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  • Keith Hjelle

Chargers Win First Football Game---EVER!

When an AC/GC football fan commented Friday night that the Chargers’ 15-12 win over Des Moines Christian was the first win for the combined Adair-Casey and Guthrie Center football program, it didn’t seem to make sense. Because the transition to whole grade sharing has gone so smoothly, and because both schools had solid football traditions, it didn’t seem possible that last night’s victory was the first win under the AC/GC banner. And yet, that is exactly what it was! After the Chargers and their faithful suffered through a winless season in 2016, last night’s victory was greeted by cheering loud and long as the gun sounded ending the game on the DMC field in Urbandale. A stout Charger defense kept the Lion offense in check throughout the game, and bookend touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters for AC/GC proved to be enough to enable the Chargers to even the season record at 1-1, heading into district play next Friday. Coach Mark McDermott was[ upbeat after the game and said, “The whole coaching staff is really happy with the players’ efforts and attitudes as they carried this losing streaks on their backs. Now that it’s gone, we are excited for what the future will bring.” After a lost fumble on its first possession of the game, the Chargers struck pay dirt later in the first quarter on a nine play drive that covered seventy four yards, with Bryce Littler hitting Caden Wardyn with a 19 yard touchdown pass with 5:51 remaining in the quarter. Will Byars added the PAT for a 7-0 AC/GC lead. Penalties and turnovers plagued the Chargers throughout the rest of the first half, as the offense sputtered and the leg of Lion kicker, Ben Webster, accounted for three field goals in the second quarter, giving DMC a 9-7 halftime lead. Webster’s first field goal covered 50 yards, while his last one of 45 yards left most fans scratching their heads. With only seconds remaining in the half, the Chargers punted to the Lions whose punt returner called for a fair catch, only to be interfered with by an AC/GC player. The fifteen yard penalty placed the ball on the Charger 35 yard line. With time running out, DMC elected to use a seldom seen free kick option which enabled Webster to nail his third field goal of the second quarter and give the Lions its halftime lead. After the halftime break, Webster successfully kicked his fourth field goal of the game to give the Lions a 12-7 lead. Miscues continued to plague the Charger offense after halftime, including a lost fumble on a third quarter drive that covered fifty yards. On its final possession of the third quarter AC/GC put together a 60 yard drive on eight plays that proved to be the winning score of the game. Highlighted by a 36 yard pass play from Littler to Wardyn, the Chargers punched the ball into the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter with Ben Kingery scoring on a 5 yard run. A two point conversion attempt failed, and the Chargers led 13-12 with 11:54 remaining in the game. Both teams struggled in the fourth quarter to get much offensive momentum, with the Charger defense pinning the Lions deep in their own territory. A bad snap from center went out of the Lion end zone, giving the local gridiron gang two points for a safety and a 15-12 lead. On DMC’s final possession of the game a booming punt was downed on the Chargers’ two yard line. With Webster waiting in the wings for a shot at his fifth field goal to tie the game, the Chargers were able to get one first down and and run four more plays to run out the clock and secure the win. The cheering began, the drought had ended, and ACGC had officially won its first game--ever! The Chargers open district play on Friday, September 8 when they travel to Missouri Valley for a 7 PM kickoff. BOX SCORE ACGC 7 0 0 8--15 DMC 0 9 3 0--12 Rushing: Logan Brinks, 25 attempts-62 yards; Ben Kingery, 16-101; Bryce Littler 5-10; Caden Wardyn, 1-12 Passing: Bryce Littler, 13 attempts-6 completions-124 yards-1TD-1 interception Receiving: Will Byars, 1 reception-37 yards; Caden Wardyn, 5-87-1TD Punts: Logan Brincks, 3 for 42.7 yd. average Kickoffs: Nate Schiller, 3 for 49.7 yd. average Punt Returns: Caden Wardyn, 3 for 11 yd. average Kickoff Returns: Owen Hansen, 1 for 4 yds.; Caden Wardyn, 3 for 26 yd. average Tackles: Cole Boyer, 5.5; Logan Brincks 7; Owen Hansen, 2; Kolby Jacobe 2; Ben Kingery, 8; Gabe Rowley, 3.5; Dylan Soper, .5; Collin Stowe, 1.4; Caden Wardyn, 2.5; Avery Wheatley, 3; Quynton Younker, 1.5


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