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Chargers Head to Quarterfinals With 34-13 Win at Lake City

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

"And maybe down the road we will see Van Meter. This observer sure hopes so." With those words this observer concluded a story on Van Meter's gridiron win over ACGC three week ago. Well, guess what? That wish has come true! With ACGC's 24-13 win over South Central Calhoun last night, the Chargers have advanced to the quarterfinal round of the class 1A football playoffs. And waiting in the wings in the juggernaut known as the Van Meter Bulldogs. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Chargers turned in a solid performance in its 34-13 second round win over South Central Calhoun at Lake City last night.

A college friend who coached football in Wisconsin once told me that his goal for each game was to never punt and never pass. He would have enjoyed ACGC's performance last night, as the Chargers did neither--no punts and no passes. A recipe for certain success.

ACGC scored on its very first possession last night on a nine play, sixty four yard drive. The big play on the drive was Cayden Jensen's thirty yard run to the Titans' 23 yard line. Jensen's two additional carries put the ball inside the ten yard line yard where Gavin Cornelison finished the drive with a a five yard pickup and a one yard plunge for the touchdown. Although the PAT was unsuccessful, the Chargers had a 6-0 lead that held until the end of the quarter.

When the Titans were forced to punt on their first possession, the Chargers began a second touchdown drive that featured each Charger back--Charlie Crawford, Brock Littler, Jensen, and Cornelison--carrying the ball. Cornelison did the honors as he tallied the touchdown with 11:15 showing on the clock. Crawford's PAT made the score 13-0.

The Titans' Blake McAlister returned the ensuing kickoff into Charger territory to the 45 yard line where SCC began to move the ball and reached the ten yard line. The ACGC defense stiffened and held on a fourth down play at the six yard line and took over the ball on downs.

A ninety four yard Charger drive that took seven minutes off the clock followed with all of the ACGC backs getting touches en route to pay dirt. Cornelison concluded the drive with a one yard run, Crawford added the PAT, and the Chargers went into halftime with a 20-0 lead.

SCC looked like a different team in the second half, as it started the third quarter with a seventy five yard drive for its initial score. Two pass plays and two long gainers by McAlister highlighted the drive, with McAlister scoring on a two yard run. The PAT made the score 20-7.

No to be outdone, the Chargers returned the favor with a fifty five yard drive set up by Jensen's thirty yard kickoff return. The drive ended with Crawford's sixteen yard scamper to the end zone, with his PAT giving the visitors a 27-7 lead.

The Titans took to the air following the kickoff with two successful passes that led to a one yard TD run by Gavan Batta to close the Charger lead to 27-13. Once again the Chargers responded, with Jensen's fifty yard kickoff return setting up the final score of the night.

Jensen's return to the Titan thirty yard line was followed by four rushes by Cornelison that ended with a one yard run with 11:19 remaining in the game. Crawford's PAT closed out the scoring at 34-13.

Each team had one more possession that resulted in positive net gains, but no additional points for either team. For the night--no punts and no passes for ACGC. My college friend would approve.

The Chargers gained 348 yards rushing, with Cornelison accounting for 181 and Jensen having 77. Cornelison also led the defense with 10.5 tackles, while Crawford accounted for 8 and Ben Marsh 7.5.

"What a fun night on Friday," Charger coach Cody Matthewson said of the victory. "We played a very well executed game in all the phases. We played a very physical game and got out to a fast start. I am so proud of our kids and the way they battled all night. They have earned this and they have crated something special. What a great time to be a Charger in the fall."

The Chargers move on to the quarterfinal round to face Van Meter, a 40-0 winner over Woodward-Granger on Friday. The game will be played at Van Meter on Friday, November 5 with kickoff scheduled for 7 PM.

Score by quarter:

ACGC 6 14 7 7--34

SCC 0 0 13 0--13

Chargers statistics: Passing: No passes attempted

Rushing: Charlie Crawford (5 carries for 48 yards and 1 touchdown) Reid Rumelhart (3-24-0) Cayden Jensen (10-77-0) Brock Littler (3-18-0) Gavin Cornelison (35-181-4)

Kickoff returns: Cayden Jensen (3 for 90 yards)

Kickoffs: Charlie Crawford (5 for 199 yards)

PAT's: Charlie Crawford (5 attempts, 4 successful)

Tackles: Ben Marsh (7.5 total, 5 solo) Charlie Crawford (8-6) Miles kading (1.5-1) Reid Rumelhart (5.5-4) Austin Kunkle (5-3) Anthony Solorzano (1-0) Tegan Salybaugh (1.5-1) Cayden Jensen

(6.5-4) Brock Littler (1.5-1) Griffin Ayers (.5-0) Gavin Cornelison (10.5-7) Seth Reno (2.5-1) Blake Newby (1.5-1) Dallas Jacobe (1.5-0) Hayden Tunink (1-0) Payton Jacobe (2-1) Jedd Weinkoetz (.5-0)

Fumble recoveries: Payton Jacobe (1 for 0 yards returned)

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