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JM’s big plays sink Packers

ROCHESTER — The Packers couldn’t keep pace with Rochester John Marshall’s big plays as they lost 43-24 Friday night.

Austin (1-4 overall) took a 9-6 lead when Joe Walker made a quick burst outside for a 61-yard TD with 9:14 left in the second quarter, but the Rockets scored three times in the last six minutes of the half including a 68 yard TD run by Nate Swanson and a 62-yard TD catch by Michael Nicometo from Cole Peterson with just 29 seconds left in the second quarter.

Those big plays took the wind out of Austin’s sails as the Packers never got back within single digits.

“That’s all we talked about at halftime and after the game. Their big plays got us tonight,” Austin head coach Ed Schmitt said. “We were out of position a few times and those are things we can fix. We’ll get back to work. Their heads are where they need to be right now.”

Even after the game had been decided, Austin junior Gage Manahan kept on pushing. He fought for the extra yards by breaking several tackles on a 34-yard catch that set up an 11-yard TD dash by Teyghan Hovland on fourth and goal.

Manahan said the Packers are not even thinking about giving in with just one game remaining in the regular season.

“I can just taste a victory. I want it so bad. We want to win and we’ve talked about it all week. We’re just aching for a win. We have a great team, we just have to work together. When we have one bad play, we’ve got to work to get back into it,” Manahan said. “I think it’s just working as a team. We’re pushing each other, but we aren’t really coming together as a whole. We’re working on our individual parts instead of working together.”

Austin sophomore Jack Lang threw a five-yard TD to sophomore Tommy Fritz in relief of Hovland with 3:14 left in the game.

JM (2-3 overall) went three-and-out on its first drive and a high snap led to a safety that put the Packers up 2-0 early.

The Packers will wrap up their regular season when they host Mankato East at Larry Gilbertson Track and Field at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The game is being played on that field since the dome will be up over Art Hass Stadium next week.

SCORING SUMMARY

Austin 2 7  0  15  – 24

JM 6 22 7  8   – 43

First quarter

(A) safety (1 play, 0 yards) 10:39

(JM) Nate Swanson 3 run (kick blocked) (9 plays, 85 yards) 1:27

Second quarter

(A) Joe Walker 61 run (Joe Ewing kick) (4 plays, 77 yards) 9:14

(JM) Peter Ladu 26 pass from Cole Peterson (pass failed) 5:28

(JM) Swanson 68 run (Peter Navitsky run) (2 plays, 68 yards) 3:45

(JM) Michael Nicometo 62 pass from Peterson (Peterson run) (3 plays, 90 yards) :29

Third quarter

(JM) Swanson 10 run (Navitsky kick) (11 plays, 61 yards) 3:08

Fourth quarter

(A) Teyghan Hovland 11 run (Ewing kick) (11 plays, 61 yards) 8:32

(JM) Nicometo 22 pass from Peterson (Andrew Mai from Peterson) (8 plays, 72 yards) 5:34

(A) Tommy Fritz 5 pass from Jack Lang (Manny Guy from Lang) (6 plays, 56 yards) 3:14

AUSTIN STATS

Rushing: Joe Walker, 10-for-87, TD; Teyghan Hovland, 10-for-44, TD; Aidan Pepper, 4-for-11; Mason O’Connor, 5-for-11; Tommy Fritz, 3-for-3

Passing: Teyghan Hovland, 6-for-15, 88, INT; Jack Lang, 2-for-3, 21, TD

Receiving: Gage Manahan, 4-for-70; Novell Jackson, 1-for-18; Manny Guy, 1-for-16; Tommy Fritz, 1-for-5, TD; Walker, 1-for-0

Defense: Adam Vlasaty, 1 sack

Penalties: 2-for-10