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Football: Packers make big plays in loss to Huskies

OWATONNA — The Austin football team made some big plays with their passing game, but they couldn’t hold off a physical Owatonna team as they lost to the Huskies 49-18 on the road Friday.

Austin junior Tate Hebrink threw for 229 yards and three TDs — including a first quarter 64 yard strike to Trent Brown and a second quarter 60-yard score to Jany Gash.

“I’m starting to get a little more comfortable playing quarterback. It’s only my second year so it’s kind of new to me. I think we’re getting better,” Hebrink said. “I trust [Gash and Brown] with all of my heart. They’re great wide receivers and I can count on them to make plays.”

Austin’s Jany Gash breaks free for a 60-yard TD in Owatonna Friday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Austin’s Jany Gash breaks free for a 60-yard TD in Owatonna Friday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

The Huskies (3-2 overall) broke the game open when they scored three TDs on passes from Abe Havelka, who had four passes of 30 yards or more on the night. Austin’s defense was sometimes in position on those big plays, but they were unable to bring the ball carrier down.

Austin head coach Brett Vesel wants his team to execute better when tackling.

“We are doing some good things, but the thing that really bothers me is we work on tackling every day and we work on tackling properly. In the games we don’t tackle properly. We just have to coach better,” Vesel said.

The Packers (0-5 overall) have shown some positive signs in the last two weeks against two of the top teams in Class AAAAA — Owatonna and Mankato West. Austin is hoping those improvements can continue when it hosts Albert Lea for its homecoming game 7 p.m. Friday.

Corey Waller, left, Elijah Marks, right, team up on a tackle against Owatonna’s Jason Williamson in Owatonna Friday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Corey Waller, left, Elijah Marks, right, team up on a tackle against Owatonna’s Jason Williamson in Owatonna Friday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

“We’re starting to find some things out there. That was a big defensive line there [for Owatonna],” Vesel said. “They’re big and it’s hard to move them. We’ve got two sophomores, a couple of juniors and only one senior starting and it’s a tough task to move those kids around. They’re giving me everything they’ve got.”

SCORING SUMMARY

Austin 6     6    0   6  —  18

Owatonna 14  21  14  0  —  49

First quarter

(O) Alex Raichle 37 pass from Abe Havelka (Aidan Bursyka kick) (4 plays, 41 yards) 8:58

(O) Noah Budach 34 run (Bursyka kick) (10 plays, 85 yards) 2:09

(A) Trent Brown 64 pass from Tate Hebrink (kick failed) (4 plays, 80 yards) :39.1

Second quarter

(O) Raichle 2 pass from Havelka (Bursyka kick) (5 plays, 43 yards) 8:48

(O) Brett Solie 56 pass from Havelka (Bursyka kick) (5 plays, 61 yards) 4:06

(O) Raichle 48 pass from Havelka (Buryska kick) (5 plays, 61 yards) 2:01

(A) Jany Gash 60 pass from Hebrink (kick failed) (4 plays, 80 yards) :44

Third quarter

(O) Jay Sullivan 84 kick return (Buryska kick) (4 plays, 80 yards) 11:45

(O) Jason Williamson 30 run (Buryska kick) (4 plays, 55 yards) 2:06

Fourth quarter

(A) Gash 17 pass from Hebrink (pass failed) (3 plays, 43 yards) 8:43

AUSTIN STATS

Rushing: Tate Hebrink, 10-for-51; Tabarie Gunsallus, 19-for-44; Jakob Crouch, 4-for-9; Nate Murphy, 1-for-2

Passing: Hebrink, 11-for-25, 229, 3 TDs

Receiving: Jany Gash, 5-for-133, 2 TDs; Trent Brown, 3-for-84, TD; Jesse Synoground, 1-for-13; Gavin Owens, 1-for-4; Crouch, 1-for-(-5)

Defense: Luke Hawskhead, 1 sack; Jackson Hample, 1 sack; Jacob Halsey, 2 fumble recoveries; Kole Igou, 2 fumble recoveries; Jesse Synoground, 2 fumbles forced

Penalties: 5-for-43

Austiin’s Luke Hawkshead pressures Owatonna quarterback Abe Havelka in Owatonna Friday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Austiin’s Luke Hawkshead pressures Owatonna quarterback Abe Havelka in Owatonna Friday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

OWATONNA STATS

Rushing: 178

Passing: 235

Penalties: 7-for-46