Packers miss out on homecoming upset against Raiders

Published 10:55 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

The Austin football team was just a play away from pulling off a big upset on Homecoming night. One more score, one more stop or one less turnover would have made a world of difference.

Instead, the Packers walked away with a 24-17 loss at the hands of No. 8 ranked Northfield in Art Hass Stadium Friday.

Austin (3-2 overall) had two turnovers on punts and it had three drives stall inside Northfield’s 20-yard line. The Packers’ final chance came up short when Gavin Owens wasn’t able to haul in a six-yard pass in the end zone on fourth and three with a defender draped all over him with 6:26 left in the game. After that play, the Raiders were able to drive to midfield and run out the clock.

Austin’s Andrew Schumacher battles for yards after a completion in the first half Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

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Despite the loss, the Packers were certainly not feeling sorry for themselves after the game.

“I’m so proud of these guys,” Austin senior defensive lineman Logan Braaten said. “This is the number eight team in the state and we weren’t scared of anything. I don’t want to discredit them in any way, but we came to play the majority of the game. We just shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times and against a good team that’s the difference.”

The Raiders (5-0 overall) seized momentum right out of the gates Jim Vititio broke open a 77-yard TD run on the second play from scrimmage. After a five-yard run TD by Seeman, Mitchell Stanchina had an 81-yard kick-off return to put Northfield up 14-7 with 9:49 left in the first quarter.

“With those first couple of scores, that just can’t happen,” Austin head coach Brett Vesel said. “We knew they were going to run the trap play [on the Vititio’s run] and we played it totally wrong on the first play. That should never happen and it never did happen again. Then we had the kick return and we pride ourselves on special teams.”

Austin’s Thomas Kroymann pressures Northfield quarterback Lars Prestemon during the second half Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

Austin pulled to within 21-14 when Joe Seeman, who had 123 yards rushing, scored his second touchdown of the game with three minutes left in the second quarter. Northfield drove and made it 24-14 on 32-yard field goal by Rylie Wefel with 1:20 left in the first half, but the Packers were able to drive to the Raider 17-yard line before halftime. Austin couldn’t score on that possession and it also had a drive stall out at Northfield’s eight-yard line with 1:17 left in the third quarter.

Austin’s defense delivered the goods in the second half as it kept Northfield off the board and Vesel is hoping the team can keep that momentum going forward.

“We lost to the number eight team in the state by a touchdown,” Vesel said. “We did some really good things defensively in the second half. We just have to be better. We have a great group of guys that want to do something better this year and we’re on the road to that.”

Austin’s Aiden Wilson breaks a run to the outside in the second half against Northfield Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

The Packers will play at Mankato West (4-1 overall) Friday at 7 p.m. and Braaten is hoping the Packers can give the Scarlets a good run.

“All my guys and I know that we know we should’ve won this game and it hurts now,” Braaten said. “But there’s a lot of season left and I get to play lot more football with my brothers. We’ll be ready.”

Austin’s Joe Seeman dives to get the tackle on Northfield’s Mitchell Stanchina during the first half Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/


Northfield 14  10  0  0    24

Austin 7    7   3  0    17   

First quarter

(N) Jim Vitito 77 run (Rylie Wefel kick) (1 play, 77 yards) 11:39

(A) Joe Seeman 12 run (Andrew Schumacher run) (5 plays, 42 yards) 10:02

(N) Mitchell Stanchina 81 return (Wefel kick) (1 plays, 81 yards) 9:49

Second quarter

(N) Lars Prestemon 1 run (Wefel kick) (7 plays, 52 yards) 9:01

(A) Seeman 5 run 5 run (Schumacher kick) 3:00

(N) Wefel 32 field goal (7 plays, 54 yards) 1:20

Third quarter

(A) Schumacher 30 field goal (10 plays, 70 yards) 7:42

Fourth quarter

No scoring

Austin’s Kaden Igou corrals Northfield’s Mitchell Stanchina in the first half Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/


Rushing: Joe Seeman, 23-for-123, 2 TD; Aiden Wilson, 7-for-35; Tate Hebrink, 10-for-14

Passing: Hebrink, 13-for-28, 195

Receiving: Andrew Schumacher, 5-for-78; Connor Byron, 2-for-55; Gavin Owens, 2-for-41; Nate Murphy, 2-for-6; Seeman, 1-for-5

Defense: Peter Conner, 1 fumble recovery

Penalties: 4-for-40


Rushing: 150

Passing: 202

Penalties: 10-for-95

Austin’s Hunter Guyette upends Northfield’s David Urke during the first half Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/