It was a classic example of the "Irresitible Force" meeting the "Immovable Object", except this time the "Irrestible Force" was able to move the Object. This is in reference, of course, to the final play in Friday night's 14-8 ACGC win in overtime over Nodaway Valley. After the game ended at 8-8 in regulation play, the game went into overtime, with each team being given four downs to score from the ten yard line.
After the Chargers held NV on four downs, they got their own chance to score. On second down and seven to go, workhorse Ben Kingery was given the ball for the twenty sixth time in the game, and the Force and the Object both went into action. Nodaway (the Object) pushed with all eleven players trying to stop the Charger surge (the Force). Kingery himself was being pushed toward the goal line by his fellow backfield mates. Although it only lasted about three seconds, it seemed like time stood still until the referee raise his arms signaling TOUCHDOWN! The Force had indeed overcome the Object, and in the process ACGC snapped a ten game losing streak going back to the third game of last season.
Charger fans erupted in exuberant joy, including this writer whose excitement frightened a baby who was in the same area. The student body left the stands and headed to the team's exit area to congratulate their schoolmates. It felt good for all of us to know the sweet taste of victory once again. But it didn't come easy. The gridiron boys were in a battle with the Wolverines from beginning to end.
After each team's first possession of the game ended for naught, the Chargers began a thirteen play drive midway through the first quarter from their own thirty yard line. With the one-two punch of Kingery and Gabe Rowley carrying the ball seven and six times respectively on the drive, Kingery carried the ball on the last three plays of the drive, scoring on a one yard plunge. Rowley rushed for the two point conversion to give the Chargers an 8-0 lead at the 11:40 mark of the second stabza.
Not to be outdone, the Wolverines then put together an impressive drive of their own with quarterback Tyler Vanderwater doing most of the damage. The junior completed three passes totaling sixty two yards and ran the ball for eighteen yards on four carries, including a ten yard TD run with 6:42 remaining before the halftime break. A two point conversion knotted the score at 8-8. Neither team was able to generate any offense for the remainder of the half, as the final six and a half minutes were played between ACGC's 10 and 30 yard line.
The third quarter looked much like the second, as neither team was able to sustain a drive, with nearly all of the quarter played on the Charger half of the field. There was some excitement when Easton Benson intercepted a long pass by Vanderwater to end a Wolverine threat.
(Comment: The Wolverines seemed to change their passing strategy in the second half, which played into the Chargers' hands. In the first half NV frequently lined up three receivers to one side and Vanderwater threw short passes to open receivers who then ran for long gains. That was the strategy used by the Wolverines to successfully drive the ball downfield on their way to the tying touchdown in the second quarter. But in the second half, Vanderwater's passes were longer throws, two of which were intercepted by the Chargers, with Benson and Avery Wheatley each snaring one. The different strategy worked to the Chargers' advantage.)
Things didn't change much in the fourth quarter as neither team put together a drive that exceeded twenty five yards. The Chargers had the final possession of regulation and moved the ball from their own 35 yard line to the NV 42 when time expired, setting the stage for the dramatic overtime win by the Chargers.
The victory improves the Chargers' record to 1-2 on season with a road trip to Tri Center next Friday. This will be the final non-district game of the season, as district play begins on September 21.
NV 0 8 0 0 0-8
ACGC 0 8 0 0 6-14
Passing: Bryce Littler: 5 attempts, 1 completion-11 yards
Receiving: Lucas marsh, 1 reception-11 yards
Rushing: Charlie Crawford: 2 attempts, 2 yards; Ben Kingery: 26-127; Bryce Littler, 5-9: Gabe Rowley, 17-47.
Tackles: Easton Benson, 1 solo, 1 assist; Gage Buttler, 0-2; Will Byers, 2-0; Charlie Crawford, 1-0;
Spencer Grove, 1-1; Kolby Jacobe, 2-0; Cayden Jensen, 1-0; Ben Kingery, 5-2; Gunnar Larsen, 0-1; Bryce Litter, 0-2; Sam Madsen, 0-1; Lucas march, 4-2; Gabe Rowley, 2-2; Mike Ure, 1-1; Avery Wheatley, 2-4; Quynton Younker, 3-2.
Interceptions: Easton Benson, 1 for 0 yards returned; Avery Wheatley, 1-16
Punting: Will Byers, 1 punt for 6 yard average; Kolby Jacobe, 4-28.5; Mike Ure, 1-35.0
Punt Returns: Charle Crawford, 1 for 4 yards
Kickoff Returns: Charlie Crawford, 2 for 18.5 yard average