• Keith Hjelle

Charger Gridders Topple Wildcats, 26-8; At Panorama Next

Let's see now. Van Meter beat West Central Valley by three touchdowns last week, 35-14. And ACGC beat WCV by three touchdowns tonight, 26-8. So, does that mean that Van Meter and ACGC are about evenly matched and that the Chargers should be ranked second statewide, right behind top ranked Van Meter? Well, that might be a bit of a stretch, given that Van Meter beat the Chargers 63-6 two weeks ago. But this sure is fun, isn't it? Two wins in a row, and rival Panorama next up. It's only two consecutive wins, but Friday night lights has been fun the last two weeks! Go Chargers!

The scouting report on West Central Valley was that they had a big, strong quarterback, and a good receiver who could make things happen. Whoever wrote that report looked like a genius, because in WCV's first possession QB Carson Wadle threw a long pass into the outstretched hands of receiver Cole Arnburg for a 75 yard touchdown reception with 8:44 remaining in the first quarter. A successful two point conversion put the Wildcats up 8-0.

Maybe that was a wake up call for the local boys. It sure looked like it, as the Chargers did not allow the Wildcats into their end zone again, while putting up three scores of their own in the first half. ACGC's first score came on a safety when a bad snap from center for WCV resulted in a safety for the Chargers, with Lucas Marsh tackling the Wildcat ball carrier in his own end zone.

WCV 8, ACGC 2.

On its next possession the Chargers quickly drove down the field on two long rushing gains-- one an 18 yard gain by Gabe Rowley and the other a 29 yard run by Ben Kingery. With a second and goal inside the five yard line, Kingery plowed his way into the end zone to tie the score at 8-8. Although the two point conversion attempt failed, the momentum had clearly shifted to the Chargers.

After holding the Wildcats to a three and out to open the second stanza, the Chargers initiated a twelve play, 65 yard drive. With five different Chargers--Rowley, Kingery, Freshman Gavin Cornelison, Spencer Grove and quarterback Bryce Littler-- carrying the ball on the drive, it was Littler who went in from the 2 yard line to give ACGC a 14-8 lead.

The final Charger scoring of the half came late when Littler took it in from the five yard line with :18.5 left on the clock. Littler's score completed a drive that started on the Wildcat 38 yard line after WCV fumbled the ball on a fourth down play. ACGC went into the halftime break with a 20-8 lead.

The third quarter was scoreless, with most of it played inside the Wildcat 45 yard line. The weather played a factor in the second half, as the ball was damp and there were several fumbles for each team. The only score in the fourth quarter came at the end of a six play, 52 yard Charger drive when Cornelison scampered 23 yards for a touchdown to give ACGC a 26-8 lead that stood up for the remainder of the game.

Coach Matthewseon credited the seniors on the team when he said, "I am very happy for our seniors who are able to say they won their last game at home as a Charger. That is something that can never be taken away."

Two general observations about the game from this wirter: 1) The Charger defense played well, limiting the success of the QB to receiver combination, and not allowing WCV inside the Charger 38 yard line the entire second half 2) ACGC was by far the better disciplined team. WCV had numerous encroachment and motion penalties, while the Chargers had few.

So, now ACGC goes to Panorama next week. The Panthers lost to Van Meter tonight, 36-6. Should be an even match. Let's have some fun again under those Friday night lights! Go Chargers!

Score by Quarters:

WCV 8 0 0 0-8

ACGC 8 12 0 8-28

Charger Statistics:

Passing: Bryce Littler, 4 attempts, 0 completions

Rushing: Gavin Cornelison, 22 attempts, 138 yards; Spencer Grove, 3-10; Ben Kingery, 14-78: Bryce Littler, 12-39; Gabe Rowley, 11-57

Scoring: Gavin Cornelison, 1 touchdown; Ben Kingery, 1 touchdown; Bryce Littler, 2 touchdowns

Tackles: Easton Benson, 1 solo, 3 assists; Gage Buttler, 0-3; Gavin Cornelison, 0-5; Charlie Crawford, 2-3; Spencer Grove, 0-3; Kolby Jacobe, 1-0; Cayden Jensen, 0-2; Ben Kingery, 1-6; Gunnar larsen, 0-1; Bryce Littler, 0-6; Sam madsen, 0-1; Lucas marsh, 1-2; Gabe Rowley, 0-5; ReidRumelhart, 0-1; Dylan Soper, 1-0; Mike Ure, 0-1; Avery Wheatley, 0-3; Quynton Younker, 2-3

Interceptions: Bryce Littler, 1 returned for 4 yds; Avery Wheatley, 1-12

Fumble recoveries: Spencer Grove, 1

Kickoffs: Quynton Younker, 5 for average of 37.8

Punting: Mike Ure, 3 for 31.3 yd. average

Kick off returns: Will Byars, 1 for 17 yds; Charlie Crawford, 2 for 19.5 yd. average

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