After trouncing Elco in Week 1, Annville-Cleona recognized Hamburg would assuredly not be a pushover opponent in Week 2. Facing adversity after failing to score in the opening half, the Dutchmen pulled away late in part to some huge plays to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Annville-Cleona scored 30 second half points to topple the Eagles, who fell to 1-1 on the year. Senior quarterback Adam Fox ran for two touchdown scores while connecting on a 41-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Cameron Hoch. Fox finished the night with 198 total yards, with 140 of them coming on the ground.
Fox has been running the Dutchmen offense for two years now and is becoming proficient in A-C's option focused game plan.
"He's starting to grasp the system," first-year head coach Matt Gingrich said. "He really understands what's going on."
Hamburg and Annville-Cleona exchanged touchdowns three times over just the span 36 seconds in the third quarter. Eagles running back Ignacio Reynoso returned Matt Light's kickoff following Fox's TD pass to knot the game at 14.
However, Fox pushed right back on the first play from scrimmage after Hamburg's response, breaking through the left side of the Eagles' defense for an electric 74-yard touchdown scamper against a weary opponent. His run was the climatic point for A-C and a reply from the Eagles was glaringly absent.
"We went into halftime, got a good talking to and just came out and executed," Fox said. "Execution is all you need."
A-C's defensive line was assertive in the second half, tossing Hamburg quarterback Nicholas Kuhn on the ground multiple times. The Dutchmen limited the Eagles to just 167 yards of total offense throughout the game and their special teams' squad contributed a safety by blocking a punt in the end zone early in the fourth quarter to catapult A-C to a 23-14 lead with 8:03 remaining in regulation.
"Our defensive coordinator is as good as it gets," Gingrich said. "We had everything planned for the whole week. To be quite honest with you, in the first half, our kids were not doing what they were coached to do. At halftime, we did a great job of keeping them together and adjusting."
The 2-0 start by the Dutchmen is important, but Gingrich considers Northern Lebanon currently the class of the Section. Getting past the Vikings head-to-head later this season could result in an extremely successful year for Annville-Cleona in their first year with their new head coach following Terry Lehman's retirement.
"There is no one who should be called the favorite besides Northern Lebanon," Gingrich explained. "They are the clear-cut favorite. Our goal is to give them a good game by the time we play them."
Annville-Cleona challenges Schuylkill Valley next Friday at home as they look to climb to 3-0 to begin the campaign.
Annville-Cleona 30, Hamburg 14
H- Nicholas Kuhn 16 yard run (Aaron Nelson kick)
AC- Will Langan 37 yard run (Matt Light kick)
AC- Adam Fox 41 yard pass to Cameron Hoch (Light kick)
H- Ignacio Reynoso 90 yard kickoff return (Nelson kick)
AC- Fox 74 yard run (Light kick)
AC- Safety on blocked punt
AC- Adam Fox nine yard run (Light kick)
ACHFirst downs1211Rushes-yards41-31036-133Passing4-9-13-10-0Passing yards5834Total yards368167Punts4-25.06-30.6Fumbles-lost3-11-1Penalties-yards4-253-11
Rushing — AC- Hoch 11-63, Langan 10-82, Fox 15-140, Barr 2-10, Bomgardner 3-15;
Passing — L: AC- Fox 4-9-1, 58 yards;
Receiving — AC- Barr 3-17, Hoch 1-41;