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 ANNVILLE – The beginning of the season has been a bit of a slippery slope for the Annville-Cleona football team. But last night the Little Dutchmen got a little better handle on things.

 On a clear Thursday night at Annville-Cleona High School, the Little Dutchmen overcame some mishandles, missteps and mistakes to beat Octorara 34-7 in the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three opener for both sides. Following an uneven first-half performance, Annville-Cleona tallied 17 unanswered points during the second 24 minutes of play to pull away.

 Behind 24 carries and 113 yards from senior workhorse Trevor Porche, the Little Dutchmen racked up all 312 of their total yards on the ground. On the other side, the Annville-Cleona defense surrendered just 74 total yards to the visiting Braves.

 Annville-Cleona was six days removed from a season-opening 48-16 loss to Milton Hershey, one in which it was guilty of eight turnovers – six of which were committed inside its own 30-yard line. Last night, the Little Dutchmen put the ball on the ground six times, but the difference was they recovered three of them and their defense really rose to the ocassion when called upon.

 Annville-Cleona is now 1-1 in the early going, while Octorara slipped to 0-2.

 “The difference tonight was there wasn’t seven Division One athletes on the field,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Matt Gingrich, referencing the Milton Hershey debacle. “They’re (the Spartans) physical. They attack. Here we could stop them (the Braves).

 “I’m done with fumbles,” continued Gingrich. “I’m done with turnovers. I can live with guys putting helmets on the ball. I can live with forced errors. But we’re committing unforced errors.”

  “When we had turnovers last week, we spiralled down hill,” said Annville-Cleona senior quarterback Jeremy Bours. “Tonight we bounced back.

  “Almost all of it is my fault,” Bours continued. “At the end of the day with turnovers, you’ve got to know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. But you can’t take turnovers. I tell the guys that the turnovers aren’t their fault.”

 The Little Dutchmen were slowed by first-half fumbles, after marching the opening kickoff 64 yards in nine plays to grab a 7-0 lead. Bours plunged i  from a yard away, but it was a key Octorara penalty on a fourth-down-and-short situation which had kept the drive alive.

 Four minutes later, it was Annville-Cleona which capitalized on an Octorara fumble, as it  to upped its lead to 14-0. Bours’ two-yard sneak was set up by an 18-yard Quamir Parker scamper.

  “I loved it. It was awesome,” said Gingrich of his team’s defensive effort. “With the kicker (Mac Plummer) we have, the other team should have to go 80 yards every time they get the ball.

 “I did not have good thoughts all week,” added Gingrch. “I doubted everything we’d done and worked for. To get a win is a big way to start the year.”

  “It’s nice. It’s really nice,” said Bours of the victory. “We didn’t play to our standards. But we got to see what we did wrong, and we can get better.”

  Five minutes before the intermission, the Little Dutchmen pushed their advantage to 17-0 courtesy of a 25-yard field goal by Plummer. But a fumbled punt gave Octorara life, and the Braves cashed in on Mike Trainor’s four-yard scoring run to pull within 17-7 by halftime.

 “I guess we’re not doing it enough,” said Gingrich of practice and the triple-option offense. “These kids have been running this offense since seventh grade. They’re unforced errors. I think sometimes they’re trying to do too much.

 “In the first half, on our first four possessions, we had two touchdowns and two turnovers,” said Bours. “We were moving the ball and it was 17-7. We were shooting ourselves in the foot.”

  Annville-Cleona cleaned it up a little early in the second half.

 First, the Little Dutchmen took advantage of good field position to get the Porche seven-yard TD burst that made it 24-7. Then with 3:15 left in the third quarter, Plummer was good from 28 yards out, at the end of an eight-play A-C possession.

  “Right now, we’re reaping what we sew,” said Gingrich. “We’re not detail-oriented. The junior high team runs the same offense. They (his players) should be able to do this out of habit.”

  “We did decent,” said Bours of his team’s overall performance. “We do the big things right and we do the little things wrong. We had turnovers again.”

 Annville-Cleona closed out the scoring with 7:37 remaining, on a 25-yard sprint to the left pylon by senior Tyler Long.

 In addition to Porche’s outing, Bours contributed 75 rushing yards on 12 keepers.

 “It’s just early,” said Bours. “For the most part, we did OK with turnovers. This year we just haven’t focused on it enough in practice.”












 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.














 2019 Annville-Cleona Football Schedule

Date Opponents Outcomes  
7:00 pm
at Milton Hershey
7:00 pm
at Annville-Cleona
7:00 pm
at Ephrata
7:00 pm
at Northern Lebanon
7:00 pm
at Annville-Cleona
7:00 pm
at Lancaster Catholic
7:00 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
7:00 pm
at Annville-Cleona
7:00 pm
at Elco
7:00 pm
at Annville-Cleona







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