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Packers hit Tigers from all angles in blowout win

The Austin football team had lots of room to run and plenty of time to get there, dominating both sides of the ball in a 47-0 win over Albert Lea Friday night.

The Packers (1-1 overall) opened the scoring when Gage Manahan cut up the right sideline for a 60-yard punt return for a TD and they put the game away when Logan O’Rourke read an AL trick play and picked off a pass for a 14-yard score that made it 40-0 late in the third quarter.

In between those two scores, Joseph Walker had a seven-yard TD burst and Teyghan Holvand threw three TDs, including two to Ethan Owens of six- and 33-yards.

As the Austin offense made big plays, the defense did it’s job as it held the Tigers to under 100 yards and forced two turnovers. Aidan Pepper had a sack and a fumble recovery for a Packer defense that has allowed just 14 points in two games.

“We came ready to play. We wanted to win by as much as we could. We had the heart and I honestly think we wanted it more than them,” Pepper said. “Everybody knows what we’re doing and every play that coach draws up, we execute it. Every once in a while someone will make a mistake, but we all come together after it.”

Things ended sweet for the Packers, but it started sour. Austin’s first drive went south fast as an end-around to Novell Jackson was blown up in the backfield and the Tigers (0-2 overall) forced a three-and-out.

“We’ve been working on that first play of the game for a little while here and Gage was wide open, but Novell just didn’t see him. I told him to run it if you don’t see him,” Austin head coach Ed Schmitt said. “I feel like we left some points on the field and we could’ve scored more. A coach is never fully satisfied.”

Hovland faced a good amount of pressure in last week’s 14-9 loss to Winona, but he had a lot of time to get comfortable in the win over AL. He went 8-for-13 with 100 yards and three scores and he also ran over a defender on a 13-yard scamper outside of the pocket.

“I’m not going to lie, I was kind of nervous with how we would respond and the first drive didn’t go too well,” Hovland said. “But after that we settled in and my confidence boosted, I think everyone else’s confidence boosted and we kind of steam rolled.”

Hovland is a first year starter at quarterback and he has a lot of first year targets, but the Packers took a big step towards finding a rhythm against the Tigers.

“We’ve bonded really well and we stay after it. We run routes and we get that chemistry going,” Hovland said.

O’Rourke also had a 29 yard catch in the win for Austin and has come a long way from missing much of last season with a knee injury. He read the play perfectly on his interception for a TD.

“He was in a great place at a great time,” Schmitt said. “He’s worked hard from going to defensive end linebacker this year. He’s been working hard.”

The Packers will now play three of their final four games at home. Austin will hold its home opener when it hosts Byron in Art Hass Stadium at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24.

SCORING SUMMARY

Austin 13 14 13  7    47

AL 0   0  0  0    0

First quarter

(A) Gage Manahan 60 punt return (Joe Ewing kick) (1 play, 60 yards) 9:26

(A) Joseph Walker 7 run (run failed) (2 plays, 20 yards) 7:41

Second quarter

(A) Novell Jackson 29 pass from Teyghan Hovland (Ewing kick) (6 plays, 85 yards) 10:13

(A) Ethan Owens 6 pass from Hovland (Ewing kick) (7 plays, 33 yards) :50

Third quarter

(A) Owens 33 pass from Hovland (kick blocked) (7 plays, 58 yards) 6:02

(A) Logan O’Rourke 14 interception return (Ewing kick) (1 play, 14 yards) 3:15

Fourth quarter

(A) Joseph Hoffman 1 run (9 plays, 40 yards)(Ewing kick) 3:30

AUSTIN STATS

Rushing: Joe Walker, 12-for-73, TD; Rylan Clark, 4-for-32; Teyghan Hovland, 6-for-21; Brenan Winkles, 2-for-4; Andrew Nelson, 2-for-5; Ethan Owens, 1-for-2; Joseph Hoffman, 1-for-1, TD; Novell Jackson, 1-for-(-5)

Passing: Teyghan Hovland, 8-for-13, 100, 3 TD

Receiving: Novell Jackson, 4-for-39, TD; Ethan Owens, 2-for-39, 2 TD; Logan O’Rourke, 1-for-29; Tommy Fritz, 1-for-9

Defense: Aidan Pepper, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery; Blake Smith, 1 interception

Penalties: 3-for-15

AL STATS

Rushing: 43

Passing: 30