It was Homecoming for the Austin Packers football team at Art Hass Stadium Friday night versus the St. Agnes Aggies in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the football gridiron. The Aggies, rated No. 6 in the latest Class AA poll came into the game unbeaten and touting a potent rushing attack, along with a strong defense, and both were on full display Friday night as the Aggies rolled up 377 rushing yards and held the Packers to one touchdown in a 42-7 win.
Austin won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving St. Agnes the first offensive possession, which started at the Packer 41 after a 34-yard kickoff return by senior running back Adam Hernandez. The Aggies went immediately to their running attack, and on the third play of the ensuing drive, Hernandez took a handoff from quarterback Landen Mickelson, sprinted through a hole on the right side and ran into the end zone from 13 yards out to give the Aggies a quick 7-0 lead after kicker Joshua Craemer’s extra point.
The Packers started with good field position on their opening drive at their own 43 yard line, but a pass on 4th and 3 from midfield was incomplete, giving the ball back to St. Agnes on downs. The Aggies offense went to work again as on the seventh play of the drive, Mickelson rolled right off of a play-action fake and fired a quick pass on the move that found tight end Cegan Flood in the end zone from eight yards out to give St. Agnes a 14-0 lead after the extra point.
After the two teams traded punts, Austin took possession on their own 15-yard line. The Aggies defense forced a three-and-out, forcing Dakota Retterath to punt the ball from the end zone, and St. Agnes took possession at the Packer 31-yard line. The Aggies quickly cashed in on the short field, as on the second play of the ensuing drive, Hernandez scord his second touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run to give the Aggies a 21-0 lead at the end of one quarter.
Starting from their own 27 on their next drive, the Packers had possession for six plays, but they were forced to punt, and a touchback gave the ball to St. Agnes at their own 20. After a 30-yard run by running back Evonson Plamann on first down, Mickelson went back to pass on the next play, and his pass deflected off the hands of wide receiver Dan Plamann and into the hands of linebacker Cale Tupy, who ran the interception back 23 yards to the Aggies 38-yard line. The Packers were able to work the ball into the red zone, but on the ninth play of the drive, a Dakota Retterath pass into the end zone intended for wide receiver Isaac Osgood was intercepted by Evonson Plamann, who brought the ball out of the end zone and was tackled at the 6-yard line. The Aggies running attack then kicked back into gear on the ensuing drive, as 11 plays later, all runs, running back Elijah Simmons scooted into the end zone from eight yards out to give St. Agnes a 28-0 lead late in the first half.
The Packers started their next drive from their own 24-yard line, and with time winding down in the half, a 14-yard run by running back Garlo Gee, coupled with a 15-yard penalty for a horse collar tackle quickly moved the ball into St. Agnes territory. On the fourth play of the drive, Retterath found Osgood behind the Aggies defense for a 36-yard touchdown pass to cut the St. Agnes lead to 28-7 at the half, and the score also gave Austin momentum heading into the locker room.
The Packers were looking to keep the momentum on their side of the field, and to halve the St. Agnes lead as they received the opening kickoff of the second half. Starting from their own 36, Austin was forced into a three-and-out by the Aggies defense, and a punt gave the ball back to St. Agnes at their own 11. Again, it was the ground game of the Aggies taking control of the game, as on a 10-play drive that featured runs of 20 yards by Evonson Plamann and 32 yards by Adam Hernandez, a touchdown pass from Mickelson to Plamann out of the backfield on 4th and goal from the Austin 9-yard line gave St. Agnes a 35-7 lead after the extra point.
Austin quickly moved the ball down the field on their next drive as starting from their own 38, a 24-yard pass from Retterath to wide receiver Peyton Ransom, and runs of 14 and 23 yards by Gee put the ball 1st and goal at the Aggies 1-yard line. The St. Agnes defense, though, would let the Packers go no further as a quarterback sneak on 1st and goal resulted in a loss of three yards. Gee was stopped for no gain on 2nd and goal, and on 3rd and goal, Retterath had to go down to the turf to field a shotgun snap, with his knee touching down on the Aggies 5-yard line. On 4th and goal, a fade pass into the deep left corner of the end zone was intercepted, ending the Austin scoring threat and giving the ball back to St. Agnes at their 20-yard line. The Aggies offense then went to work on the ensuing drive, as a 30-yard pass from Mickelson to wide receiver Dan Plamann, coupled with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty quickly moved the ball to the Austin 38-yard line. On the sixth play of the drive, Elijah Simmons sprinted through a hole between center and left guard and ran into the end zone from 14 yards out for the final score of the game.
Austin tallied nine first downs in the game to 16 for St. Agnes, and the Packers were whistled for four penalties for 35 yards, while the Aggies were flagged eight times for 60 yards. St. Agnes tallied three quarterback sacks, and they also forced four Austin turnovers for the game, while turning the ball over once in the first half.
With the loss, the Packers are now 1-5 on the season, and Austin will take to the road for a Week 7 matchup with the Winona Winhawks next Thursday evening, with kickoff from Paul Giel Field at 7 p.m. You’ll hear the game live on AM 1480 KAUS, myaustinminnesota.com, and on the I Heart Radio and radio.com apps, with the Austin Packers pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. that evening.