This week's L-L Football Preview Show, as Matt Catrillo and Pat Huggins break down Trinity at Palmyra, A-C at Pequea Valley, and Cedar Crest at Elizabethtown Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
KINZERS - If football is a game of adjustments, then Annville-Cleona quarterback Noah Myers was the biggest beneficiary of those adjustments.
Capitalizing on an opposing defense bent on stopping the run, Myers threw five touchdown passes on just five passing attempts as the Little Dutchmen posted a 55-13 victory over an injured and undermanned Braves’ squad Friday night at Pequea Valley High School.
The win, coupled with Lancaster Catholic’s 21-14 win over Donegal, leaves Annville-Cleona (6-3, 4-1 league) in a three-way tie for first place in Section Three heading into next week’s season finale at home versus Donegal.
“I’m just looking forward to five more days playing as fast and as fun as we can,” said Annville coach Matt Gingrich. “But I’d love to win a section championship. I’ve played here, I’ve never won one. I’ve coached here, never won one. They’re elusive so we better win one when we have a chance.”
Scoring chances, meanwhile, came early and often for Myers and the Little Dutchmen offense.
Myers threw a 76-yard touchdown on a swing pass to Cameron Hoch on Annville’s first series. Then with the score knotted, 6-6, the junior signal-caller threw for four more scores and ran for another as the Little Dutchmen took a 41-6 lead into halftime.
“We usually run the ball 90 percent of the time, so that 10 percent, I’m pretty pumped to do it,” Myers said, deflecting credit to his teammates. “When the opportunities show I got to deliver the mail, as (Gingrich) would say.”
First came a 49-yarder to Hoch. Then a 54-yarder to Griffin Hertz. Following Myers’ two-yard plunge, making the score 28-6, he threw a flanker pass to Brandon Uhrich for a 15-yard score and a finished off the half with a 40-yarder to Hertz down the sideline.
In all, Myers finished five-of-five for 234 yards and those five touchdowns. He also had 34 yards rushing on seven carries.
“That doesn’t happen, you know?” Gingrich said. “We like to run the ball, we don’t like to pass the ball. But … we always say when it’s open we’re going to do it.”
Credit to Pequea Valley for forcing Myers’ hand, however. The Braves (4-5, 1-4) loaded up the box to stop Annville’s primary movers on the ground, including Hoch and Caleb Turner throughout the half. Annville’s Dylan Bombgardner did have a 77-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter.
“They’re just a solid team; you have to sell out to stop the run and when you do you leave yourself open for plays down the field,” Braves’ coach Mike Choi said.
Choi’s squad was also relegated to running a make-shift Wing-T offense as Pequea Valley was down to its fourth-string quarterback. The Braves didn’t look too shabby early on, with Grant Gaynor completing a pair of long passes, including an 83-yarder to Anthony Davido to tie the score in the opening quarter.
And for the game, Braves’ backs Jeru Gray and Connor Horst combined for 127 yards on the ground on 31 carries.
“They ran a Wing-T style; looked like Donegal,” Gingrich said. “It’s funny because they lined up in that and we’re like well, I guess we’ll see this next week.”
Indeed, the Little Dutchmen will - but this time, there will be a Section Three title hanging in the balance.
Annville-Cleona 55, Pequea Valley 13
Annville-Cleona _ 14 _ 27 _ 14 _ 0 _ — _ 55
Pequea Valley _ 6 _ 0 _ 0 _ 7 _ — _ 13
AC — C.Hoch 76 pass from N. Myers (pass failed), 7:16
PV — A.Davido 83 pass from G.Gaynor (kick failed), 4:30
AC — Hoch 49 pass from Myers (Myers rush), 3:12
AC — G.Hertz 54 pass from Myers (A.Frattarole kick), 10:28
AC — Myers 2 run (Frattarole kick), 7:25
AC — B.Uhrich 15 pass from Myers (kick failed), 2:56
AC — Hertz 40 pass from Myers (Frattarole kick), 0:36
AC — D.Bomgardner 77 rush (Frattarole kick), 10:40
AC — D.Speraw 5 run (Frattarole kick), 1:31
PV — R.Smith 5 pass from Gaynor (G.Elmer kick), 5:18
_ A-C _ PV
First downs _ 13 _ 10
Rushes-yards _ 33-221 _ 37-126
Passing _ 5-6-0 _ 6-10-0
Passing yards _ 234 _ 142
Total yards _ 455 _ 268
Punts _ 1-29.0 _ 4-18.5
Fumbles-lost _ 2-0 _ 2-1
Penalties-yards _ 4-35 _ 6-40
Rushing — AC, Hoch 6-26, Myers 7-34, D.Macmillan 2-20, C.Turner 5-29, M.Erickson 2-1, Bomgardner 1-77, M.Sowers 7-23, Speraw 1-5, H.Funck 2-6. PV, J.Gray 19-60, C.Horst 12-67, Gaynor 4-(-8), Smith 2-7.
Passing — AC, Myers 5-5-0-234. PV, Gaynor 6-10-0-142.
Receiving — AC, Hoch 2-125, Hertz 2-94, Uhrich 1-15. PV, Davido 1-83, Horst 2-42, Smith 3-17.