It was exactly the start they had hoped would happen.
The Ponoka Secondary Campus Broncs football team surprised everyone but themselves in earning a victory to open the season, holding on to beat the West Central Raiders in Rocky Mountain House last Friday 22-13.
It initially looked like the Broncs would be held on their first drive of the game until Clayton Raugust hauled in a pass and scampered 75 yards for the major just minutes into the game. That was followed up a few minutes later in the opening quarter by Lewis McDowell scoring Ponoka’s second touchdown. The Broncs held a 15-0 after the first by adding a single point when a punt went through the end zone.
The home side would punch in a major of their own, plus the convert, in the final minute of the second quarter, giving them some momentum that didn’t carry through to the second half.
That’s because Raugust would notch his second TD of the game early in the third quarter on another long pass and run play.
A later fourth quarter rally by the Raiders got them another touchdown, but the two-point convert failed and in spite of being hampered by a couple of injuries the Broncs were able to hang on defensively for the win.
Head coach Cody Baird stated the quick start was a big reason for the victory and its certainly helped motivate the team for the future.
“It was awesome and the win has really kept the players’ spirits high,” he said at practice Monday.
“The game was also a good measure for us, showed us what we need to work on and where the player shined. The boys really worked hard and showed just how much they wanted it.”
Baird added the players that were knocked out of the game are back at practice after having the weekend to heal up.
The Broncs are in Stettler tomorrow (Thursday) for what Baird knows will be a tough test. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The bantam Broncs football team has some growing pains ahead.
The team played the Stettler Cougars Sept. 8 at home in their first game of the season securing eight points but eventually losing 34-8. The Cougars played a strong offensive game that took the Broncs back some.
“They’re perennially usually pretty strong,” said coach Todd Lewis.
A strong program, with equally strong players made catching up a challenge for the young Broncs. The biggest difficulty for Ponoka was finding a way to adjust its defense to an aggressive Stettler lineup. Adjustments were made but it wasn’t enough to gain more ground and points.
Ponoka’s Jared Rice secured their only touchdown of the game but Lewis gave credit to quarterback Dylan Giles for completing close to 10 passes during the game. Players know the game, says Lewis, they just need some minor adjustments in play execution.
With more practices in the works he hopes to do just that. Interest is up too and Lewis says he has more players on the roster than some other teams in the league. “All we need to do is keep the ball rolling from season to season.”
The bantam Broncs next game is Sept. 17 at home starting at 12 p.m.