Rockets blank Austin football team

Published 11:36 pm Saturday, September 11, 2010

Austin Andrew Heickly breaks a run in the third quarter against Rochester John Marshall Saturday night at Art Hass Stadium. -- Eric Johnson/

The Austin football team found a way to move the ball through the air, but it still has a lot of other things to work on after a 21-0 loss to Rochester John Marshall in Art Hass Stadium Friday and Saturday.

The Packers’ new quarterback Blas Estrada threw for 120 yards, but he was also sacked four times and Austin lost 51 yards on the ground on the night. Two of the biggest losses came on bad snaps that put the Austin offense back a total of 31 yards. The bad snaps came on back-to-back first half possessions and they both took away good field position for the Packers (0-2 overall, 0-1 Big Nine), who never got past the JM 25-yard line.

“We’re still making some mistakes. But we fixed the bad snaps and credit goes to Ryan Larson,” Austin head coach Matt Schmit said. “You look out there at the missed chances and missed opportunities but I told the kids the goal is to improve. We did that and we just need to get a little bit better.”

Austin's Caleb Whalen tries to haul down Rochester John Marshall quarterback Jake Kirsch in the third quarter Saturday night at Art Hass Stadium. -- Eric Johnson/

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The Packer defense did its job for the most part as it held JM to 190 total yards and forced one turnover. The Rockets (2-0 overall, 1-0 Big Nine) had just one play of over 20 yards – a 33-yard scamper by Nick Haglund that set up a one-yard touchdown by Haglund to make it 8-0 Friday night.

“We’ve got to make sure we align correctly. On that big run, we weren’t lined up right,” Austin linebacker Andy Wangen said.

The game was postponed due to lightning after Haglund’s touchdown, which happened with 5:23 left in the first quarter and play resumed Saturday night.

Austin came out Saturday and stopped JM on its four possessions, including three three-and-outs.

“The defense has been playing very well for us and that’s what you need. If we can get the offense going, we’ll be in good shape,” Schmit said. “We played much better and this is something we can build on.”

JM finally got its offense going after Jared Bruggeman picked off an Estrada pass and ran it back to the Packer 37-yard line.

On second down, Austin safety Marcus Stoulil couldn’t hang to an interception where he would’ve had a chance to take it back for six. Then on the next play, JM’s Jake Kirsch found Ryan Williamson for a 15-yard gain on third and long to the Austin one-yard line, which set up a touchdown sneak by Kirsch to make it 14-0 with 8:28 left in the third quarter.

“We’ve got to keep the defense going,” Schmit said. “We can’t be content with where they are and they need to continue to improve. They’re not perfect yet.”

Austin stopped JM on its next two possessions and Wagnen recovered a fumble at the Austin 40-yard line with 9:05 left in the game, but the Packer offense never got going.

“I think we were more aggressive this week and I’m excited for next week against Century,” Wagnen said of the defense’s play. “We’ve got to stay hungry and these losses make us more hungry.”

Austin's Jay Ettinger tries to spin out of the grasp of Rochester John Marshall's A.J. Johnson after a reception in the second quarter Saturday night at Art Hass Stadium. -- Eric Johnson/

While Josh Hart wasn’t the quarterback Saturday, he still lined up in the backfield next to Estrada and he still has a big impact on what Austin is doing offensively.

“It’s not to fault Josh Hart, he’s still the general out there and he’s a big reason why all of that works. He makes a lot of adjustments,” Schmit said. “Blas is more mobile and he throws the ball well.”

Austin’s best chance to score early in the third quarter when they faced a fourth and five from the JM 26-yard line. Estrada threw a little high to Sam Poshusta on a slant, and Poshusta couldn’t hang on to what would’ve been a first down.


Austin passing: Blas Estrada, 12-for-24, 120, INT; Jay Ettinger, 0-for-1; Josh Hart, 0-for-1

Austin receiving: Ettinger, 8-for-69; Sam Poshusta, 1-for-19; Andrew Heickly, 1-for-16; Max Coffey, 1-for-10; Hart, 1-for-6

Austin rushing: Ettinger, 5-for-22; Hart, 1-for-(-2); Cole Adams, 1-for-(-4); Estrada, 13-for-(-67)

Austin sacks: Alex Earl (1)

Austin penalties: 5-for-30

JM passing: Jake Kirsch, 6-for-14, 65

JM receiving: Nathan Eckhoff, 2-for-30; Ryan Williamson, 1-for-15; Eric Nelson, 2-for-12; A.J. Johnson, 1-for-8

JM rushing: Nick Haglund, 16-for-95, 2 TD; A.J. Johnson, 18-for-27; Kirsch, 6-for-3

JM 8 0 6 7 – 21

Austin 0 0 0 0 – 0


First quarter

(JM) 5:23 Nick Haglund 3 run (4 plays, 36 yards) (Jake Kirsch to Ryan Williamson)

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

(JM) 8:28 Jake Kirsch 1 run (8 plays, 37 yards) (kick failed)

Fourth quarter

(JM) 2:08 Haglund 4 run (13 plays, 66 yards) (A.J. Johnson kick)