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Three-headed running attack carrying ACGC to historic season

ACGC has come a long way since the co-op was formed six years ago. The Chargers run power football with their triple-option, and it's paying off.

GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa — "We took on a two-year program that was 1-17 so the expectations weren't high." ACGC head coach Cody Matthewson said.

That didn't stop Matthewson from envisioning what could happen with a little spark at ACGC.

He said, "I looked over and I said in four years we're going to go 9-0."

Well, that was somewhat prophetic. The Chargers are in season four under Matthewson and sit 7-0 overall with one game left in the regular season.

Senior Cayden Jensen said, "there was a doubt in my mind that we weren't going to be where we are."

"Obviously we're here we just, got to take advantage of all of the moments we have,” said Charlie Crawford.

It's been this senior class that has gotten them to this point. There are 15 total, and they’ve been with Matthewson from the start.

"This is the first senior class that I've had through their whole career," Matthewson said.

It doesn’t hurt when the three starting running backs on the team are all seniors and understand the triple option that Matthewson instilled in the offense.

Coach said, "To have those three to do what they do to carry the ball like they do."

Lead back Gavin Cornelison has carried the ball for 1,200 yards and 23 touchdowns. Fellow seniors Charlie Crawford and Cayden Jensen both have more than 500 yards rushing on the season and they’ve each done it with their own style.

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"Gavin is obviously the guy just straight ahead, run people over right up the middle. I mean we can too, but we just don't need to because Gavin is right there for us," Crawford said. "Cayden is the guy that you get in the open field and he's straight ahead and I make the moves."

The success doesn’t happen if not for all three being as dynamic as they are.

"They make some big-time blocks for me. It's not always just me running someone over," Cornelison said. "They're always taking on the first guy then I go off them and they're really helpful."

It will be that three-headed attack that ACGC will continue to ride as they get into postseason play next week. And what was once thought as crazy, is certainly possible, as the Chargers try to run it all the way to the dome.

"Everybody is a good team once playoffs start, it doesn't matter. So, to get home-field advantage in that first-round playoff game is going to be huge,” Matthewson said.

"It's going to take all eleven guys on both sides of the ball to work together and really buy into everything,” echoed Cornelison.

"It would mean everything not just for the football team but for the whole community. All Adair, Casey, and Guthrie,” said Jensen.

HIGHLIGHTS: ACGC 35, I-35 6 (Oct. 1, 2021)