Bucks fall to Ponder in final home game
Christmas came early for the Ponder Lions Friday night in Buckaroo Stadium as six gift-wrapped turnovers contributed to a 13-0 demise for the Breckenridge Buckaroos in District 4-3A play. A win would have given the Buckaroos a chance to compete for the district title but, as it turned out, Breckenridge will have to wait and see its fate following district action in the final week.
The Buckaroos suffered six turnovers in the loss—five fumbles and one interception—and just simply could not mount anything offensively against the Ponder defense, who stifled the Buckaroo offense to the tune of 58 yards of total offense. “Well, we just didn’t perform,” said Breckenridge head football coach Casey Hubble. “We didn’t block well and we turned the ball over too much.
Overall, it was just a bad performance as a team. We let one get away from us that shouldn’t have but that’s just the way it is.”
Ponder worked its game plan to keep the ground churning Buckaroo offense in check by stacking eight men on the line of scrimmage. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Franco was sacked seven times and hurried five times, which helped contribute to the Buckaroos netting zero yards passing in the game. Junior running back Lonnie Hinson led the Buckaroo rushing attack with 46 yards on 12 carries. Senior back Brady Tennison had 21 yards on five carries.
The Buckaroo defense kept the Lions caged for the majority of the game but were unable to keep Ponder at bay completely. Working the use of the play clock to perfection, the Lions shortened the game, sometimes running their schemes with just second left on the play clock. But, the Buckaroos rose to the occasion several times in the game but simply could not overcome offensive turnovers.
“Defensively, there were a lot of good things but we couldn’t hold them without points; and there were a lot of things that contributed to us not being able to do that,” Hubble said. “We made a few mistakes defensively that allowed them to pick up first downs and keep the ball. That really hurt us.”
Breckenridge had a chance to get back into the game in the final period but the fifth turnover of the game proved to be the most costly, as it left the Buckaroos with a minimal chance of coming out on top. Taking over at their own 35-yard line, the Buckaroo offense mounted its only significant drive of the night. Tennison rolled off nine yards on a pair of runs and Franco broke loose for a five-yard gain.
Then, Hinson scooted 34 yards on a run and then had an extra 15 yards tacked on for a Ponder facemask penalty. Breckenridge had first-and-goal after Ponder was flagged for a personal foul penalty but turned the ball over on a botched center/quarterback exchange at the Lions’ one-yard line.
The Buckaroos had one last gasp at trying to get into the end zone after Hinson intercepted a Lions pass. But, it would go for naught, as the Buckaroos allowed a sack and then tossed an interception to seal the win for the Lions.
The opening score of the game from the Lions came in the first quarter after the Buckaroos fumbled the ball away on their second offensive play of the game. The Lions took over at the Buckaroo 44-yard line and scored in 10 plays, chewing up almost five minutes off the clock.
Ponder running back Jonathan Aguilar, who finished with 66 yard on 18 carries, capped off the drive when he scored from 8 yards out. The Lions’ second score of the game came in the third period after another time-consuming drive.
Ponder took over as the 50-yard line following a Buckaroo punt and went on an 11-play, 8:05 minute drive. Ponder ran 10 consecutive running plays and then managed to sneak in a pass to end the drive when quarterback Shane Scott connected with Chase Harris for a nine-yard score.
Breckenridge (4-5, 3-1) will travel to Brock (9-0, 4-0) on Friday, Nov. 4, to face the Class 3A Division I defending-champion Eagles, who defeated Bowie 45-0 Friday. Ponder (6-3, 3-1) will face Bowie (4-5, 2-2) and Boyd (0-9, 0-4) will square off with Paradise (3-6, 0-4). As far as the playoffs are concerned, the Buckaroos, along with Brock, Bowie and Ponder will be the playoff teams for District 4-3A. However, which order has yet to be determined.