PONCA, Neb. — Defense and a healthy helping of ground-and-pound offense resulted in a winning recipe for Ponca.
The Indians intercepted Hartington Cedar Catholic three times — twice in Ponca territory — and returned one for a touchdown. They also recorded a fourth-quarter safety en route to a 20-0 win Friday.
With the victory, Ponca (9-0) secured the Class C-2, District 4 title by going 5-0 in district play.
The Indians also likely secure the top seed in the playoffs. They held the top spot in the points entering the final game.
Ponca’s defense held Cedar Catholic (8-1) to 163 yards of total offense while keeping the Trojans out of the end zone. And it was the Indians’ defense that came up with the play of the game.
Leading 6-0 late in the second quarter with the Trojans driving, Connor Day intercepted a Matthew Schaefer pass at the Ponca 15 and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown. That gave Ponca all the scoring it needed and the momentum heading to the locker room.
Dalton Tremayne added a 13-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the second half to stretch the lead to 18-0, then Ponca’s defense came through again.
The Indians capped the scoring with a safety five seconds into the final quarter.
Hartington Cedar Catholic (8-1).....0 0 0 0— 0
At Ponca (9-0)...........................0 12 6 2—20
P: Jayde Reid 8 pass from Logan Kingsbury (run failed)
P: Connor Day 85 interception return (pass failed)
P: Dalton Tremayne 13 run (run failed)