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Freerksen’s four rushing touchdowns lead Byron past Austin 42-13

The Austin Packers started off as well as possible at Byron Friday night against the Bears in a Big Southeast District Blue Division matchup, but it was the Bears quickly recovering from early adversity with a punishing ground game led by running back Austin Freerksen’s four rushing TD’s in a 42-13 win.

The Packers won the opening toss and deferred to the second half, and on the first play from scrimmage, Oliver Anderson stepped in front of a middle screen pass and rumbled 34 yards into the end zone to give Austin a 6-0 lead only :17 into the game after the snap for the extra point was high and holder Colin Dahlback was tackled at the 10-yard line trying to run the ball into the end zone for two points.

Things went from bad to worse for Byron on their next drive as on the fifth play, a bad exchange on a handoff from quarterback Drew Scheuer to Freerksen was recovered by the Packers’ Aiden Pepper at the Austin 43-yard line.

Here the momentum of the game began to shift to the Bears as the Byron defense forced a three-and-out and a 33-yard punt gave the Bears the ball at their 27.  On the first play from scrimmage, Byron grabbed the momentum and would not relinquish it for the rest of the game as Freerksen sprinted through a hole up the middle and dashed 73 yards for a Bears touchdown.  The extra point kick by John Lutzi put Byron in the lead, 7-6.

Things then went from bad to worse for Austin on the ensuing kickoff as the ball was fumbled on the muddy field and the Bears recovered at the Packer 22.  Five plays later, on third and goal from the Austin 17, Freerksen took a delayed handoff from Scheuer and sprinted untouched into the end zone to put Byron ahead 14-6.

The Packers mounted a bit of a drive on their next possession and eventually faced fourth and less than a yard at the Bears 48, but the shotgun snap to quarterback Teyghan Hovland was high, and he was forced to fall on the ball back at the Packer 44.  On the very first play for Byron, Freerksen again got loose and sprinted 44 yards into the end zone to put the Bears ahead 21-6.

The two sides exchanged punts on the next two possessions, but a 46-yard punt by Scheuer pinned Austin back at their 10-yard line.  The Bears defense forced a three-and-out and a short punt gave the ball to Byron at the Packer 30.  Five plays later, Freerksen bounced outside to the left and outran the Austin defense to the pylon and a 28-6 lead at the half.

Austin started the first drive of the second half at their own 30, but disaster quickly struck on the first play from scrimmage as a pass from Hovland went through the hands of the intended receiver, off of another Packer receiver trying to make a catch and into the hands of Jake Braaten of the Bears, who worked his way down to the Packer 15-yard line.  On fourth down, Scheuer found tight end Noah Schmitz for an 11-yard touchdown pass and a 35-6 lead, giving the Bears 21 points off of three Austin turnovers.

Austin’s next drive saw the biggest pass play of the night as Eli Johnson hooked up with Ethan Owens on a 24-yard gain, but Scheuer later picked off a Johnson pass and ran the ball back 34 yards to the Byron 49-yard line.  A 38-yard pass from Scheuer to wide receiver Tyler Underwood moved the ball to the Packer 2-yard line, and on the next play wide receiver Ben Stienessen took a handoff from Freerksen, who was at quarterback in a wildcat formation and strolled into the end zone to increase the Bears’ lead to 42-6.

The two sides exchanged punts on the next two drives and Austin took over in the 4th quarter at their own 20 after a touchback.  On the fourth play of the drive, Hovland stepped up in the pocket, tucked the ball in and wound up running for a 62-yard touchdown and a 42-13 Bears lead after Joe Ewing’s extra point.

Hovland was Austin’s leading rusher in the game, carrying the ball nine times for 98 yards and a touchdown, and fullback Mason O’Connor carried the ball 10 times for 22 yards.  Eli Johnson passing for Ausitn was 1 for 7 for 24 yards and two interceptions, while Hovland was 2-7 for 12 yards and an interception.  Ethan Owens led the Packers in receiving with two catches for 30 yards.

The loss for Austin was their fourth in a row to fall to 2-4, and they will return to Art Hass Stadium next Friday night to take on the Northfield Raiders, with kickoff at 7:00 p.m.

The post Freerksen’s four rushing touchdowns lead Byron past Austin 42-13 appeared first on AM 1480 KAUS.

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