The official watches closely as Ponoka’s Nate Sluggett Is just held out of the end zone by the Notre Dame defence in the second quarter on this second down play. Photo by Naomi McKinney

The official watches closely as Ponoka’s Nate Sluggett Is just held out of the end zone by the Notre Dame defence in the second quarter on this second down play. Photo by Naomi McKinney

Bantam Broncs issue wasn’t cold

Huge swing in second quarter one factor in 52-6 loss

Snow, cold and a long delay in starting were some of the factors in the Ponoka bantam Broncs 52-6 semifinal loss to Notre Dame of Red Deer Oct. 26.

Head coach Todd Lewis explained the club’s biggest issue came when Notre Dame was able to exploit one small weak spot.

“Our biggest issue was on defense,” Lewis stated in an email.

“We were unable to consistently fill our gaps and Notre Dame’s running backs took full advantage of that. They would see a lane develop and cut into it and most of their big plays came from this mistake.”

That little opportunity enabled Notre Dame to jump out to a 14-0 lead partway into the second quarter, but what turned the tide against the Broncs happened just minutes later.

Ponoka’s Alvin Day had a huge kick off return, followed by the offence moving the ball all the way to the Notre Dame one-yard line. Unfortunately, Notre Dame’s defence became a big wall and turned the Broncs aside, forcing a turnover on downs.

And then the worst possible thing took place, Notre Dame ran the ball and it ended up as a 109-yard touchdown run.

The Broncs did get a touchdown late in the game, but for Lewis, he was pleased that the players didn’t quit in spite of the runaway score.

“It definitely was cold and that always makes things more difficult. That being said, weather is fair as it affects both teams equally,” he added.

The club will end its season against Red Deer’s Hunting Hills this Saturday, with Lewis noting, “This is an excellent opportunity to correct mistakes made last weekend and end our season on a high note.”