Dallon Perry

Dallon Perry

Broncs start strong but can’t secure a win against the Sabres

“It’s about way more than just scoring points, it’s about building character and I’m very proud of our program.” Coach Scott MacGregor

The final game of the season for the Ponoka Broncs senior football team had a promising start against the Wetaskiwin Sabres last week, but things don’t always go as planned.

The Broncs played their last game in Wetaskiwin Thursday, Oct. 23 with a large crowd of football fans from both towns cheering on their teams.

Offensive and defensive lines appeared ready for the match against the Sabres; players blocked at the right times and Broncs’ quarterback Kellyn Pritchard completed several passes, which created trouble for the Sabres.

“I just tried to hit the open receivers…my favourite target was probably 87 (Ashton Sandin). He’s usually open and he’s a really easy target to hit,” Kellyn Pritchard said after the game.

“Everyone gave it their heart,” he added.

The Broncs appeared ready for anything and took every chance they could to score. They were the first to put points on the scoreboard with a field goal in the first quarter.

That, coupled with two forced turnovers in the Broncs’ favour put Ponoka in a 15-13 lead at the end of the first half. The Broncs appeared to have found momentum in their passing game as well as in their offensive and the defensive line.

To counteract that, the Sabres made some line changes and used fast runners to convert plays into first downs during the second half. Ponoka was unable to adapt to changes made by the Sabres’ offensive line, explained head coach Scott MacGregor.

“They actually switched quarterbacks and they used that big number 17 like a two-back instead,” he explained.

He does feel the Broncs dominated ball possession percentage but they couldn’t make enough touchdowns to win.

“It was there for us to take,” stated MacGregor.

He feels the players were able to keep their cool through most of the game and praised their efforts. He said team captains did a good job of rallying the team. “They really had a lot of passion for the game…they’ve always played like that.”

Despite the winless season, the team also gained some life-lessons.

“It’s about way more than just scoring points, it’s about building character and I’m very proud of our program,” he added.

The five captains speak on their season

“We may lose but it’s about family. We always stick together,” said co-captain Dallon Perry.

He said they learned some valuable lessons over the season that he feels will benefit the team next year. “We put in new defense and offense (plays) this year.”

Everyone was looking for a win, said co-captain Cameron Kirstein, who made several big plays for the Broncs, including catching a long pass with three Sabres clambering to prevent the catch. “I needed to make the plays for the team you know. I wanted to win this. We tried hard.”

Ashton Soosay is another captain who suggests that despite a no-win season, the Broncs were able to improve greatly with each game. “We really had to come together as a team and all do our jobs. It’s not a one-man sport.”

For co-captain Casey Cohoe, winning was paramount and players tried to keep that momentum in the second half.

Co-captain Calvin Turner said there were some slip-ups in the second half that hurt the team. “We had a hell of a push there. There was a couple missed blocks but we just pushed them back for the entire time.”

MacGregor says he looks forward to next season and seeing what his Grade 10 and 11 players will bring to the team.