PONDER — It was senior night for the Ponder Lions on Friday night, but the Boyd Yellowjackets spoiled the celebration with a 33-14 triumph in the District 5-2A Division 1 matchup.
The Yellowjackets (3-5, 3-1 district) took the field first and used a balanced attack to quickly get down the field. Boyd running back Fino Cardona had a 54-yard touchdown run to start off the first possession for the Yellowjackets.
Ponder (2-7, 0-5) gave up big plays in the running and passing game to give Boyd short fields early in the game.
The Lions, hurt by costly penalties early, punted away on their first possession. The Yellowjackets took to the air behind quarterback Clay Barnett, who threw a couple of long balls to receiver Austin Cozby to get deep into Ponder territory. Switching to their running game, Boyd used Cardona once again for a 2-yard run, giving the Yellowjackets a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Ponder seemed to have made adjustments on the following possession. Going to the pass, quarterback Brady Anderson hit Christian Worthington for a 65-yard pass to the Boyd 5-yard line. Then running back Trey Dunlap ran 3 yards in the end zone to give the Lions their first score of the night.
The momentum could not be enjoyed as key penalties by the Ponder defense let Boyd march down the field, and Cardona scored on a 3-yard run. He had three touchdowns and 125 yards rushing in the first half alone.
While the offense struggled the entire second quarter, the Lions’ defense forced a interception and a three-and-out on back-to-back drives to help keep Ponder in the game.
The second half was more of the Cardona show as he was utilized on every possession, helping the Yellowjackets march down the field and score on their first drive. The Lions gave up 235 yards to Boyd, and 190 of those yards belonged to Cardona, who would add another touchdown to give five for the game.
“Well, [Cardona] is a good player; he’s run over people all year,” Ponder head coach Glen Schuelke said. “Penalties hurt us, but they [Yellowjackets] are good.”
Penalties hurt the team as they had nine for 85 yards. Schuelke said it’s probably due to the inexperience on the young team.
Ponder responded late in the game with another interception, but the offense could not convert. They ended up with only 230 yards of total offense. The Lions did score on a 20-yard run by Worthington to end the game.
“We got one left — we have Paradise in two weeks — we need to win, and hopefully it will carry over to next year,” Schuelke said.
Boyd 33, Ponder 14
BY – Cardona 54 run (Thomas kick)
BY – Cardona 2 run (Thomas kick)
PN – Dunlap 3 run (DeLeon kick)
BY – Cardona 3 run (Thomas kick)
BY – Cardona 10 run (2-point attempt failed)
BY – Cardona 13 run (2-point attempt failed)
PN – Worthington 20 run (DeLeon kick)
Rushing – BY: Fino Cardona 25-190, Qualynn Wells 6-12, Clay Barnett 3-33. PN: Trey Dunlap 15-56, Brady Anderson 7-29, Christian Worthington 4-17, Jacob Whited 1-0, J.J. Torres 8-26.
Passing – BY: Chris Barnett 3-6-2 86. PN: Trey Dunlap 0-1-0 0, Brady Anderson 5-12-0 103.
Receiving – BY: Austin Cozby 2-62, Dalton Stidham 1-24. PN: Trey Dunlap 1-1, Christian Worthington 1-65, Spencer Waldo 2-28, Dustin Ferguson 1-9.