- Keith Hjelle
No More Crying Wolf! Chargers Go to 4-0 With 52-20 Win Over Tri-Center
Some of you may be thinking that this writer keeps crying wolf when there is none. You may recall Aesop's fable of the boy who cried wolf. According to the fable, a shepherd boy had the task of watching over the village's sheep at night. The nights were long and the boy was bored and lonely, so one night he decided to have some fun. He ran toward the village shouting "Wolf! Wolf!" Since the flock was an important source of income for the villagers, the entire population came running to fend off the wolf. To the boy, however, it was just a joke and he rolled on the ground in laughter. Since he had so much fun with his prank, a few nights later he did the same thing--cried "Wolf! Wolf!"--and again the villagers came running to help. And once again the boy thought it was humorous to see the villagers' scurrying to lend a hand. However, when a real wolf showed up a few nights later and the boy cried "Wolf!", no one came running to help and the wolf killed several sheep. The moral of the story is that liars will not be believed, even when telling the truth.
After each of the first three ACGC football wins, this observer has likened the Charger early season wins to a mystery to be solved, with the mystery being "How good is this Charger team?" After each dominant win, although admitting that the Chargers are respectable, it seemed that it was too early to say that this is a very good Charger team. After each win, it was pointed out that the next game would solve the mystery because the next opponent was a tough team to beat. It may have seemed that this writer was crying "Wolf"--sending out a warning of imminent danger when there was none. And you, as a reader, may have concluded that this writer had cried "Wolf!" once too often and had lost his credibility.
After its season opening win over IKM-Manning, warning was given about Woodward Academy, then Nodaway Valley, and most recently about Tri-Center. And yet the Chargers have rolled over all of those opponents, including last night's 52-20 rout of a respectable Tri-Center team. So, is this Charger team for real?
If a perfect non-district record of 4-0 is an indication of how good this team is, then the mystery has been solved--ACGC has a pretty darn good football team. But it isn't only the big wins that indicate that ACGC is for real. The stats also bear witness to the notion. ACGC has the third best rushing attack in class 1A, averaging over 400 yards before going over 500 yards in last night's contest! Its defense has risen to the occasion each week in its lopsided wins. So, yes its time to say hats off to our Chargers--this is a team that is for real. No more wolf crying!
The Chargers wasted no time in declaring who's boss last night when Kolby Jacobe took a handoff on the third play from scrimmage and scampered sixty nine yards for a Charger touchdown. A second Charger score came just three minutes later after the Trojans coughed up the football on the ACGC 31 yard line and Jacobe recovered the fumble. The Chargers than put together a seven play TD drive with Gunnar Larsen carrying the ball into the end zone on a 29 yard run at the 7:35 mark of the first quarter. ACGC added a third first quarter score when the Charger defense held Tri-Center on downs and took over the ball on its own forty seven yard line. ACGC then chewed up some clock on a ten play, fifty three yard drive that ended with Gavin Cornelison hitting pay dirt on a two yard run. A successful two point conversion game the Chargers a 22-0 lead with just over a minute left in the quarter.
When Tri Center was forced to punt early in quarter number two, the Chargers drove seventy five yards, with Larsen's forty yard run accounting for over half the yardage. Cornelison capped off the drive with a six yard TD run with 5:49 remaining until halftime.
Tri Center got on the board when it opened up its game with the pass, completing three passes on a seventy five yard drive including a 29 yard touchdown pass from Bryson Freeberg to Gaven Heim with 3:41 to go.
ACGC completed the first half scoring on the next series when Charlie Crawford returned the kickoff 77 yards to the Trojan six yard line. Two plays later Cornelison scored form the five to give the Chargers a 34-6 halftime lead.
Tri Center is a respectable, well coached team, and it was not going to rollover and die. The Trojans took the second half kickoff and drove 81 yards in a drive that took nearly half of the third quarter and closed the gap to 34-13. A long Charger drive of over eighty yards stalled at the Trojan five yard line and Tri-Center got the ball back. A stout Charger defense forced a safety when Gage Buttler tackled the Trojan runner in the end zone to make the score 36-13.
The Trojan kickoff (following the safety) landed in the hands of Cayden Jensen who raced 75 yards for a Charger TD. Cornelison added a two point conversion and ACGC now led by a 44-13 margin.
The final twelve minutes saw both teams score a touchdown. After the teams exchanged possessions to start the quarter, the Chargers' Jacobe raced for a 47 yard touchdown halfway through the quarter, with Crawford adding a two point conversion to make the scored 52-13.
Following a 50 yard Trojan kickoff return, Tri Center completed three consecutive passes ending in a 12 yard touchdown. The PAT gave us the final score of 52-20. The teams exchanged possessions one final time to end the game. Another big win for the Chargers!
Three Chargers ran for over one hundred yards last night--Larsen had 127; Cornelison 150, and Jacobe 206! Jacobe's efforts enabled him to break the single game ACGC rushing record. The team rushed for 524 yards--a season high and also an ACGC school record! The Charger line dominated play throughout the night, enabling the running backs to turn is some glittering statistics.
Charger coach Cody Matthewsen had good things to say about his team's performance. "We played pretty well overall," the second year mentor said. "We scored in all three phases of the game--offensive rushing touchdowns, a defensive safety, and a kick return for a touchdown. Our special teams were better tonight, specifically our kickoff return. I'm proud of where we are right now, but we still have work to do."
And now district play begins, and it is a strong district this year. Five of the six district teams are 4-0 on the season. The first Charger opponent is Van Meter--ranked third in class 1A--having outscored its four opponents 155-18. No need to cry wolf--they really are wolves! The game is at Van Meter with game time scheduled for 7 PM. Go Chargers!
Score by quarter:
Tri-Center 0 6 7 7--20
ACGC 22 12 10 8--52
Passing: Bryce Littler: 2 pass attempts, 0 completions
Rushing: Gavin Cornelison: 29 attempts for 150 yards and 3 touchdowns; Charlie
Crawford: (2-6-0); Kolby Jacobe: (12-206-2); Gunnar Larsen: (8-127-1); Bryce Littler:
Tackles: Griffen Ayers: 0 solo, 1 assists; Gage Buttler: (2-40; Gavin Cornelison: (0-9);
Charlie Crawford: (2-1); Seth Danker: (3-1); Kolby Jacobe: (2-5); Cayden Jensen: (6-1);
Brock Littler: (1-1); Bryce Littler: (3-4); Sam Madsen: (1-4); Lucas Marsh: (1-2); Christian Nolte: (1-3); Reid Rumelhart: (1-0); Nolan Wheatley: (1-4); Quynton Younker: (3-6); Preston Zimmerline: (0-1)
Fumble recoveries: Gavin Cornelison and Kolby Jacobe, 1 each
Kickoffs: Charlie Crawford, 8 for average of 39 yards
Kick off returns: Charlie Crawford, 2 for 45 yard average; Cayden Jensen, 1 for 75 yards and 1 touchdown
Punt returns: Charlie Crawford, 1 for 0 yards