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Packers mauled by the Bears

BYRON — The Packers saw a spark of early momentum fade to black as they lost to Byron 42-13 Friday night.

Austin, which has now lost four in a row, started the game on a high note as Oliver Andersen picked off a screen pass and ran it back 34 yards for a touchdown to make it 6-0 on the first play from scrimmage. But Byron responded with a strong running game that saw Austin Freerksken score on runs of 72, 18, 44 and 17 yards in the first half to give the Bears a 28-6 lead at the break.

Austin’s Mason O’Connor plunges forward against Byron’s Vicente DeLeon in Byron Friday night. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

“We talk every day in practice about minimizing the explosive plays and we didn’t do that tonight,” Austin head coach Ed Schmitt said.

The Packers (2-4 overall) were forced to play a lot of sophomores as the team has been battered by injuries and the Bears (3-3 overall) took advantage by racking up 252 yards on the ground.

“We’re still in the learning stage,” Schmitt said. “With injuries and with not having Andy Chesak (due to injury), we were moving guys around. But give Byron credit, they moved the line, they made blocks and we missed tackles. They won the game.”

The Packers will close out their regular season out with a pair of home games as they host Northfield at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 and Albert Lea will come to Art Hass Stadium at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16.

SCORING SUMMARY

Austin 6  0 0  7  – 13

Byron 21 7 14 0  – 42

First quarter

(A) Oliver Andersen 34 interception return (run failed) (1 play, 34 yards) 11:43

(B) Austin Freerksken 72 run (John Lutz kick) (1 play, 72 yards) 8:11

(B) Freerksken 18 run (Lutz kick) (5 plays, 20 yards) 5:50

(B) Freerksken 44 run (Lutz kick) (1 play, 44 yards) 2:02

Second quarter

(B) Freerksken 17 run (Lutz kick) (6 plays, 30 yards) 4:19

Third quarter

(B) Noah Schmitz 14 pass from Andrew Scheuer (Lutz kick) (4 plas, 15 yards) 10:00

(B) Ben Steinessen 2 run (Lutz kick) (3 plays, 51 yards) 4:58

Fourth quarter

(A) Teyghan Hovland 62 run (Joe Ewing kick) (5 plays, 80 yards) 6:57

AUSTIN STATS

Rushing: Teyghan Hovland, 9-for-98, TD; Mason O’Connor, 10-for-22; Andrew Nelson, 3-for-18; Taren Olvera, 2-for-(-1); Eli Johnson, 7-for-(-10)

Passing: Eli Johnson, 1-for-7, 24, 2 INT; Hovland, 2-for-7, 12, INT

Receiving: Ethan Owens, 2-for-30; Agwa Nywesh, 1-for-6

Defense: Oliver Andersen, interception; Aiden Pepper, fumble recovery

Penalties: 1-for-10

BYRON STATS

Rushing: 252; Passing: 112; Penalties: 3-for-30