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Van Meter Halts ACGC Win Streak at Seven, 41-7

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

There's good news and bad news regarding ACGC football. The good news is that the Chargers may get another chance to play Van Meter--this time down the road in the playoffs. The bad news is that the Chargers may get another chance to play Van Meter.

Friday night we all learned why Van Meter is held in such high regard. The Bulldogs are just a doggone good football team. With no disrespect toward the Chargers (after all they are 7-1 heading into the playoffs), Van Meter dominated the line of scrimmage which meant huge holes opened up for running back Dalten Van Pelt to gain 227 yards and score three touchdowns in its 41-7 defeat of the Chargers. On the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs unofficially held Charger fullback Gavin Cornelison to 95 yards rushing, nearly 80 yards below his average.

The game started well for ACGC as Cayden Jensen thrilled the Charger faithful when he returned the opening kickoff for an 89 yard touchdown and the only Charger score of the evening. Charlie Crawford's PAT gave the visitors a 7-0 lead with just fifteen seconds run off the clock.

When ACGC held Van Meter on its first offensive possession, it appeared the Chargers might be able to stay with the Bulldogs. But the Chargers hurt themselves with a lost fumble recovered by VM on the Charger 39 yard line. Four plays later Van Meter quarterback Jack Petit scored on a 13 yard run to even the score at 7-7 after the PAT.

The Chargers began its next possession on its own 35 yard line and were moving the ball until a fumble and a penalty stalled the drive and they were forced to punt. Van Meter then gave the ball back to the Chargers when Crawford intercepted a Pettit pass near midfield. The quarter ended with the Charges in possession just inside Bulldog territory.

ACGC was unable to keep the drive going as the second quarter opened when Jensen was held to two yards on a fourth down and four situation. Van Meter then went to its "bread and butter' guy--Van Pelt. He picked up 56 yards on three carries, ending with a 22 yard touchdown run. The successful PAT made it 14-7 and the Bulldogs were on their way.

When ACGC was later forced to punt, Van Meter took advantage and drove the ball 85 yards on fourteen plays with Carter Durlinger scoring at the 2:31 mark to increase the lead to 21-7.

The Chargers' final possession of the half ended with a VM interception. Van Pelt gained 60 yards on two carries before the half ended.

Three Van Meter scores in the third quarter completed the scoring and iced the win for the Bulldogs. Van Pelt scored on a 53 yard run and a 6 yard run. Sandwiched between those scores was a 10 yard TD pass from Pettit to Ganon Archer. By quarter's end the Bulldog lead had swelled to 41-7, which was the final score. Neither team threatened to score in the final quarter.

The statistics reveal how dominant the Bulldogs were, as they were credited with 413 total yards in offense, including 323 on the ground and 98 through the air. Meanwhile, the Chargers were unofficially limited to 172 yards in total offense, all of which came on the ground.

And so, the "bubble burst" for the Chargers on Friday. The hopes for a district championship were dashed with the convincing win for Van Meter. But all is certainly NOT lost.

"Hats off to Van Meter and their program," Charger coach Cody Matthewson said after the loss.

"We did some real good things, and there are some things that we need to clean up heading into post season. No one likes to lose.

"There's a lot of teams who had their season come to a close on Friday night. We set ourselves up for a home game and we will take what we learned on Friday, improve on it, and start our playoff push."

The Chargers' learned on Saturday morning that they will host the first playoff game with South Hamilton of Jewell as their opponent. The Hawks enter the playoffs with a season record of 4 wins and 4 losses. The Chargers and Hawks have one common opponent in Woodward- Granger. ACGC defeated W-G, 62-6, in early September, while W-G edged SH, 34-30, on September 24th.

"South Hamilton is here for a reason. Don't get caught up in their record or scores. They run a very sound triple option offense. We have to play physical, disciplined offense to keep them out of their rhythm,' Matthewson added.

And maybe down the road we will seen Van Meter . This observer sure hopes so!

Score by quarter:

ACGC 7 0 0 0--7

VM 7 14 20 0--41

ACGC statistics: Passing: Brock Littler (5 passes, no completions)

Rushing: Charlie Crawford (2 carries for 2 yards) Cayden Jensen (14 carries for 66 yards), Brock Littler (5 carries for 9 yards) Gavin Cornelison (22 carries for 172 yards)

Kickoff returns: Charlie Crawford (1 for 1 yard) Anthony Solorzano (2 for 0 yards) Cayden Jensen (1 for 89 yards and 1 touchdown) Jedd Weinkoetz (1 for 0 yards)

Punts: Cayden Jensen (4 for average of 38.5 yards)

Kickoffs: Charlie Crawford (2 for 87 yards)

PAT's: Charlie Crawford (1 attempt, 1 successful)

Tackles: Ben Marsh (7 total, 4 solo) Charlie Crawford (3-3) Miles Kading (1-1) Beid Rumelhart (4.5-3) Austin Kunkle (3-3) Cayden Jensen (5-2) Giffin Ayers (3-2) Gavin Cornelison (6-3) Seth Reno (2.5-1) Blake Newby 3-2) Payton jacobe (3.5-2) Jedd Weinkoetz (.5-0)

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