Austin Packers football team downs Academy Force 38-14 Friday night

The Austin Packers football team traveled to St. Croix Prepatory Academy in Stillwater Friday night to take on Class AAAAA Academy Force in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the football gridiron, and quarterback Dakota Retterath ran for two touchdowns and threw for one more, junior running Garlo Gee also ran for a pair of scores, and the Packers scored 19 points off of four Academy Force turnovers in a 38-14 win.

Gee got the Packers out to the quick start they were looking for on the road as he ran the opening kickoff back 42 yards to the Academy Force 39-yard line.  The Packers worked the ball inside the 5-yard line, but on the fifth play of the drive, a fumble was recovered by Academy Force at their 2-yard line.  Undeterred, the Austin defense, which controlled the line of scrimmage all night, forced the first of five three-and-outs, and a punt gave the Packers the ball right back at the Academy Force 38-yard line.  Gee rumbled for 18 yards on the second play of the drive to the Academy Force 20, and on the next play, quarterback Dakota Retterath ran 20 yards for an Austin touchdown, and kicker Cale Tupy’s extra point gave the Packers a 7-0 lead.

Starting from their own 17 after the ensuing kickoff, Academy Force embarked on a 10-play drive that brought them across the 50-yard line for the first time in the game, but on 4th and long, the Packers converged on sophomore quarterback Trey Dennison, forced a fumble, and recovered at midfield.  After a 15-yard run by Retterath and a 25-yard pass from Retterath to wide receiver Isaac Osgood, Gee finished off the four-play, 50-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 Austin lead.

Things went from bad to worse for Academy Force on the ensuing kickoff as return man Zach Brocker, who was dropping back to field Cale Tupy’s kick saw the ball go through his hands, and he was cut down at the 6-yard line.  After the Packer defense forced another three-and-out, a short punt from the end zone enabled Austin to start yet another drive in Academy Force territory, this one at the 26.  Two plays later, Retterath opened the second quarter scoring with a 13-yard touchdown run.  The snap for the extra point was high, forcing Retterath to pull the ball down and throw a 2-point conversion pass to H-Back Jackson Clausman that was incomplete, keeping the score at 20-0.

Academy Force was able to mount a good drive after the ensuing kickoff as starting from their own 42-yard line, a 26-yard pass from Dennison to wide receiver George Evert moved the ball into Austin territory.  The Packer defense, though, was able to stop the drive after nine plays at the 15, and on the very next play, Austin’s offensive line gave Retterath time to throw, and he heaved a bomb down the left sideline that was snagged by wide receiver Isaac Osgood, who made a tremoudous adjustment on the ball and then outran everyone to the end zone for an 85-yard touchdown and a 26-0 Packer lead after the extra point was no good.

The Packer defense then quickly set the squad up for yet another score, as on the first play of the ensuing drive from the Academy Force 28-yard line, Dennison was intercepted by sophomore linebacker Noah Dunlap, who ran the ball from the 33 down to the Academy Force 7-yard line.  On the next play, Retterath gave the ball to Gee, who ran into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game and a 32-0 Austin lead at the half.

After both teams opened the second half with a punt, Academy Force took possession of the ball at the own 16-yard line.  On the first play of the drive, Dennison dropped back to pass, but as was the case most of the game, the Packer defense flushed him from his passing pocket, forcing him to tuck the ball and run.  He was stripped from behind, and the Packers recovered at the Academy Force 16-yard line.  After backup quarterback Jamal Faux ran 13 yards to the 3-yard line, running back Noah Dunlap punched the ball over the goal line from one yard out, making the score 38-0 after the extra point was blocked.  Dennison threw a pair of touchdown passes during running time in the fourth quarter, one to Wyatt Srsen of 11 yards, and another to Jay Green of nine yards to account for the 38-14 final.

Austin tallied eight first downs to 12 for Academy Force, and Austin was whistled for six penalties for 55 yards, while Academy Force was called for five penalties for 35 yards.  Academy Force came up with three quarterback sacks to two for Austin, but the Packers, for the second week in a row won the turnover battle, as Austin turned over Academy Force four times, scoring 19 points off those turnovers while committing two turnovers of their own.

With the win, the Packers are now 1-1 on the season, and Austin will travel to Kasson for a Skyway District, Platnium Division matchup with the Komets of Kasson/Mantorville next Friday night, and you’ll hear the game live on AM 1480 KAUS, with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m.,and kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m.