Packer offense clicks, but Austin can’t keep pace with Huskies

Published 10:56 pm Friday, September 15, 2017

There was good news and bad news for the Austin football team against No. 2 ranked Owatonna in Art Hass Stadium Friday night.

The good news was the Packers scored the most points they’ve had in a game against the Huskies in at least a decade, but the bad news was Owatonna’s offense was just as explosive as it always has been.

Austin quarterback Tate Hebrink runs the ball out of bounds in front of Owatonna’s Alex Raichle Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

In a game that saw 1,038 yards, 16 touchdowns and 106 total points scored, it was the Huskies who walked away with a 70-36 victory.

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“We did some good things offensively,” Austin head coach Brett Vesel said. “We lost [center] Noah [Kaercher] on the first play of the game and Isaac [Clasen] did a good job of filling in for him, but Noah’s a great lineman for us. Defensively we made some stupid mistakes and it cost us in coverage. We’ve just go to get better and our defense takes a lot of pride in stopping people, but I like where we are.”

Austin (2-1 overall) trailed 12-0 after the first quarter before it got its offense going. From that point on, the Packers scored a touchdown on five straight possessions to pull within 38-27 after Gavin Owens took a kick-off back 75 yards for a touchdown with 3:20 left in the first half.

Austin’s Connor Byram turns to run after a catch in the first quarter against Owatonna Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

Owens also had 98 yards receiving and a touchdown.

“We realized we could compete with them on offense. It was a change in attitude. It’s fun playing football and they’re just high school kids too,” Owens said. “We’ll rally back and I think we’ll see them in sections again. I’ve got faith in this team and we’ll bounce back from this.”

Owatonna (3-0 overall) finished the first half with a drive that led to a one-yard TD plunge by Jason Williamson on fourth and goal as time expired and then Owatonna opened the second half with a quick 25-yard TD pass from Abe Havelka to Dalton Kubista to go up 52-27 just a minute and a half into the second half.

Williamson scored seven TDs in the game for Owatonna as he was able to make several big plays. Austin senior Logan Braaten said the Packers had a tough time keeping up with his speed.

Austin’s Gavin Owens pulls in a second-quarter pass under pressure by Owatonna’s Parker Westphal Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

“He fights for yards like a big back, but if you let him make one cut on you, he can take it to the house,” Braaten said. “He’s got speed that you can’t match. It’s the kind of speed you don’t really see, besides maybe a guy here or there.”

Despite the loss, Braaten said the Packers are still feeling good about where they are. The team gave up a lot of big plays to Owatonna, but Austin also forced two Husky turnovers early in the game.

“This is a new team this year and it’s a whole new energy we’re bringing,” Braaten said. “This game was a measuring stick to see where we’re at and we take it with a grain of salt. There was a lot of flashes of things we can do right. It’s one guy getting lose and one guy making plays. It’s simple things that we can fix.”

Austin will play at Faribault at 7 p.m. on Friday p.m.

Austin running back Sam Hagan cuts back on a carry in the first quarter against Owatonna. Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/


Owatonna 12  32  20  6    70

Austin 0   27  9    0    36   

First quarter

(O) Jason Williamson 13 run (kick failed) (7 plays, 63 yards) 7:18

(O) Williamson 39 run (pass failed) (3 plays, 55 yards) :24

Second quarter

(O) Alex Raichle 44 from Abe Havelka (kick failed) (2 plays, 50 yards) 10:21

(A) Andrew Schumacher 17 pass from Tate Hebrink (Schumacher kick) (10 plays, 73 yards) 7:40

(O) Williamson 53 run (Noah Budah from Havelka) (5 plays, 55 yards) 5:50

(A) Gavin Owens 14 from Hebrink (Schumacher kick) (5 plays, 75 yards) 5:09

(O) Williamson 87 return (pass failed) (1 play, 87 yards) 4:57

(A) Joe Seeman 45 run (kick blocked) (3 plays, 75 yards) 4:22

(O) Budach 57 pass from Havelka (pass failed) (2 plays, 60 yards) 3:33

(A) Owens 75 return (Schumacher kick) (1 plays, 75 yards) 3:20

(O) Williamson 1 run (pass failed) (7 plays, 62 yards) 0:00

Third quarter

(O) Dalton Kubista 25 pass from Havelka (Williamson run) (4 plays, 58 yards) 10:37

(A) Hebrink 2 run (Schumacher kick) (6 plays, 62 yards) 8:37

(O) Williamson 8 run (pass failed) (3 plays, 62 yards) 7:48

(A) safety (1 play, 0 yards) 3:14

(O) Williamson 51 run (pass failed) (3 plays, 70 yards) 1:34

Fourth quarter

(O) Ethan Walter 47 run (pass failed) (2 plays, 51 yards) 11:05

Austin’s Hunter Guyette steps in front of Owatonna’s Alex Raichle breaking up the pass and then coming down with the interception in the first quarter Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/


Rushing: Joe Seeman, 9-for-142, TD; Sam Hagan, 5-for-6; Hebrink, 11-for-(-4)

Passing: Hebrink, 17-for-42, 255, 2 TD, INT

Receiving: Gavin Owens, 8-for-98, TD; Luke Hawkshead, 2-for-85; Connor Byram, 3-for-51; Schumacher, 2-for-33, TD; Nate Murphy, 2-for-6

Defense: Sam Johnson, 1 fumble recovery; Hunter Guyette, 1 interception; Logan Braaten, 1 sack

Penalties: 6-for-45


Rushing: 274

Passing: 365

Penalties: 9-for-66