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ANNVILLE - They found themselves atop Section 3, coming off wild games against teams like Trinity and Camp Hill, and this week were riding high from a goal-line stand to upset their inter-county rival in a game they weren’t expected to win.

But despite all that, the Annville-Cleona Dutchmen felt like they’ve been disrespected.

The only way to prove their worth? Keep winning against viable opponents. And that was on the table once again against a team in Lancaster Catholic making its eagerly anticipated return to a section it so dominated in previous years. They also happen to be the section favorites.

Again, the Dutchmen proved their worth, and now are beginning to assert themselves as the team to beat in Section 3.

After jumping out jumping out to a three-touchdown lead, Annville-Cleona was able to hold off Lancaster Catholic 36-21 Friday at Annville-Cleona Stadium.

“It’s neat because I said in the beginning of the year, ‘The goal’s not how we start. It’s how we finish.’ We have 20 seniors but only eight played football. So we have a young group, and it was neat to see them battle adversity,” Dutchmen coach Matt Gingrich said. “The first three games we didn’t tackle a soul. But now we’re hitting and it looks like what Annville football used to be. It’s neat to see them step up.”

It was also a big night for Cameron Hoch, who finished with 88 yards rushing and a touchdown on eight attempts, along with three receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown – all earning him the beloved 2016 Steve Johnson Memorial Homecoming MVP Award.

“It means the best. I’ve been dreaming about this since sophomore year. Everyone’s pushed me over the years,” Hoch said. “And to do it this to a team like that, where they always doubt Annville and I don’t understand why. We keep coming out and punching them in the face every time. We’re coming for the section title.”

The stunning Dutchmen run started right on the opening kickoff, as Hoch took it to his own 39. It didn’t take long for A-C to turn it into points as Noah Myers hit Hoch on a swing pass for 44 yards to the house, making it 7-0 just a minute and a half into the game.

Then on the Crusaders’ first play from scrimmage, Bryan Downey was picked off the first of three times, first by the Dutchmen’s Cameron Chappel, setting up A-C at the Crusaders 35.

Just a few plays later, Myers plowed in on a quarterback sneak to quickly make it 14-0 A-C with 8:01 left in the opening quarter.

Hoch followed with a 52-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 Dutchmen with 3:25 left in the first.

“It’s option football. If you run it fast and run it right, you’re really playing 11-on-nine. It was nice to get a lead to start because we haven’t had that this year,” Gingrich said.

The Crusaders responded with 14 unanswered points.

Sweigert put Catholic on the board on the first play of the second, taking it in from a yard out to make it 21-7 Dutchmen. That was set up by a key fourth-and-10 conversion from a Downey pass to Ryan Shoesmith.

Then the Crusaders took advantage of a Dutchmen fumble and Downey hit Andrew Miklos for a 15-yard connection to make it 21-14.

A-C answered right back, however, as Dylan Bomgardner took it to the house from 42 yards out. Bomgardner also took in the two-point conversion, giving the Dutchmen breathing room again at the half, 29-14.

A-C took advantage with the second rushing touchdown of the night from Bomgardner, this time from 6 yards out, making it 36-14 Dutchmen with 1:01 left in the third.

Catholic cut the lead to 36-21 with just under 10 minutes to go on a 7-yard hookup from Downey to Jordan Scott.

Contrary to a three-turnover night from the Crusaders, the Dutchmen finished with 11 penalties and two turnovers on the night, something Gingrich says still needs to be cleaned up going forward.

“I’ll be interested to take a look at those. I was happy, though, with our turnover ratio because we’ve been struggling with that and we’re starting to turn the corner,” Gingrich said. “It wasn’t perfect, but they battled. That’s all we can ask for."

Annville-Cleona 36, Lancaster Catholic 21

Lanc. Catholic  _ 0 _ 14 _ 0 _ 7 _ — _ 21

Annville-Cleona  _ 21 _ 8_ 7 _ 0 _ — _ 36

First Quarter

AC  — Cameron Hoch 44 pass from Noah Myers (Anthony Frattarole kick), 10:30

AC - Myers 1 run (Frattarole kick), 8:01

AC - Hoch 52 run (Frattarole kick), 3:25

Second Quarter

LC — Christian Sweigert 1 run (Connor Engle kick), 11:56

LC - Andrew Miklos 15 pass from Downey (Engle kick), 7:14

AC - Bomgardner 42 run (Bomgardner run), 6:05

Third Quarter

AC — Bomgardner 6 run (Frattarole kick), 1:01

Fourth Quarter

LC — Jordan Scott 7 pass from Downey (Engle kick), 9:48

Team Statistics

_ LC _ A-C

First downs _ 14 _ 11

Rushes-yards _ 33-186 _ 45-366

Passing _ 10-23-3 _ 3-4-0

Passing yards _ 97 _ 59

Total yards _ 283 _ 425

Punts _ 5-157 _ 4-112

Fumbles-lost _ 0-0 _ 4-2

Penalties-yards _ 3-30 _ 11-87

Individual Statistics

Rushing — LC: Christian Sweigert 19-169, TD; Bryan Downey 14-17. AC: Noah Myers 21-105, TD; Cameron Hoch 8-88, TD; Caleb Turner 2-11; Dominic MacMillan 2-7; Dylan Bomgardner 7-65, TD; Victor Hoffer 3-23; Griffin Hertz 2-8.

Passing — LC: Downey 10-23-3 for 97 yards, 2 TD. AC: Myers 3-4-0 for 59 yards.

Receiving — Jordan Scott 4-33, TD; Sweigert 1-7; Andrew Miklos 2-19, TD; Ryan Shoesmith 2-31; Andrew Kichner 2-7. AC: Hoch 3-59, TD.

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