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IMG_5533BY JEFF FALK

ANNVILLE – Heads or tails? See if you can read both sides of this coin.

On one side, it was a blip in what has been a real feel-good season in Lebanon County scholastic sports this fall. For the other, it was a win it had to have.

Perhaps the side which needed it more was the one which emerged victorious. Or maybe it was just the one that wanted it more.

On a mild Friday night at Annville-Cleona High School, it was the home-standing Little Dutchmen who got what they wanted and needed, as they out-manned surprising Elco 31-19, in a Week Nine, Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Three battle of locals with a lot at stake. After the Raiders struck first, Annville-Cleona tallied 31 of the game’s next 37 points to take firm control of the outcome late in the third quarter.

IMG_5591Doing it on the ground and up front, the Little Dutchmen out gained the Raiders 302 total yards to 241. The Little Dutchmen churned out 269 rushing yards.

Both local clubs entered the fray very much in the mix for District Three playoff berths. Now 6-3 overall and 6-2 in the section, the result cemented Annville-Cleona’s fifth-place standing in the current District Three Class AAA power rankings.

Despite the setback, Elco, now 7-2 on the season and 6-2 in the circuit, still appears to be in line for a playoff berth in Class AAAA. The outcome also dashed any lingering Raider hopes of a Section Three co-title.

“I would consider the Elco guys pretty good friends for people you see five times a year,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Matt Gingrich. “But you have to put that aside. You can bet that they wanted to kick our butts too. It’s competition for a reason. Someone’s got to lose and I’m glad it was them.

IMG_5660“This was a must-win for us,” added Gingrich. “We had to win this game or the season, for all intents and purposes, was going to end next Friday night.”

“I am no less proud of them (his players) now than I have been all year,” said Elco head coach Bob Miller, in a shortened conversation with the media. “I’m glad I have a week left with them.”

Annville-Cleona pieced together two long. time-consuming drives – one before halftime and one after – to build a 21-7 lead. The Little Dutchmen did not complete or attempt a pass on either.

The first was a 13-run, 75-yard march that culminated in Trevor Porche’s six-yard gallop to the promised land, 4:39 before the break. The second – a 13-snap, 69-yard job – came on the Little Dutchmen’s initial possession of the second half and ended with quarterback Junior Bours running into the end zone from four yards away.

“I was happy with our physicality,” said Gingrich. “We came out physical and ready to play. We started out horribly. They (the Raiders) scored, and then our kids played their butts off.

“They (the Raiders) are better up front than they’ve been,” continued Gingrich. “They’re coached very well. Unless you have these amazing athletes, you’re going to win in high school up front.”

“You saw it too,” said Miller, when asked about A-C’s advantage in the trenches.

The Raiders did pull to within eight points of the Little Dutchmen’s lead on the first play of the final quarter, when QB Braden Bohannon plunged a yard to cap an eight-play, 65-yard drive.

But 1:20 later the Little Dutchmen responded with sophomore Mac Plummer’s booming 45-yard field goal – a kick that had the A-C sidelines scanning school history for one similar in length. Caleb Turner’s 11-yard scoring jaunt made it 31-13 Annville-Cleona, with 4:12 left in the third quarter.

“We got Gavin Stout back tonight,” said Gingrich. “That was important for us. We were able to play kids in positions they’re familiar with, and they played fast.

“The big thing we tell the kids is ‘Play the next play,'” Gingrich added. “That (Junior Bours’ 49-yard run) was a big run for us. We’re very proud of these kids and their fight.”

IMG_5619The Bours’ run that Gingrich eluded to was the Little Dutchmen’s first touchdown of the evening. It came 3:47 into the game and 58 seconds after Bohannon had rumbled 39 yards to give Elco a 7-0 lead.

“Elco is a thousand times better than they were in junior high,” said Gingrich. “Elco is a thousand times better than they were last year.

“They’ve (the Raiders) really progressed from last year,” Gingrich continued. “Look at a year’s growth and I think they’re more than a year better. They’ve gotten exponentially better. They play together, and that magnifies their ability.”

Bours carried 20 times for 105 yards on the ground. Bohannon called his own number 23 times and gained 94 rushing yards.

“We still have a lot to give,” said Gingrich. “There’s areas we work on, and we still haven’t clicked yet. If you play like that (physical) in (class) AAA, you’ve got a chance to go far. Hopefully we get healthy. We have not had our (whole) team from one Friday night to the next Friday night. It’s just things.

IMG_5620“The last two weeks have been really difficult,” concluded Gingrich. “That Donegal game (last week’s 35-14 loss), from Friday to Saturday, was the worst 24 hours of my life. It feels like sometimes we can’t get out of our own way. I’d love to get to the playoffs and win a playoff game. That’s something no one’s been able to do here in 51 years.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_5651 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

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IMG_55852018 Elco Football Results

Date Opponents Outcomes
8/24
7:00 pm
Susquenita
at Elco
0
20
9/01
6:00 pm
Lebanon
at Elco
6
7
9/07
7:00 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
0
48
9/14
7:00 pm
Elco
at Octorara
21
14
9/21
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
14
19
9/28
7:00 pm
Elco
at Ephrata
21
18
10/05
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco
33
39
10/12
7:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
0
34
10/19
7:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
10/26
7:00 pm
Elco
at Columbia
IMG_5538
 IMG_55932018 Annville-Cleona Football Results
Date Opponents Outcomes
8/24
7:00 pm
Milton Hershey
at Annville-Cleona
39
13
8/30
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Octorara
39
30
9/07
7:00 pm
Ephrata
at Annville-Cleona
35
41
9/14
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
13
62
9/21
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Columbia
56
8
9/28
7:00 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
23
14
10/05
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
54
18
10/12
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Donegal
14
35
10/19
7:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
10/26
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon
IMG_5626
IMG_5624Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Three Standings
League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT PS PA
Lancaster Catholic 8 0 100.00 9 0 100.00 327 82
Elco 6 2 75.00 7 2 77.78 180 164
Annville-Cleona 6 2 75.00 6 3 66.67 324 220
Lebanon 5 3 62.50 5 4 55.56 245 184
Donegal 5 3 62.50 5 4 55.56 281 203
Ephrata 4 4 50.00 4 5 44.44 256 250
Columbia 3 5 37.50 3 6 33.33 159 292
Octorara 2 6 25.00 2 7 22.22 137 217
Northern Lebanon 1 7 12.50 1 8 11.11 126 367
Pequea Valley 0 8 0.00 0 9 0.00 75 329
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 IMG_5585PIAA District Three
 Class AAAA Power Rankings
AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Bishop McDevitt 7- 1- 0  0.725058  0.902299  0.508431  7.9  39.2  0.9  37.9
2 Milton Hershey 7- 1- 0  0.691431  0.873494  0.468909  7.3  37.0  1.1  41.9
3 Susquehanna Township 6- 2- 0  0.691285  0.785714  0.575871  6.6  46.3  1.8  34.1
4 Berks Catholic School 5- 1- 0  0.681051  0.877049  0.441498  5.4  28.3  0.8  35.8
5 Conrad Weiser 6- 2- 0  0.673331  0.793103  0.526942  6.9  42.1  1.8  37.8
6 Eastern Lebanon County 7- 1- 0  0.664671  0.873494  0.409444  7.3  31.7  1.1  45.7
7 West Perry 7- 1- 0  0.663877  0.898810  0.376738  7.6  29.8  0.9  49.3
8 Gettysburg Area 6- 2- 0  0.626254  0.780488  0.437746  6.4  33.4  1.8  42.9
9 Lampeter Strasburg 4- 4- 0  0.573626  0.582278  0.563052  4.6  44.7  3.3  34.7
10 Donegal 5- 3- 0  0.571729  0.651316  0.474457  5.0  37.2  2.7  41.2
11 York Suburban 4- 4- 0  0.514881  0.511905  0.518519  4.3  39.2  4.1  36.4
12 West York Area 3- 5- 0  0.506040  0.409091  0.624533  3.2  50.2  4.6  30.2
13 Big Spring 3- 5- 0  0.455544  0.398649  0.525084  3.0  39.3  4.5  35.5
14 East Pennsboro Area 3- 5- 0  0.417792  0.364286  0.483188  2.6  38.8  4.5  41.5
15 Greencastle Antrim 2- 6- 0  0.414265  0.257143  0.606304  1.8  49.1  5.2  31.9
16 Kennard Dale 3- 5- 0  0.408522  0.385135  0.437107  2.9  34.8  4.6  44.8
17 Susquehannock 2- 6- 0  0.396553  0.256410  0.567839  2.0  45.2  5.8  34.4
18 Hamburg Area 3- 5- 0  0.393026  0.339506  0.458440  2.8  35.9  5.4  42.4
19 Boiling Springs 2- 6- 0  0.373433  0.237500  0.539573  1.9  43.0  6.1  36.7
20 Octorara Area 2- 6- 0  0.348700  0.227848  0.496408  1.8  34.6  6.1  35.1
21 Eastern York 2- 6- 0  0.347559  0.240000  0.479021  1.8  34.3  5.7  37.3
22 Fleetwood 1- 7- 0  0.326688  0.147436  0.545775  1.2  38.8  6.7  32.3
IMG_5616
IMG_5622 PIAA District Three
 Class AAA Power Rankings
AAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Lancaster Catholic 8- 0- 0  0.720349  1.000000  0.378553  8.1  29.3  0.0  48.1
2 Middletown Area 7- 1- 0  0.698160  0.879747  0.476220  7.0  38.1  1.0  41.9
3 Wyomissing 7- 1- 0  0.652962  0.882716  0.372152  7.2  29.4  1.0  49.6
4 Littlestown 6- 2- 0  0.578586  0.732558  0.390398  6.3  30.9  2.3  48.3
5 Annville Cleona 5- 3- 0  0.565545  0.621795  0.496795  4.9  38.8  3.0  39.3
6 Bermudian Springs 5- 3- 0  0.556249  0.620482  0.477743  5.2  38.1  3.2  41.7
7 Schuylkill Valley 4- 4- 0  0.465842  0.506173  0.416548  4.1  29.2  4.0  40.9
8 Susquenita 3- 5- 0  0.392647  0.314815  0.487775  2.6  39.9  5.6  41.9
9 Biglerville 2- 6- 0  0.353799  0.238095  0.495214  2.0  38.8  6.4  39.6
10 James Buchanan 1- 2- 0  0.338561  0.362319  0.309524  1.3  9.8  2.2  21.8
11 Hanover 2- 6- 0  0.336629  0.246914  0.446281  2.0  35.1  6.1  43.6
12 Northern Lebanon 1- 7- 0  0.287045  0.113333  0.499360  0.9  39.0  6.7  39.1
13 Kutztown Area 0- 8- 0  0.242818  0.000000  0.539595  0.0  29.3  8.2  25.0
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