Ponoka’s senior Broncs celebrate a win in this file photo. (Photo by Deanna French)

Ponoka’s senior Broncs celebrate a win in this file photo. (Photo by Deanna French)

Ponoka football teams win season openers in shutouts

Both the Ponoka bantam and senior broncs football teams won their season openers in shutout matches earlier this month.

The senior Broncs played a nine-man football game in Wetaskiwin on the Sept. 10, and won 6-0.

“It’s always exciting to score your first touchdown of the season to get things rolling,” said senior head coach Cody Baird.

“It is always exciting to be in a close game with other teams and the players were able to show their ‘Bronc Pride’ as we finished the game with our first win.”

The senior Broncs were able to score our first touchdown, but were unsuccessful on the point after attempt.

“The first game of the year is always nerve racking as you go in as prepared as you can, but look to set the tone for what kind of a season you are going to have,” said Baird.

The seniors moved from 12-man to nine-man football due to lower player numbers this year.

“It was challenging to prepare and make the adjustments the week before the game,” he said.

“Our players were able to show where our talents are, what our strengths as a team are and also direct where our work needs to be put in.”

The senior Broncs as head to Sylvan lake on Sept. 23 for their second regular season game.

“Sylvan will be one of our toughest opponents that we will face this season, but we have been working hard to improve on the areas where we struggled in Wetaskiwin,” said Baird.

“Ponoka has never been able to beat Sylvan Lake, and both teams should be fresh and ready to compete as we both are coming off of bye weeks.”

The Bantam Broncs took to the field on Sept. 11 at home against Stettler, defeating the visiting team 14-0.

“The bantam offence came out with a solid and consistent drive down field,” said bantam head coach Todd Lewis.

No. 14 Curtez Giroux used his speed and athleticism to get outside on Stettler and scored the Broncs’ first touchdown of the season.

“(Our) offence was able to move the ball well throughout the game, but missed out on a few more scoring opportunities due to miscues and missed blocking assignments,” said Lewis.

“That being said, these are reasonable mistakes to make in the first game.”

In the second half, Graham and Giroux pounded the ball down field consistently. QB and team captain eventually ran the game’s last TD in himself.

Lewis says the Broncs’ defence battled all game long.

“They gave up only a handful of first downs and prevented Stettler from entering the Broncs half of the field all game.”

They demonstrated excellent defensive fundamentals, containing outside runs, tracking receivers, and managed to intercept three passes. They gang tackled and stripped the ball, recovering four fumbles.

Westin Potts recovered three fumbles and had a few tackles.

Giroux was “a beast” on defence as well, tacking up at least ten tackles, says Lewis.

In his football debut, Carter Buller pulled in an interception and made several key tackles.

“This might have been the most tenacious defensive play we’ve seen in a Bantam Bronc opening game,” he said.

“Overall, it was an excellent home and season opener.”