Column: Packers must step up against Albert Lea

Published 10:53 pm Monday, October 19, 2009

It’s a bitter memory and surely one the Packers lost some sleep over last season.

A game that looked like it was headed to overtime ended with Albert Lea throwing a last second touchdown pass and walking away with it’s third straight win over Austin. The memories were just as bad two years ago when the Tigers knocked Austin out of the playoffs and circled the field for a big postgame celebration.

The playoffs don’t start until next week, but the time for the Austin football team to save its season is this Wednesday night, when they host Albert Lea at 7 p.m.

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The Tigers (1-6 overall, 1-5 Big Nine) have just one win this season, a big upset over Rochester Century, but they’ll be ready on Wednesday and Austin better be ready for a fight.

After a solid start to the season, the Packers (3-4 overall, 2-4 Big Nine) have struggled with inconsistencies on both sides of the ball. They’ve gotten penalties at the worst times and they’ve given up some big plays.

But all is not lost yet. There were times were Austin looked the better team against Winona and Faribault. Austin’s offense scored 20 points in a half against a tough Falcons defense, and their defense shut down the Winhawks for most of the second half.

The Packers have to just put it all together in every aspect of the game, and what better way to do it than against a big rival like Albert Lea.

Ending the season on a four-game losing streak would be a huge blow to the Packers’ confidence, but if they can pull out a quality win, they’d have something to build on.

And maybe they’d have a postseason to remember.