Packer football team is hoping to end losing skid against Albert Lea

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Packers are hoping to get their first football win over Albert Lea in seven years and they like their chances.

To do that Austin will have to bring a solid effort when it takes on the Tigers (0-6 overall, 0-6 Big Nine) in AL Friday at 7 p.m.

“We can’t get too overconfident,” Austin cornerback Connor Sheehan said. “We all know that we should beat these guys, but we can’t get too overconfident and get behind early.”

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The Packers (2-4 overall, 2-4 Big Nine) who are coming off a big upset win over Rochester Mayo are preparing for an AL team that basically had a bye week last Friday. The Tigers played without at least three key starters last week in a 23-0 loss to Owatonna that lasted about half a quarter as both teams decided to call it on Friday when a thunderstorm put the game on delay.

Austin head coach Brett Vesel is fully expecting to see Cody Scherff, who is AL’s top receiving threat, running back Bany Chan and Hunter Hoyne in uniform Friday.

“I’m sure they’ll all be back. They were sitting them out on purpose,” Vesel said. “We’ve seen enough film on (Scherff) and he’s the guy that hurt us last year. We’re well prepared. I think we understand that we have to go in there and execute to win. We’ve made that clear the last couple of days. We don’t think we’re going to win just by showing up.”

The Packers certainly didn’t look like a complacent team in Wednesday’s practice as players on the defensive side were getting fired up over the inter-squad competition.

“The attitude’s really good,” Vesel said. “It was a little bit heated than normal today. Guys weren’t happy if they didn’t win today.”

The Austin defense has stepped up its game in recent weeks and it will be looking to set the tone against a Tiger team that is averaging just 10.8 points per game and allowing 33.8 points per game.

The Tigers have played in two close games this season — a 12-6 loss to Mankato East and a 21-10 loss to Rochester Century.

“Right now our defense is working pretty well together and everyone’s working hard. We’re all really getting it,” Sheehan said. “We’re pretty excited. They’re our rivals. We’re expecting a real fresh team and we’re ready for some of their guys to come back this week.”