Column: Packers have a chance this Friday

Published 8:12 pm Monday, September 19, 2011

When opportunity knocks, it’s best to answer the door.

The Austin football team has chance to end its 13-game losing streak in its homecoming game this Friday. The Packers have lost their first three contests to opponents with a combined record of 8-1 overall, but this Friday they’ll be hosting winless Mankato East.

The Cougars have lost all three of their games by at least 10 points and they’ve allowed over 40 points in each of those contests. This should give an Austin offense, which struggled to move the ball in a loss to Faribault last week, a chance put up some points.

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Offensively, the Packers have gotten some life in the backfield from linebacker turned running back Will Davenport and Sean Coffey was progressing well at quarterback until he hit a speed bump in the Faribault game.

Defensively, linebacker Anthony Condit has been throwing out hard hits all season and defensive back Erik Stephenson has been solid in pass coverage and support against the running game.

After a tough loss to the Falcons, it’s up to the Packers to regroup, rally and leave it all on the field Friday night, which was more of an aberration than what Austin was doing in the first two games.

After having just one turnover against Red Wing and no turnovers against No. 1 ranked Mankato West, the Packers gave the ball away eight times against the Falcons. It was just one of those nights where Murphy’s Law kicked in and all that could go wrong, went wrong.

If the Packer offense plays mistake-free football and the defense continues to hit hard, there’s no reason Austin can’t walk away with a win this Friday.

For an Austin team that plays a lot of underclassmen, picking up a ‘W’ would instill some much needed confidence and kick-start the growth of the program.

Quite frankly, it’s a chance they can’t overlook.