In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Packers football team took to the road for a Week 3 matchup with the Kasson/Mantorville Komets Friday evening, and in the first Skyway District, Platnium Division game for both squads, the Packers ran into a buzzsaw in the personage of a strong Komet flex bone running attack and a stingy defense in a 53-0 loss.
Kasson/Mantorville won the opening toss and elected to defer to the second half, and Austin started their first drive of the game from their own 22-yard line. A false start and a holding penalty, two of seven penalties on the Packers in the game for 60 yards pushed them back to their own 11-yard line. On 3rd and 21, quarterback Dakota Retterath was able to scramble to his left to buy time to throw, and his long pass downfield was snagged by wide receiver Peyton Ransom for a gain of 49 yards to the Komet 40-yard line. A tackle for a loss of two yards and a sack of Retterath by linebacker Easton Suess, who has committed to Winona State University to play football next year pushed the Packers back to their own 48, and a punt gave the ball to Kasson/Mantorville at their own 39. The Komets strong running attack was on full display in their first drive, as running back Dominic Mann rumbled for 21 yards to move the ball into Austin territory. On the fifth play of the drive, Mann bulled his way into the end zone from one yard out for a touchdown, and kicker Lars Ingram’s extra point gave the Komets a 7-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Packers on their next drive as starting from their own 20 after a touchback, the shotgun snap to Retterath on the second play of the drive sailed well over his head, and the Komets recovered the loose ball at the Austin 10-yard line. The Packer defense dug in, though, as they were able to hold KM to a field goal try, and Ingram’s 24-yard field goal from the left hashmark gave the Komets a 10-0 lead.
Kasson/Mantorville’s defense kept momentum on their side of the field on the ensuing drive as again starting from their own 20 after a touchback, Austin was forced to punt out of their own end zone, giving the Komets the ball back at the Packer 30. Five plays later, Mann ran into the end zone from 13 yards out, and extra point holder Emmett Ricke’s 2-point conversion run gave Kasson/Mantorville an 18-0 lead after one quarter of play.
The Packers were again forced to start at their own 20 after a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, and again Kasson-Mantorville’s defense forced a three-and-out, and a punt gave the ball back to the Komets at their own 36-yard line. KM’s running attack quickly moved the ball down the field, and on the seventh play of the drive, sophomore wingback Jerimiah Peterson ran into the end zone from 14 yards out to cap off the 64-yard drive to make the score 24-0. In a true sign that it would be a night where everything would go Kasson-Mantorville’s way, extra-point holder Emmett Ricke fielded a low snap, but he was not able to tee up the ball for Ingram. He first scrambled to his right, then back to his left when he was hemmed in by the Packers, and he was able to fire a desperation pass just over the goal line that was caught for a 2-point conversion and a 26-0 Komets lead.
Austin’s next drive was stopped by an interception, which gave the ball to the Komets at the Packer 30. Cornerback Peyton Ransom picked off a pass from quarterback Kyle Nelson on the first play of the drive, but an inadverent whistle nullified the interception, and it was still Kasson-Mantorville football at the Austin 30. The Packers were then able to sack Nelson for an 11 yard loss, and on the third play of the drive, Nelson kept the ball on the read option, but he was separated from the football, and Austin’s Mason Callahan recovered at the Austin 48-yard line.
A strange drive then ensued for the Packers that saw a facemask penalty on a Dakota Retterath run seemingly give the Packers a first down, but a block below the waist meant offsetting penalties and the ball going back to the orginal line of scrimmage. Later in the drive, Austin saw a 51-yard pass from Retterath to wide receiver Isaac Osgood that would have given the Packers first-and-goal at the 6-yard line called back because of a holding penalty, and Austin was forced to punt after seven plays. Kasson-Mantorville took possession on their own 16-yard line, and a wingback toss sweep to Jerimiah Peterson was good for 57 yards to move the ball into the red zone. On the sixth play of the drive, fellow wingback Emmett Ricke ran into the end zone from one yard out to give the Komets a 33-0 lead at the half.
Kasson-Mantorville came out ready to roll for the second half as wide receiver and return man Caisen Thome took Cale Tupy’s opening kickoff on a hop at the 11-yard line, and he was able to find a seam and sprint 89 yards for a touchdown and a 39-0 Komet lead after the extra point was missed. Two more touchdown runs for Kasson-Mantorville in the quarter, sandwiched around a safety accounted for the 53-0 final.
With the loss, Austin is now 1-2 on the season, and the Packers will play host to state-ranked Byron next Friday night at Art Hass Stadium, with kickoff at 7 p.m. You’ll hear the game live on AM 1480 KAUS, with the Austin Packers pre-game show on the air at 6:30 p.m. that evening.