Whitesboro knocks off Ponder
WHITESBORO — A week off to recharge and regroup as well as the celebration of homecoming festivities proved to be the right mix as the Bearcats picked up their first victory of the season, 22-6, against Ponder in the District 4-3A (I) opener.
Whitesboro (1-3) has never lost against the Lions (2-2) in five district meetings but unlike previous match-ups between the two, this was a low-scoring affair with both defenses rising to the challenge as the chase for the playoffs began among the eight district foes.
Jake Hermes completed 9-of-12 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and also ran five times for 20 yards and a score, Jacob Smith had four receptions for 61 yards and a TD and Devon Price finished with 13 carries for 29 yards and three catches for 21 yards for the Bearcats.
Terrance Clark led the Lions with 25 carries for 84 yards and Cameron Carroll chipped in 25 yards on five carries. QB Chase Taylor threw just one pass, a completion to John Sweeden.
Ponder took possession to open the game but failed to move the ball across midfield.
Whitesboro’s first turn with the ball reached Lion territory before the Bearcats were forced to punt and the scoreless stalemate carried into the middle of the second quarter.
Jorge Montes broke the deadlock with a 35-yard field goal at the 7:58 mark and the Bearcats nearly made that stand up for all the scoring in the first half.
Ponder saved its best series before the break right at the end of the second quarter. The Lions made it right to the edge of the end zone and Clark punched it in from the one as the first half expired and, after the PAT failed, a 6-3 half-time lead.
Whitesboro regained the upper hand in the third quarter with a 55-yard drive which was finished off by Hermes connected with Smith for a 33-yard touchdown pass and a 10-6 advantage a little more than two minutes into the second half.
After holding Ponder from answering to its new deficit, the Bearcats covered 46 yards in six plays with Hermes ending the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run in the middle of the third.
Early in the fourth quarter, Whitesboro took over and ran almost four minutes off the clock with its final scoring drive of the night. Greyson Ledbetter’s three-yard run provided some breathing room for the final 7:24.
Whitesboro came close to scoring once more with a drive that was going to the one-yard line before it was called back due to a penalty but it didn’t end up mattering in the victory.
The Bearcats travel to Boyd, which opened district with a 42-13 win over Paradise, on Friday while Ponder will host Peaster, the lone newcomer to the district in the latest realignment.
District 4-3A (I)