- Keith Hjelle
Disappointment, But Also Improvement By Chargers, Fall at Tri-Center, 14-6
Disappointment, discouragement, encouragement and improvement are all -ment words. Certainly Charger fans experienced some disappointment last night following a 14-6 loss to Tri-Center in a game played in Persia (really!). The Chargers were in it until the end, with a first down in Trojan territory at the 43 yard line. But a sack of quarterback Bryce Littler and a fumble recovered by Tr-Center with 1:06 remaining in the game ended the ACGC threat.
So, there was disappointment. To come so close can't help but provoke some disappointment. But when one considers the fact that last year the Trojans demolished the Chargers 41-0 (that's two consecutive games in Persia! ), there is some encouragement in there somewhere, because there was a lot of improvement in there too. How much improvement will be revealed as the season goes on. But last night the defense especially played what was probably its best game of the season.
Right from the get go the defense seemed to look better, coming up with two Trojan turnovers in the first quarter. The kick off team recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff when Lucas Marsh pounced on a ball shaken loose by a hard hit on the return. But the Charges were unable to capitalize. After Ben Kingery picked up four yards on first down, the Trojan defense came up with an interception on their own one yard line.
After the interception Tri-Center lost little time in scoring, as on third down Trojan quarterback Bryson Freeburg connected on an 84 yard pass with Trevor Nelson to put the Trojans on the board with 8:58 to go in quarter number one.
The Charger defense came up with another fumble late in the quarter on the TC 38 yard line, but failed to pick up a first down, and had to punt the ball away. A third Trojan fumble was recovered by Kingery on the TC 42 yard line. ACGC picked up one first down, but turned the ball over on downs on the TC 25 yard line.
The Trojans tested the Charger pass defense on its next possession, and the defense did not do well on the test, giving up four consecutive completions covering 75 yards that ended with a 27 yard touchdown pass from Freeburg to Trevor Carlson at the 6:12 mark of the second stanza. ACGC again moved the ball into Trojan territory to the 35 yard line on a nine play drive, but again turned the ball over on downs. The half ended with the Trojans leading, 14-0.
The first three Charger possessions after halftime yielded little yardage, but the defense held TC in check. ACGC's fourth possession of the quarter was a one play 57 yard touchdown run by freshman Charlie Crawford to put the Chargers on the board. A failed two point conversion left the score at 14-6. TC responded with a drive that started on their 43 yard line and ended at the ACGC 14 yard line where the Charger defense held.
The final quarter saw the teams exchange possessions six times with no scoring. The Chargers did manage to advance to the Trojan 43 yard line with a first and ten with about two minutes remaining, but the sack of Littler and the lost fumble ended any threat by the Chargers to pull out the victory.
So, back to those -ment words to close this off. Disappointment--yes; discouragement--no; encouragement--yes, especially on defense (need to clean up pass defense); improvement--absolutely! Go Chargers!
The team has a tall task ahead of it next Friday when Van Meter comes to town. The Bulldogs are the reigning state champion, undefeated at 4-0 this fall, and ranked number one in the state. Still, Go Chargers! Statistics were unavailable at the time this was posted and will be added when available.
Score by quarters
ACGC 0 0 6 0-6
Tri-C 7 7 0 0-14
Passing: Bryce Littler: 2 attempts for 0 yards and 1 interception; Hunter Pauley: (1-0-0)
Rushing: Charlie Crawford: 9 attempts for 73 yards and one TD; Ben Kingery: (27-77-0);
Bryce Littler: (3- -4, 0); Hunter Pauley: (1-1-0); Gabe Rowley: (12-41-0)
Tackles: Easton Benson: (1 solo, 1 assist); Gage Buttler: (4-1); Charlie Crawford: (3-3); Flavio Gonzalez: (1-0); Spencer Grove: (2-2): Ben Kingery: (3-6); Bryce Littler: (0-2); Lucas Marsh: (2-7);
Gabe Rowley: (6-6); Trevin Suhr: (1-0); Mike Ure: (1-0); Avery Wheatley: (2-1); Quynton Younker: (1-1)