five minutes remaining in the second quarter last Friday night, Jaime Zavala ran for a 1-yard gain on a third down-and-10 play.

Email newsletter signup

The Austin Packers running back was bottled up by several Mankato West defenders and felt his arm being pulled as he was dragged to the turf.

The tug on his right arm hyperextended Zavala’s elbow and appeared initially as though it would knock the senior out for the rest of the game, if not longer.

But just prior to the opening kickoff of the second half, Zavala came trotting back onto the field. The senior played the entire second half through pain, finishing with 114 yards on 28 carries.

"There was some sorness, sure, but I had to help the team," Zavala said after the Packers’ 8-7 win at West.

Senior Tony McDermott also banged up his knee making a tackle in the fourth quarter.

Luckily for the Packers (2-0), Zavala and McDermott should be ready to go – though likely not at 100 percent – for Friday’s showdown with 1-1 Faribault.

Faribault enters the game with a 1-1 record after getting beat up by powerhouse Rochester John Marshall last week, 34-6. Faribault beat Albert Lea 54-0 in their season opener.

Austin’s defense and special teams will be on the spot again this week. Those two units have put the Packers’ young offense in good field position in the first two games, and the offense has capitalized when it’s needed to.

The Packers’ defense has been the team’s strength, forcing West into four turnovers last week and causing Winona to fumble the ball nine times in the season opener. AHS has the best turnover margin in the conference at plus-8.

The Packers also didn’t allow West a single first down in the second half.

Punter Joe Sand has been a big factor in winning the field position battle. He averaged 44.6 yards on six punts against West. which started just two of its 13 drives in Austin territory and started inside its own 20-yard line six times.

All of those elements will have to come together again Friday if the Packers hope to improve to 3-0.

LeRoy-Ostrander (2-0)

at Lyle-Pacelli (2-0)

Lyle-Pacelli faces what will likely be its toughest test of the season in 2-0 LeRoy-Ostrander.

The Cardinals enter the game having steamrolled their first two opponents by a combined score of 117-15. L/P’s offense is no pushover, though.

The Lions put a hurting on Granada-Huntley-East Chain Martin Luther last week, 54-18.

Five different L/P players scored touchdowns against GHECML, including tailback Cory Ransom, who finished with 114 yards rushing on 17 carries.

L/P coach Mark Buntje said LeRoy-Ostrander is a team that won’t be stopped completely, but can be contained.

"They’re going to get their yardage and their points," Buntje said, "so we’ll just worry about what we can control. We can’t allow them to get big plays and we can’t turn the ball over. We’d like to control the ball, too, to keep our defense off the field."

Defensive lineman Cole Hastings and backup lineman Mike Porter will both miss Friday’s game for L/P. Hastings and Porter each suffered knee injuries against GHECML, but both should return within two or three weeks.

Grand Meadow (2-0) at

Alden-Conger (1-1)

Grand Meadow travels to Alden Friday to battle an Alden-Conger team that pitched a shutout a week ago. A-C blanked St. Clair 28-0 after dropping a tight 12-6 ball game to Nicollet on Sept. 1.

Grand Meadow held off a late charge by Medford to win 12-10 last week. The Superlarks led 12-3 at the half on the strength of Kyle Breitbarth’s 2- and 80-yard touchdown runs. Breitbarth collected 157 yards on the ground on 21 carries.

Lake Crystal at

Blooming Prairie (1-1)

Blooming Prairie bounced back from a season opening loss to Waterville-Elysian-Morristown by earning a 21-14 win over Gibbons-Fairfax-Winthrop last week. The Blossoms got some redemption after nearly upsetting W-E-M on Sept. 1, losing 14-6.

Blooming Prairie gears up for its second home contest of the season on the heels of Kyle Verley’s 11 carry, 127 yard performance in the win over G-F-W.

Southland (2-0) at

Lanesboro (0-2)

The Southland Rebels look to stay undefeated and alone atop the Southeast Conference standings as they travel to winless Lanesboro this week for a conference battle.

The Rebels won a 28-26 shootout with Caledonia last week, stopping a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.

Quarterback Adam Nagele threw two touchdown passes and running back Adam Chapek rushed 20 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.

Lanesboro was shut out by Fillmore Central, 32-0.

Hayfield (2-0) at

Lake City (2-0)

Hayfield looks to stay atop the Gold Divisiono f the Hiawatha Valley Conference and knock Lake City from the ranks of the undefeated with a win Friday at Lake City. Lake City sits alone atop the Blue Division of the HVC.

Hayfield’s Ryan Hegna ran for a 20-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to snap a 20-20 tie against Zumbrota-Mazeppa and stay undefeated.