Late surge not enough as Packers fall to Royals

Published 10:12 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

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The Austin football team fought until the last second, but in the end it was just a hair short as the Packers lost to Watertown-Mayer 28-27 in Art Hass Stadium Friday night.

The Royals scored to go up by one when Michael Foley burst through the hole for a 10-yard TD run with 2:08 left, but the Packers weren’t done yet. Dakota Retterath hit Peyton Ransom for a 40-yard gain to put Austin deep in Royal territory, but ultimately a holding penalty took away what would have been the go-ahead score on a run by Retterath, and Ransom’s 36 yard field goal came up short with less than 10 seconds to go in the game.

“It’s tough. But it’s football, you win or you lose and that’s just part of the game,” Retterath said. “A lot of things could’ve went our way, but they didn’t.”

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The Royals led 21-14 early in the fourth quarter when the Packers came storming back. Retterath hit Ransom for a 14-yard score to tie the game at 21 and after Cale Tupy recovered a fumble on the ensuing kick-off, Retterath hit Ransom for a 10-yard score to make it 27-21 with 7:43 left in the game. Ransom’s extra point attempt was blocked after that TD.

Retterath threw for 263 yards, three TDs and one interception, while rushing for 83 yards and Ransom had 190 receiving yards and three scores.

“It was fun,” Retterath said. “Our run game wasn’t there, but our passing game was good and our offensive line was a lot better. Peyton was telling me in the huddle to just get him the ball and he would go get it and that’s what he did.”

The Packers were slowed down by being penalized for 75 yards and they also had a little trouble speeding up the huddle break at times. Still, the team did more right than it did wrong, especially considering the Packers have a high roster turnover.

“The huddle stuff is on me. That’s Dakota’s first full game as a quarterback and we haven’t repped that scenario. Penalties are part of the game and I told the guys the great thing is that they can learn,” Schmitt said. “We are a young, inexperienced team that’s learning as we go along here. We’re filling in the gaps when we can and finding out who we can count on.”

This is Retterath’s first year playing varsity quarterback, but he showed what he can do for the Packers (0-1 overall).

“He’s a phenomenal athlete and his legs and arm are great,” Schmitt said. “He’s a dual threat and I have all of the confidence in the world in him.”


WM 7  7  0  14    28

Austin 7  7  0  13    27

First quarter

(A) Isaac Osgood 11 pass for Dakota Retterath (Ransom kick) (10 plays, 71 yards) 4:07

(W) Michael Foley 16 pass from Nathan Behrens (Jaren Vogt kick) (7 plays, 68 yards) :27

Second quarter

(A) Ransom 19 pass from Retterath (Ransom kick) (6 plays, 59 yards) 8:07

(W) Foley 1 run (Vogt kick) (8 plays, 62 yards) 4:11

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter

(W) Foley 4 run (Vogt kick) (10 plays, 44 yards) 10:32

(A) Peyton Ransom 14 pass from Dakota Retterath (Ransom kick) (3 plays, 60 yards) 8:49

(A) Ransom 10 pass from Retterath (kick blocked) (3 plays, 29 yards) 7:43

(W) Foley 10 run (Vogt kick) (9 plays, 75 yards) 2:08


Rushing: Dakota Retterath, 13-for-83; Noah Dunlap, 5-for-14; Tyler Carter, 1-for-(-2)

Passing: Dakota Retterath, 12-for-27, 263, 3 TDs, 1 INT

Receiving: Peyton Ransom, 9-for-190, 3 TDs; Isaac Osgood, 3-for-38, TD; Tyler Carter, 1-for-32; Dunlap, 1-for-3

Defense: Mason Callahan, 1 fumble recovery; Cale Tupy, 1 fumble recovery

Penalties: 9-for-75


Rushing: 220

Passing: 53

Penalties: 4-for-40