It’s going to be a great week for football in Ponoka as both teams will host a home playoff game.
The Ponoka Secondary Campus Broncs will take on Rocky Mountain House today (Wednesday) with kick-off set for 2:30 p.m. in high school playoff action, while the bantam Broncs face off against Strathmore on Saturday with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
For the bantam club, this is a historic year of firsts — their first ever home playoff game coming on the heels of their first ever regular season win this past Saturday 36-21 over Innisfail.
Head coach Todd Lewis explained this success definitely feels good, especially when it can be done on home turf.
“This was by far, our most complete game we played. We had success and the victory is a symptom of that,” he said.
“Our blocking was much improved, which resulted in our ball carriers having lanes and room to run. Our defence was tenacious and controlled the gaps well and on special teams, we recovered an onside kick. On the bench, the team was loud and never stopped supporting and lifting up everyone.”
While Lewis wanted the focus to be on the entire team, there were a few standout performances in the win.
Josh Rust was outstanding on both sides of the football — making numerous tackles on defence and special teams while adding three touchdown runs. Anthony Buffalo came back this game from an injury in a massive way, scoring a touchdown to go along with his terrific work deflating Innisfail’s running attack up the middle.
Emery Young stood tall and poised in quarterbacking the offensive attack while Rhett Wilson went both ways the entire game, but still was able to add a touchdown and numerous defensive tackles to his statistics.
“We knew to find success against Innisfail, we had to be the hammer rather than the nail. We had to be more aggressive, assertive and eager to make plays,” Lewis stated.
“Being the ‘hammer’ was key to our success. Our offensive line fired out to make first contact rather than waiting to be hit by the defence and our defence filled gaps better than ever before and were able to shed off blocks to make the tackle.”
Another key was not getting down on themselves, especially after giving up a pair of turnovers that led to a pair of Innisfail touchdowns.
“Those touchdowns can kill momentum, but the team stuck to our plan and never wavered. The club’s resilience in the face of adversity and mental toughness will pay dividends in the playoffs,” Lewis added.
Should the bantam Broncs win the C Division semi-final this week, they will host the championship game on Nov. 4.