As they prepare for the last fixture of the regular season, Ponoka’s senior Broncs have had a further boost to their confidence by playing a tough defensive game against league leading Trojans of Camrose on Thursday, Oct. 2, losing 21-0, but matching the prowess of the opponents for the most part of the game.
Visiting Camrose offense tried to make an impressive start to the game but they were held off by a tight defensive formation of the Broncs and it was not until the last few minutes of the first quarter that the visiting Trojans could get on the scoreboard, but when they did, they did it in quick succession, scoring two touchdowns and converting after both, before switching sides on the field for the second quarter:14-0.
The second quarter was played entirely between the 30-yard lines of the two sides of the field, with the ball effectively locked up in the area and changing hands in turnovers either through fumbles or turnovers on downs. Broncs defense refused to allow the Trojans offense to sneak through by reading their plays early on and tackling their carriers in quick moves. But Trojans did the same for the Ponoka offense and the first half ended without any further score.
The third quarter started with the Broncs possession and for the most part of the first eight minutes of the quarter, it was the Ponoka boys who were trying to drive the ball with the visitors. Trojans could reach the midway through the Broncs’ half of the field only in the last three minutes of the quarter. In one of the rare possessions by Trojans in the third, Zach Key of Broncs tackled the carrier just at the right spot to save a touchdown and then recovered the ball in the ensuing fumble. But the solid defensive effort was not enough to stop the visitors from scoring in the final minute of the third quarter. With the successful conversion, the scoreboard read 21-0 at the start of the last quarter.
There were flashes of brilliance in the last 12 minutes coming from both offensive and defensive teams of the Broncs. In the second minute of the last quarter, Broncs defense recovered the ball from a fumble, but the drive did not end in a score. Then Dallon Perry of Broncs had a 30-yard rush in a punt return, but that drive didn’t bring about a TD, either.
After the game ended without any further score, Broncs head coach Scott MacGregor said if they could play another four quarters against the Trojans, they could have beaten them.
“This is the toughest defense we have seen so far, but as the game went on we got better,” he said. He had words of praise for quarterback Kellyn Pritchard. “He played the best I have ever seen him.”
“We won the turnover battle, we just couldn’t score in the red zone,” he concluded.
Senior Broncs next host Stettler Wildcats on Thursday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
As for Junior Broncs, they lost their away game to Notre Dame of Red Deer 48-8 on Saturday, Oct. 4. They play their last game of the season against Sylvan Lake on the road on Saturday, Oct. 11.