Football: Austin scores early and late to dominate Red Wing
Austin surged out to a three-touchdown lead before Red Wing could find its way into the end zone. The Wingers briefly made a game of it, scoring their second-straight touchdown halfway through the third quarter. But the Packers responded multiple times, and their defense held off Red Wing for a 44-12 victory Friday night.
The Wingers took their opening drive well into Austin territory, but the Packers intercepted Marcus Walm in the end zone. The two teams traded punts before Austin's Gavin Owens caught a 23-yard pass from Nate Murphy to open the scoring and give the Packers a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Austin added another touchdown on a bad snap on a punt from Red Wing, giving the Packers a 14-0 advantage on Andy Chesak's recovery in the end zone with 9 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first half. Sam Hagan added a 47-yard touchdown run three minutes later.
The Wingers would get into the end zone with just over a minute to play in the second quarter with Walm's 1-yard sneak, which followed his 42-yard connection to Mac DeSutter.
A big kick return from Anthony Flucas set up Red Wing after an Austin field goal to open the second half. DeSutter added a 26-yard run and the Wingers made it 21-12 with Walm's 2-yard push with 6:50 left in the third quarter.
But Austin added Murhpy's 6-yard touchdown run late in the third, and Owen's 9-yard scoring reception from Murphy early in the fourth.
A 48-yard DeSutter run set up Red Wing at the Packers' 22-yard line following the latest Austin touchdown, but Walm was sacked and coughed up a fumble to give the Packers the ball and control of the rest of the game. Murphy closed the scoring with a 71-yard run.
With reserves in the game, the two teams fumbled away the ball in back-to-back possessions before Austin ran out most of the clock.
Walm finished 3-for-11 for 70 yards and interception while DeSutter carried the offense catching all three passes and rushing eight times for 86 yards. Sam Guse added six carries for 32 yards.
The Wingers had seven first downs and fumbled three times (two lost).
Austin had 19 first downs, with Murphy going 9-for-15 for 79 yards, and adding 24 carries for 214 yards. Hagan had 24 carries for 144 yards. The Packers totaled 425 yards rushing and lost one of its two fumbles.
The Wingers (0-2) will head to Rochester to face Century, which beat Red Wing, 13-0, last season. But the Panthers won two playoff games, over Mayo and Northfield, before being blown out by Owatonna in the Section 1AAAAA final, 37-0.