Austin football team is ready to take on Huskies

Published 11:34 pm Thursday, October 27, 2016

The No. 5 seeded Austin football team is hoping to make some school history as it prepares for a matchup with top-seeded Owatonna in the Section 1AAAAA semifinals in Owatonna 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Packers (4-5 overall), who have won four straight games and are playing in their second semifinal in the last four years, could clinch their first trip to a section title game since 2003 if they can score a win over the Huskies (6-2 overall).

“This is a chance to do something special,” Austin head coach Brett Vesel said. “We had a special team a couple of years ago that did some good things and now we’ve got a chance to replicate it and go even further.”

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Austin lost to Owatonna 49-18 Sept. 30, but the Packers haven’t lost since that contest and they’ve held three of their last four opponents to under 13 points. Austin is coming off a 28-12 win over Rochester John Marshall, and Owatonna beat Rochester Century 35-20 in its final regular season contest.

“Everyone’s feeling really positive,” Austin senior Tyler Tupy said. “I think we have a lot of good energy to go in there and give them a run for their money. It’s awesome to have a chance to make history.”

While the Packers have shown improvement for much of the season, Vesel feels the team still has room to get even better. The formula for Austin to have success is a simple one for Saturday.

“We have to block and we have to tackle. It really comes down to that,” Vesel said. “When the offensive line steps it up with intensity, we’re really tough to stop offensively and when we tackle on defense, we’re really tough.”