In front of a sprawling homecoming crowd the hosting Dutchmen played physical and fast. Annville-Cleona scored touchdowns on all five drives in the first half, dominating Pequea Valley for an easy 42-6 win.

“The kids did do well under the circumstances – it’s homecoming, that is a giant distraction, so just coming out with a win is a great day,” said A-C head coach Matt Gingrich.

Read More: At Annville-Cleona High School, it’s ‘Keeping Up with the Gingrichs’

Starting from their own 27-yard line, Annville-Cleona on its opening drive pounded the ball with running back Cael Harter. The Braves tried to mix up their defense to try and stop the A-C running attack, but it was no use. Harter would rumble 10 yards for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.

Cael Harter watches the A-C defense during the Dutchmen’s rout of Pequea Valley on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. Harter scored four touchdowns in the first half to lead the Dutchmen to victory. (Troy Martin)

“It’s a combination our line does do a great job being physical and it allows (Harter) different things,” said Gingrich. “The neat part for me is that he’s worked his butt off.”

The Braves would find success moving the ball through the air on their opening drive, marching down into A-C territory.

“They ran a couple of different plays in the first quarter that we haven’t seen,” said Gingrich. “I think I have 700 plays and they never ran any of those plays.”

Faced with a 4th and 10 at the A-C 35-yard line, the Dutchmen defense would hold the line, forcing an incomplete pass by Braves quarterback Anthony Stoltzfus.

“Our linebackers did a good job adjusting so that was nice,” said Gingrich. “The kids did a good job playing physical on defense.”

A-C would waste little time as they moved the ball 65 yards culminating in Harter’s second touchdown run, this time from 5 yards out, pushing the score to 14-0 with 8:30 left in the second quarter.

The Braves would get little going on their second drive resulting in a punt back to the Dutchmen.

The Annville-Cleona offensive line would open up big holes for Harter as he would go 16 yards for his third touchdown of the contest.

A-C would dominate both lines of scrimmage. Gingrich said that he challenged his team this season, and in practice this week specifically, to play hard.

“Toughness would be our calling card,” said Gingrich.

After another Braves punt, A-C would air it out as quarterback Cameron Connelly would toss a 14-yard touchdown to Jonathan Shay for a 27-0 lead.

Despite good field position, Pequea Valley could not crack the A-C wall of defense. At 1:04 left in the first half, Dutchmen defensive lineman Damien Miller recovered a Braves fumble.

Starting at the Pequea Valley 44-yard line, Annville-Cleona raced down the field as Harter ran for 42 yards. Next play, Harter scored on a 2-yard run for his fourth touchdown of the half. Harter would run for 212 yards on 19 carries.

Annville would take a commanding 35-0 lead into halftime.

The clock would run due to the mercy rule to start the second half. Gingrich admitted unhappily that his team looked less polished in the third quarter.

“It always seems like we struggle with success in the third quarter,” said Gingrich, noting that securing the ball ended up being a challenge in the start of the second half.

A/C would lose two fumbles on punt returns and a fumble on a running play in the quarter. Turnovers did not hurt the Dutchmen tonight, but Gingrich said his team must play better when they face Schuylkill Valley and Northern Lebanon in the next two weeks. Next week the focus will be on cleaning up the turnovers and blocking, said Gingrich, but he’s giving his team an extra day to celebrate.

“Every day our goal is to win, so they can enjoy tonight,” said Gingrich. “Normally tomorrow morning we start over again, but they do have homecoming so tomorrow enjoy your time.”

Annville improves to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the section. On Friday they will host Schuylkill Valley for a game that may decide the section title.

Annville-Cleona Dutchmen

Read all our coverage of the Dutchmen here.


Head Coach: Matt Gingrich

Assistant Coaches: Joe Heckard, Greg Keener, Joe Shay, Jon Bopp, Drew Speraw, Cody Dodson, Jonathan Lum, Mike Miller

Jersey NumberNameGradePosition
1Miles Riehl11WR/DB
2Cash Watson12WR/DB
3Carson Grow12WR/DB
4Cael Harter12RB/DB
6Noah Riehl10WR/DB
7Wyatt Mase10QB/DB
8Liam Pulaski12WR/DB
9Gavin Martens10WR/DB
10Jonas Cupak11WR/DB
11Bryce Keller11RB/DB
13Ryan Barrientos11RB/LB
14Jonathan Moran10RB/LB
16Cameron Connelly12QB/DB
17Kaeli Pennington11WR/DB
19Yamaliel Navarro9RB/DB
21Mina Elzek12K
22Aidan Blauch11WR/DB
24Hudson Sellers10RB/LB
31Dominic Casciotti11WR/DB
33Luke Wentling10RB/LB
35Jack Getty11WR/DB
36Ivan Kreider11TE/LB
41Jonathon Shay11RB/DL
44Levi Heckard10TE/DL
50Dan Bright-Walck10OL/DL
51Alex Hemperly11OL/LB
52Damien Miller12OL/DL
53Anthony Gardner12OL/DL
54Malacai Victa11OL/DL
55Travis Wilk10OL/DL
59Jordan Nickens10OL/DL
64Armani Santos10OL/DL
68Nathanael Sanchez10OL/DL
70Blake Meyer10OL/DL
72Alec Tetzlaff12OL/DL
75Carter Smith12OL/DL
76Preston Bomgardner11OL/DL
77Jaxon Speece9OL/DL
87Darrian Holloway12TE/LB
89Timothy Montijo12RB/DL
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Troy Martin was born and raised on a dairy farm in Lebanon County. As a young boy, he was drawn to broadcasting. In his teens Troy would get his shot working on radio at WADV, WLBR, and WQIC Radio. After graduating from Millersville University with a broadcasting degree he jumped into television working...


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