READING — Instead of tucking everything in and opting for a really, really conservative approach, Matt Gingrich instructed his football-playing Annville-Cleona Little Dutchmen to take some early gambles.

And when neither roll of the proverbial dice panned out, A-C soon found itself looking up at a fairly sizable deficit.

One that continued to grow and grow and grow.

Able to cash in the first seven times it had the ball, No. 2 seed Berks Catholic cruised to a 61-14 victory over Gingrich’s Dutchmen in the quarterfinal round of the District 3-AA playoffs Friday night at frosty Forino Sports Complex.

Isaac Lutz wheeled for three first-half scores — two from scrimmage and one on an electrifying 65-yard punt return — and brawny fullback Marcus Wilson also scored twice as Rick Keeley’s Saints (10-1) rolled to a 48-0 halftime lead.

In fact, Keeley’s powerful club matched the 3-AA record for points scored in a quarterfinal-round scrap established in 2011 by Lancaster Catholic.

Up next for Berks Catholic is a semifinal-round engagement with third-seeded Newport, a 45-8 winner over Boiling Springs, next weekend at Forino.

Adam Fox and Mark Wagner pocketed second-half touchdown runs for Gingrich’s Dutchmen (6-5), who were outgained 398-234. Fullbacks Wagner (9-50) and Will Langan (12-74) shared 124 rushing yards for A-C.

“They’re very efficient in what they do,” Gingrich admitted. “It’s something that we try and model ourselves after — and we’re not there.”

And that’s why Gingrich’s gallant Dutchmen threw caution into the chilly air as soon as Matt Light’s opening onside kick left the tee.

Two plays after Keeley’s Saints recovered at their own 46, Cooper Lutz zipped 49 yards for the first of Berks Catholic’s nine scores.

A-C gambled again on its initial possession — on fourth and short at its own 38 — but the hosts stopped Cameron Hoch and reclaimed the football.

Three plays later, Isaac Lutz ripped off a 25-yard scoring run.

“We’ve got nothing to lose,” Gingrich said. “So, we tried to play as loose as we could. We actually had that onside [kick] set up, the kid backpedaled; we watched it all week. It wasn’t a random guess. Their kids backpedaled a lot, so we saw it and [the ball] took a very nice, friendly bounce. If that ball kicks one more time, who knows?

“Hey, the big thing you take away from it is that’s 58 kids [over there] and 58 kids that look like men. And our kids, we’ve got five that look like that. If there’s anything that can be said — and our boys are great kids and skilled athletes and they’re awesome — they gotta hit the weight room. I think they realized that tonight.”

Wilson’s 7-yard touchdown run and Isaac Lutz’s 65-yard punt return had Keeley’s Saints comfortably up 28-0 at the end of the first quarter. Lutz’s pilfer and 7-yard return immediately preceded the 3-play drive Wilson capped.

Berks Catholic, which lost to top-seeded Wyomissing just last weekend, ran just eight plays from scrimmage in the opening 12 minutes.

“We were looking for the onside kick at the start, they onsides kicked it, we recovered and it gave us a short field and ‘Bang!’ we were off to the races,” Keeley continued. “[Gingrich] gambled on fourth down, another spot he had to win to keep his team in the game and we stopped them again and we had a short [field] again.

“Then it just started to steamroll on them.”

Berks Catholic 61, Annville-Cleona 14

Annville-Cleona-     0    0     7    7—    14

Berks Catholic-      28      20     7    6—    61

First Quarter

BC-Cooper Lutz 49 run (Alex Gunderson kick), 11:17

BC-Isaac Lutz 25 run (Gunderson kick), 8:28

BC-Marcus Wilson 7 run (Gunderson kick), 3:34

BC-I.Lutz 65 punt return (Gunderson kick), 1:47

Second Quarter

BC-I.Lutz 2 run (Gunderson kick), 9:20

BC-Wilson 11 run (kick failed), 3:16

BC-Brandon George 6 run (Dante Fuchs kick), 1:40

Third Quarter

AC-Adam Fox 1 run (Matt Light kick), 6:08

BC-Graham Glueck 34 run (D.J. Katella kick), 1:47

Fourth Quarter

AC-Mark Wagner 3 run (Light kick), 7:36

BC-Joel Matos 65 run (kick failed), 5:01

 ._A-C_ BC

First downs_          13     _       18

Rushes-Yards_     46-159     _       36-366

Passing_                4-11-1     _       3-5-0

Passing Yards_     75      _       32

Total Yards_          234      _       398

Punts_                   3-36.0      _       1-11.0

Fumbles-Lost_      3-2      _       0-0

Penalties-Yards_  3-22      _       2-20

Rushing —  Annville-Cleona-Will Langan 12-74, Mark Wagner 9-50, Cameron Hoch 7-16, Adam Fox 9-10, Caleb Barnhart 3-9, Michael Sowers 2-7, Alec Barr 1-4, Dylan Bomgardner 1-3, Noah Myers 1-(minus-5), Team 1-(minus-9). Berks Catholic-Cooper Lutz 5-72, Joel Matos 2-71, Isaac Lutz 4-70, Marcus Wilson 9-66, Graham Glueck 1-34, Marco Ramos 4-19, Terry Derr 1-14, Justin Huntsman 1-14, Tom Molteni 2-4, Angel Arias 2-4, Josh Brown 2-1, Gehrig Vogel 1-0, Team 2-(minus-3)..

Passing — Annville-Cleona-Fox 2-4-0-52, Myers 2-6-1-23, Barr 0-1-0-0. Berks Catholic-Derr 3-4-0-32, Vogel 0-1-0-0.

Receiving — Annville-Cleona-Barr 2-49, Langan 2-26. Berks Catholic-Huntsman 1-18, Brian Tanis 1-9, Wilson 1-5.

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