The Austin Packers football team traveled to John Drews Field at Rochester John Marshall High School for a Week 2 matchup with the Rockets Friday night, and, in front of a huge crowd came out flying from the start and never let up as they downed the Packers 32-12.
Austin won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving JM the first chance offensivley in the game. The Rockets set the tone of the game in that first series as the running of senior scatback Danny Ta on a jet sweep and the passing of senior quarterback Gunnar Dokken led John Marshall on an 11-play, 80 yard touchdown drive capped off by senior running back Troy Lee taking the ball into the end zone from eight yards out and a 6-0 lead after the extra point was blocked.
The Packers took possession of the ball at their 20 on their first possession, but John Marshall’s defense kept momentum with the Rockets as they forced a three-and-out, giving JM the ball at the Austin 43 after a nice punt return by sophomore wide receiver Zach Ladu. Eleven plays later, it was Lee taking the ball into the end zone from two yards out at the start of the second quarter and a 14-0 John Marshall lead after a two-point conversion run by sophomore wide receiver Lael Martinez.
Austin got some momentum going their way on their next drive as starting from their 29, a 31-yard pass from quarterback Jack Lang to wide receiver Manny Guy helped to move the ball into red zone, but a dropped pass that more than likely would have resulted in a touchdown, and a pass caught by wide receiver Victor Idris inside the one-yard line that was negated by a holding penalty thwarted the drive, and John Marshall took over on downs at their 27.
The Rockets took any momentum the Packers had back on the ensuing drive, as a circus catch by junior wide reeiver Michael Nicometo of 33 yards helped JM move the ball to the 7-yard line, and on the sixth play of the drive, Martinez took a handoff on a jet sweep and sprinted around left end for a touchdown and a 20-0 Rocket lead after the 2-point converision try was no good.
Austin had an answer in the waning moments of the first half as with under two minutes to go, the Packers started another good drive from their 45-yard line, aided by an 18-yard connection between Lang and Guy that again moved the ball into the red zone. The Rockets defense bent, but it did not break as unfortuantely for Austin, the JM defense stopped the drive at the 12-yard line, and the half ended with John Marshall in the lead 20-0.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Packers started their second drive of the second half with fantastic field position at the JM 43-yard line after a 17-yard punt. The Rockets defense stepped to the fore again, though, and JM took possession after a turnover on downs at their 41. A 12-play 59-yard drive ensued, aided by Ta taking a handoff on a jet sweep and motoring 30 yards to help John Marshall move the ball to the Packer 21. There, Dokken fired a wide receiver screen to Martinez in the slot to the right, and Martinez proceeded to spin out of two tackles and evade at least three others as he reversed his field and outran everyone to the end zone and a 26-0 lead after the 2-point conversion was stopped.
Austin took possession on their next drive at their 27, but again, the Rockets forced a turnover on downs and took over on their 40 after seven plays. JM capped the scoring on their end on the drive as on the eighth play, Dokken found Nicometo over the middle on a 15-yard touchdown pass and a 32-0 Rocket lead after the extra point try by freshman kicker Ben Rieder was no good.
Austin’s No. 2 offense then took the field for the rest of the game and produced two touchdowns on two drives, the first a seven-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Brayden Bishop to sophomore wide receiver Peyton Ransom, and a 45-yard scoring strike from Bishop to sophomore wide receiver Isaac Osgood.
With the loss, the Packers are 0-2 on the season, while John Marshall evened their record at 1-1. Austin returns home next Friday night for a Week 3 matchup with the New Prague Trojans, and you’ll hear the game right here on AM 1480 KAUS, with the Austin Packers pre-game show on the air at 6:30 p.m., and kickoff at 7:00 p.m.