Packers take a step back in Rochester
ROCHESTER — While the numbers on the scoreboard certainly weren't pretty, the final score wasn't what had Austin High football coach Matt Schmit most upset about Friday night's 61-19 setback at Rochester Mayo.
Instead, Schmit was more focused on his team losing composure at the end of the blowout loss. That loss of composure included an Austin player taking a run at the Mayo kicker during a late fourth-quarter extra point.
"After the game, all we talked about was composure," Schmit said. "That's the biggest thing that I'm thinking about right now. I look over at their sideline, looking at (their kicker), and that's just inexcusable. We talked about sticking together, and when things go tough, you don't do things wrong. It wasn't about the scoreboard. Our youth was exposed tonight, but that's an entirely different issue. The loss of composure is what I'm upset about right now."
There were few positives for the Packers on Friday.
After a mostly encouraging homecoming game a week ago, the Packers took a major step back Friday against the unbeaten Spartans.
The Austin defense surrendered a season-high 61 points, 23 first downs and 442 total yards.
On offense, the Packers carried 23 times for 5 yards and had 89 yards passing. They also lost a pair of fumbles.
Arguably the biggest step in the wrong direction came from the team's offensive line. Many times it appeared the Mayo defensive line went unblocked.
"We're struggling with depth, and sometimes it was hard just getting 11 guys on the field," Schmit said. "Obviously, we weren't blocking everybody we needed to. They did a nice job up front, we didn't. It seemed like every play they were three feet in our backfield, and you can't do anything offensively when that happens."
The Packers didn't line up in the Wildcat offense often, and Schmit said that was a product of the offensive line play. "It was the same thing when we lined up in the Wildcat; they were three feet in our backfield at the snap, and we just couldn't do a thing," Schmit said.
If there was a highlight for the Packers, it came from receiver Zach Wessels who made a highlight-reel catch late in the game. Quarterback Sean Coffey lofted a perfect pass into the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter. Wessels fought off the Mayo defensive back, jumped high in the air, then dragged his feet just before falling out of bounds.
Coffey finished with 94 yards passing and three touchdowns. He did not throw an interception.
"We made a few good plays on offense, and we made a few good plays on defense, but we were very far from playing an entire game of good football," Schmit said. "Mayo played well. We didn't. There's really not much more you can say."
The Packers found almost no success on the ground, minus a nice 27-yard run by Will Davenport. Austin finished with 23 carries for just 5 yards after numerous negative rushing plays. Davenport finished with 24 yards on 10 carries, and Cory Hepler was the only other Packer with positive rushing yards (13).
Anthony Condit once again led the defense. He had two sacks and forced a fumble.
The Packers looked like they might have a shot early in the second quarter. Coffey led a drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Stoulil, which cut Mayo's lead to 21-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Spartans fumbled and Austin recovered. But the momentum didn't last long. The Packers went three-and-out, and then the Spartans rattled off three touchdowns before halftime to blow the game open at 41-7.
The Packers (0-5, 0-4 in Big Nine) have now lost 15 consecutive games. They return to action next Friday at home against Rochester Century (3-2, 2-2 Big Nine).