Football: Packers storm past Rockets in quarterfinals

Published 11:31 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The start may have been slow, but when the Austin football team got rolling Tuesday night it became clear where the momentum was.

The Packers, seeded No. 3 in the Section 1AAAAA quarterfinals, steamed past No. 6 seed Rochester John Marshall 47-12 in Art Has Stadium Tuesday night.

Austin’s Thomas Kroymann finishes off JM quarterback Aaron Limberg with help from Hunter Guyette in the Section 1AAAAA quarterfinals Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

“We played well,” head coach Brett Vesel said. “We did some really good things tonight, but we still have a lot of work to get ready for Owatonna.”

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The scoring came slowly with both teams struggling to find a rhythm and establish any kind of game. The Packers (5-4 overall0 threatened early on their first drive including a 31-yard run by Joe Seeman that put the Packers on the JM 33-yard line. A 12-yard pass from quarterback Tate Hebrink to Connor Byram put the Packers into the red zone, but the Rockets (1-8 overall) stymied Austin, forcing the Packers into a field goal attempt by Andrew Schumacher, but the kick sailed wide right leaving the game scoreless.

Austin’s Hunter Guyette returns a punt against Rochester John Marshall in the Section 1AAAAA quarterfinals Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

Towards the end of the first quarter Austin finally broke through for a 36-yard touchdown run by Tate Hebrink up the middle for the touchdown.

It was the second quarter where the Packers really put on the pressure, scoring three times to take a 27-6 lead into the half. Seeman scored on a 14-yard run early into the quarter to put Austin up 14-0.

JM then cut the lead to 14-6 when quarterback Aaron Limberg scored off a 27-yard run and came up with a big stop later in the quarter. But a personal foul that resulted in a JM player being ejected, ultimately led to the Packers’ second score.

With just under five minutes to play, Hebrink found Gavin Owens for a 19-yard touchdown pass, the first of three TD connections the two made throughout the night. Owens finished the night with 71 yards on four receptions and three touchdowns while Hebrink was 7-for-22 in the air for a 113 yards.

Austin’s Tate Hebrink throws on the run during the second quarter Tuesday night against Rochester John Marshall in the Section 1AAAAA quarterfinals at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

“We’ve been practicing really well,” Owens said afterwards. “Tate and I have a real good connection and it showed tonight.”

The two hooked up again after an interception by Logan Braaten set the Packers up deep in Rockets territory. With one second left Hebrink hit Owens for a 17-yard pass.

A lot of Austin’s success on the night, however, started on the defensive side of the ball. The Packers swarmed and consistently harassed Limberg who was sacked four times on the night. Thomas Kroymann registered two of those sacks.

“It was great knowing that we only allowed 12 points to a team that has some really good athletes,” Kroymann said. “It showed that we can play with any team in the section.”

Logan Braaten led all defenders with 16 tackles and one and half sacks.

Owens caught an eight yard pass from Hebrink in the third quarter and Sam Hagan and Nate Murphy both scored in the fourth quarter.

Austin (5-4) will now face Owatonna (7-1) in the Section 1AAAAA semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday in Owatonna.

Austin’s Jacob Halsey wraps up Rochester John Marshall quarterback Aaron Limberg in the Section 1AAAAA quarterfinals Tuesday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/

Austin Stats


Rochester JM 0  6  6  0     12

Austin 7   20  7    13    47   

First quarter

(A) Tate Hebrink 36 yard run (Schumacher kick), 3:15

Second quarter

(A) Joe Seeman 14 yard run (Schumacher kick), 11:29

(JM) Aaron Limber 27 yard run (kick failed), 8:36

(A) Gavin Owens 19 yard pass from Hebrink (Schumacher kick), 4:33

(A) Owens 17 yard pass from Hebrink (kick failed), .1

Third quarter

(A) Owens 8 yard pass from Hebrink (Schumacher kick), 8:56

(JM) Malik Thomas 4 yard run (conversion failed), 6:47

Fourth quarter

(A) Sam Hagan five yard run (kick failed), 11:34

(A) Nate Murphy five yard run (Schumacher kick), 4:03


Rushing: Joe Seeman 15-180, TD; Sam Hagan 14-67, TD; Aiden Wilson 4-18; Nate Murphy 4-15.

Passing: Hebrink, 7-for-22, 113, 3 TD

Receiving: Gavin Owens 4-71, 3 TD; Connor Byram 1-15; Andrew Schumacher 1-11

Defense: Logan Braaten 16 tackles, 1.5 sacks, INT; Thomas Kroymann 2 sacks, Jacob Halsey 1 sack, Sam Johnson .5 sacks.