The line of scrimmage belonged to the Wolverines as BRLD punished the Ponca Indians 52-12. BRLD bolted to a 30-0 first quarter lead. Their 44-6 half time lead assured a running clock for the whole second half.
The big Black and Blue line dominated the game from the start. They limited Ponca to two 3 and outs and a pick six before they were able to pick up a first down.
BRLD had no trouble moving the ball. The Wolverines scored on five of six first half possessions. Their only punt came after two holding calls disrupted their momentum.
In the first half, BRLD had 22 offensive plays and averaged 16.5 yards per snap. They had 248 rushing yards and 116 yards through the air. The defense limited Ponca to just 76 yards for a 1.9 average on their 34 plays.
Ponca received the opening kickoff and punted after netting just two yards. With Rusty Hardeman, Luke Kramer, Tyler Vavra, Derek Petersen, and Aidan Nelson clearing the way it took just 3 plays to cover 57 yards and score. Will Gatzemeyer sprinted 35 yards on the initial snap and Kobe Lyons followed with a 20 yard romp. Lyons capped the drive with 2 yard plunge and added the PAT with a run. At the 9:33 mark BRLD led 8-0.
One minute later the score stood at 16-0 after Will Gatzemeyer intercepted a third down pass and raced 60 yards to score. Lyons added the PAT.
Following another Indian punt, the Wolverines drove 76 yards on six snaps. They mixed three pass receptions with two long runs. Key plays were a 35 yard reception by Braxton Bargmann and a 20 yard run by Will Gatzemeyer. With only half the first quarter gone, Gatzemeyer made it 22-0 with a 23 yard run.
The Wolverines closed the first quarter by going 84 yards in just four plays. Jaxon Johnson had a catch for 18 yards. Gatzemeyer ran for 47. Lyons scored from twenty with 3 seconds left.
A good return gave Ponca a short field and they got a second quarter score. Bryar Bennet caught a 17 yard TD pass.
BRLD followed with a TD pass. Dylan Beutler raced 54 yard with second down pass. Bargmann caught the PAT for a 38-6 lead.
Ponca netted only two yards on the final three possessions with drives ended by a punt and interceptions by Beutler and Gatzemeyer.
BRLD got their final score of the half with a two-play drive. Lyons rumbled for 23 yards and Gatzemeyer weaved through the Ponca defense for 29 yards and a TD with 19 seconds left in the half,
BRLD drove 69 yards with the second half kickoff. Lucas Ronnfeldt finished off the nine play drive with a one yard run.
The reserves played the fourth quarter. Ponca took advantage of a Wolverine fumble to score a second TD. Aiden Anderson caught a 25 yard pass with 2:19 left in the game.
Coach Maresh said there were questions about Ponca after they lost their first game to Tekamah-Herman. “This is definitely a down year for Ponca. They are under-sized in the line and we were able control the line of scrimmage. Next week against Crofton will be a different story. We will have to be ready to play four quarters.”
The Wolverines racked up 307 yards on the ground. Will Gatzemeyer ran for 169 yards and 2 TDs on 7 carries. It took Kobe Lyons 12 tries to amass 125 yards and score twice.
Gatzemeyer added 117 passing yards. He completed 5 of 9 passes. Braxton Bargmann was his top target with three receptions for 49 yards. Dylan Beutler caught a TD pass for 54 yards. Jaxon Johnson and Caden Hansen each had one catch. Freshman Michael Cooney completed one of two passes.
Jaxon Johnson led the defensive charge. From his line position he disrupted the Indian offense. He had four tackles including a sack and 2 TFLs. Tyler Vavra added 4 tackles and a TFL.
The line backers were active as Colton Briggs had 6 tackles, Kayden Henneman had 6 including a TFL. Gus Gomez had 8 tackles and a fumble recovery. Derek Petersen had 7 tackles.
Will Gatzemeyer added 5 tackles from his safety position plus a TFL and 2 INTs. Braxton Bargmann contributed 5 tackles from his corner position. Dylan Beutler made an acrobatic pass interception.
Ponca 0 6 0 6 -12
BRLD 30 14 8 0 -52
First Downs 16 8
Rushing 27/307 28/63
Passing Yards 125 89
Total Yards 432 151
Passes 6/11-0 10/18-3
Fumbles/Lost 1/1 1/1
Penalties 5/50 3/25
Punts 1/31 4/29