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Searching for offense: Winhawks hand Austin its third straight loss

The Austin football team is still struggling to find its offense as it had trouble moving the ball for the third straight week in its third straight loss when it fell to Winona 31-7 on homecoming at Art Hass Stadium Friday night.

The Packers (2-3 overall) had just two drives reach Winona’s red zone, but they didn’t score until one of the final plays of the game when Teyghan Hovland found Ethan Owens for a 13-yard TD pass with just four seconds remaining in the contest.

Austin committed a key turnover on a botched pitch play from Eli Johnson to Andy Chesak on the first play of the second half and that led to a four-yard TD run by Winona’s Jackson Nibbelink to make it 19-0 Winhawks (5-0 overall), who are ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAA.

“They’re a good team. That’s why they’re ranked No. 3 in their class,” Austin head coach Ed Schmitt said. “We knew we had to move the ball and we didn’t really do that tonight.”

Austin’s Ethan Owens pulls down a contested pass in the second quarter against Winona Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Despite trailing 12-0 at the break, the Austin defense held its own in the first half as Nick Dunlap had an early interception to end Winona’s first drive at Austin’s 10-yard line. The Packers also stopped Winona on its final two possessions of the half. 

Austin had just 69 yards of offense and it had three three-and-out series in the first half.

Austin’s defense held a physical Winona team to just 227 yards of offense.

“I thought the defense played about as well as we could’ve played,” Schmitt said. “Offensively, we’ve got to get things going, clean things up and get working.”

Austin’s Agwa Nywesh carries on a kick return against Winona in the third quarter Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

SCORING SUMMARY

Winona 6  6  13  6    31
Austin   0  0    0  7    7    

First quarter

(W) Sam Kanne (kick failed) (12 plays, 55 yards) 1:06

Second quarter

(W) Kanne (kick failed) (3 plays, 55 yards) 6:59)

Third quarter

(W) Jackson Nibbelink 4 run (Bryan Casselius kick) (4 plays, 18 yards) 9:47
(W) Spencer Wright 16 pass from Nibbelink (kick failed) (9 plays, 52 yards) 5:14

Fourth quarter

(W) Drew Myer 9 run (kick failed) (16 plays, 97 yards) 5:41
(A) Ethan Owens 13 pass from Teyghan Hovland (Joe Ewing kick) (10 plays, 80 yards) :04

AUSTIN STATS

Rushing: Andy Chesak, 7-for-49; Teyghan Hovland, 3-for-27; Andrew Nelson, 3-for-12; Eli Johnson, 7-for-6; Mason O’Connor, 2-for-6

Passing: Johnson, 4-for-14, 72; Holland, 3-for-6, 42, TD

Receiving: Ethan Owens, 4-for-46, TD; Collin Dahlback, 3-for-39; Agwa Nywesh, 1-for-6

Defense: Nick Dunlap, INT; Mason O’Connor, sack

Penalties: 7-for-75

Austin’s Mathew Rembao lunges for the tackle during the first quarter against Winona Friday night at Art Hass Stadium. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

WINONA STATS

Rushing: 203

Passing: 24

Penalties: 7-for-75