BOYD — Boyd’s talented offensive repertoire was on full display Friday night as junior running back Fino Cardona and senior quarterback Blake McDonald gashed Ponder en route to a 48-28 victory at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets stymied Ponder’s stagnant offense early in the first quarter, forcing three straight three-and-outs on Ponder’s first three possessions.
After the first three-and-out, McDonald fielded a punt near Boyd’s 43-yard line and returned it 25 yards to the Ponder 32-yard line to set the Yellow Jackets up with great field position.
Boyd wasted no time pouncing on the struggling Lions as Cardona weaved through the Ponder defense on the next play for a 32-yard touchdown to give the Yellow Jackets an early seven-point lead.
“The bottom line is we didn’t execute,” Ponder head coach Russell Phillips said after the game. “We played better as the game went on, but we’re not prepared to play the game the way we need to be prepared to play the game from the start.”
Cardona provided Boyd with big play after big play in the first half and finished the game with 15 carries for 243 yards and three scores. He had carries of 32, 50, 30, 32, 30 and 26 yards.
As the game progressed, Ponder’s offense was able to warm up and find its rhythm.
Senior quarterback Reid Sanders connected with Tanner Yeagar 10 times for 104 yards. The senior receiver provided a consistent threat for the Lions’ offense.
“He’s a warrior,” Phillips said of Yeagar. “You know he’s not the biggest kid in the world, but without a doubt I know that he’s going to give everything he has on every play. He had a great night until he hurt his knee.”
Sanders finished with 300 yards through the air and two touchdowns.
Senior running back Brennan Sooter carried the ball 21 times for 97 yards and a score.
Junior wide-out Christian Worthington caught three passes for 104 yards and a score. Worthington also added the Lions’ final score on a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown with four minutes left in the game.
Ponder is off next week and ends the season with a home game against winless Paradise on Nov. 9.
Boyd 48, Ponder 28
B — Fino Cardona 32 run (Nathan Thomas kick), 10:47
B — Blake McDonald 29 run (Thomas kick), 7:15
B — Fino Cardona 30 run (Thomas kick), 5:04
B — Fino Cardona 50 run (Thomas kick), 1:51
P — Brennan Sooter 13 run (Coleman James kick), 11:49
B — McDonald 33 pass to Cole Meador (Thomas kick), 1:37
P — Reid Sanders 24 pass to Christian Worthington (Coleman kick), :07
B — McDonald 55 pass to Michael Partin (kick failed), 3:23
B — Sonny McCarmack 4 run (Thomas kick), 11:04
P — Christian Worthington 68 punt return (conversion good), 4:34
P — Sanders 9 pass to Dylan Nichelson (conversion no good), 1:06
Rushing — B: Fino Cardona 15-243, Blake McDonald 9-53, Sonny McCarmack 5-14, Koby Lanier 1-5, Michael Partin 1-1, Garrett Ragsdale 1-0; P: Brennan Sooter 21-97, Reid Sanders 7-(-10)
Passing — B: Blake McDonald 3-6 68; P: Reid Sanders 21-45 300
Receiving — B: Cole Meador 3-70, Michael Partin 1-55, Chase Graham 1-12; P: Tanner Yeager 10-104, Christian Worthington 3-104, Austin Leveridge 2-27, Brennan Sooter 1-20, Nick King 2-14, Dylan Nichelson 1-5.