Despite warm, sunny weather, the Ponoka Junior Broncs didn’t have the warmest welcome at their match against Stettler, going down 64-0 to the Cougars.
The Saturday, Sept. 19 match pitted the larger, more practiced Cougars against the slender, newer Junior Broncs squad. The Broncs, now in their third year of existence, doesn’t benefit from a Peewee level of football, like the Stettler Cougars do, and it showed.
Stettler’s defence blocked and flattened any bronc that came within range, and by half-time, the score stood at 56-0.
“This gave us a great opportunity (in the second half) to play our younger players, giving them some valuable playing time and allowing us to evaluate and see where and what we need to focus on,” coach Mark Neitz said.
Players Noah Mckay and Carson Neitz barreled down the field, eating up yard after yard for the Cougars, while the defensive line suppressed Ponoka’s attempt to gain yards.
Mckay, Brett Mercier and Carson Neitz each scored touch downs in the first quarter, with Mckay running 30 yards, Mercier 14 and Neitz 62.
In the second quarter, Mercier again scored a touchdown with a 45 yard interception. Steel Nichols also added to the Cougars’ score with his second-quarter 41-yard reception and run for touchdown. Delaney Anderson ran 14 yards for another second-quarter touchdown, and Mckay, with just one second left in the second quarter, finished a 34-yard dash for another touchdown.
The only points in the second half of the game came courtesy of a seven-yard touchdown by Curtis Myshaniuk, in the third quarter.
“It was nice to see our passing game coming into form, with receptions and points put on the board by multiple receivers,” coach Neitz added. “We are still far from where we want to be on both sides of the ball, but we are progressing and gaining confidence every week.”
The Cougars travel to Lacombe this Saturday, Sept. 26 to play at 1 p.m., most likely the toughest opponent the team will face this season.