KoMets send Pack back to Austin with loss
It didn’t start out the way they hoped, but the Kasson-Mantorville football team came roaring back and beat the Austin Packers 36-13 on Friday, Sept. 13.
Interim Head Coach Joel Swanson was proud of the way his team rallied after the Packers blocked a punt early in the first quarter.
“Guys came out aggressive, so it was great! It was good to the guys respond after the early punt block. I think the way the defense shut them down there set the tone for the game,” he said.
Kasson-Mantorville scored the first touchdown of the game when quarterback Peyton Wilke ran it in from four yards out. The KoMets led 6-0 after missing the extra point.
K-M added a 33-yard field goal by Aaron Winke and a 30-yard receiving touchdown by Easton Knoll to take a 16-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Wilke tacked on another touchdown run, this time from two yards out, to give K-M a 23-0 lead.
After a 37-yard touchdown pass by Austin, the KoMets led 23-6 at the end of the third quarter.
Wilke added a seven-yard touchdown run to extend K-M’s lead to 30-6.
Then, Preston Hitterdahl scored a two-yard touchdown, but the extra point was missed so the KoMets led 36-6.
The Packers added a 10-yard touchdown in the final minutes to make the final score 36-13.
Swanson was pleased with how the KoMets worked together.
“The players each knew what they had to do and trusted each other to do his part on the field,” he said. “They are also communicating with each other which is huge so that everyone is on the ‘same page.’”
He noted that Kasson-Mantorville’s offense did a good job of taking what the defense gave them.
“Basically anything and everything gets thrown at our offense. I thought they did great at finding the weaknesses in the opponent’s defense,” he said.
On the defensive side, Swanson was impressed with the defense stopping Austin’s early momentum and creating turnovers.
“Shutting Austin down after the punt block was huge,” he said. “Also, winning the turnover margin, 4 to 0, means a lot. It is impressive that we didn’t have a turnover on our offense while Austin sending quite a few players on blitzes. Plus, we got four interceptions.”
When the defense caused turnovers, he liked that the offense took care of the ball and the receivers helped the offense cash in on those turnovers.
“On offense I think the offensive line gets overlooked a lot, because a lot of different stunts were sent at them,” he said. “I was also really impressed with some of the wide receiver blocking down the field. I like Coach Donovan’s quote, ‘Preston Hitterdahl was a BEAST at blocking down field!’ Easton Knoll and Cade Spreiter were also great on offense.”
Meanwhile, he thought the defense was in sync and played with effort.
“Defensively, I’d say the whole unit’s performance was awesome. The guys were all on the “same page” contributing to the success of the team,” he said. “Just a great all around effort by the guys. I’m proud of them.”
The KoMets will go on the road to face Winona Senior High on Friday, Sept. 20.