LEONARD — Bryan Ponder completed 15-of-21 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score to lead the Bells Panthers to a 36-16 win over the Leonard Tigers in the District 9-3A (II) opener on Friday night.
Trevor Coglon provided balance on the ground with 21 carries for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Bells (2-3, 1-0), which snapped a three-game losing streak, opened the scoring when Ponder connected with Nate Stephens for a 35-yard TD strike as the Panthers finished off a 68-yard drive with eight minutes left in the first quarter.
Three minutes later, Ponder scored on a three-yard run following Aiden Brown’s fumble recovery to give Bells a 14-0 advantage.
At the 11:54 mark of of the second period, D.J. Brown caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Riley Ferron. Tyson Burgess caught the two-point conversion to trim the Tigers’ deficit to six points. Brown finished with 20 carries for 76 yards.
Coglon scored in the final minutes of the second quarter and caught the two-point conversion as Bells took a 22-8 lead into the locker room.
Coglon pushed the Panthers’ lead to 30-8 on a 26-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and Jacob Monroe caught the two-point conversion.
Leonard’s Cody Houser, who finished with 15 carries for 80 yards, punched it in from one yard out and ran for the conversion.
Ponder capped off the night with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Bo Baker in the middle of the third quarter. Baker finished with four catches for 72 yards.
Leonard will travel to Prairiland on Friday as district play continues while Bells has the district bye before facing Prairiland on October 12.