Roughriders take 63-42 win over Grace Community
With 105 points on the scoreboard when the final whistle blew as the Center Roughriders hosted Grace Community Friday night, it was a hot contest which at times looked like it could have gone either way.
But the Roughriders did not give up and pulled away from the Cougars in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to cinch a 63-42 win.
“It was a heck of a ball game,” Ponder said of the win against Grace Community last Friday.
“They had a tremendous team they had done really well passing and they came out and ran the ball really well the other night,” he said. “We did some things that helped us in defending the pass but probably hurt us in defensing the run.”
The game was neck-in-neck throughout much of the contest with the score tied up at several points, 7-7, 14-14, 21-21 and 28-28 until late in the third quarter when quarterback Jake Hanson took the ball in on a quarterback keeper from about a yard out to put the Roughriders ahead 35-28.
Center came back early in the fourth period to add another TD, and moved ahead 42-28. But Grace came back at about the 8:54 mark in the final period to narrow the Rider lead, 42-35.
Things got tied up again, 42-42 and it looked like the Cougars were working hard to put themselves out front when they fumbled with 8:47 left in the game. On the next play Marques Hall took the ball across the goal line to once again put Center ahead, 49-42.
On the Cougars' next possession it looked like they had momentum working on their side when a decisive turnover on the part of the Roughriders appeared to seal the deal. Grace's quarterback dropped back for a long pass that was intercepted by Center's Zacc Smith with just under three minutes left in the game.
The interception by Smith seemed to quickly turn momentum back in favor the Riders who scored at the 2:41 mark left in the game, putting Center up 56-42. And then, with just over a minute left, the Roughriders hit pay dirt again and wound up with a 63-42 victory.
“At the end of the day we got the result we wanted,” Ponder said.
He said the coaching staff continues to see things the team needs to work on, but overall, he said the team is moving in the right direction.
“We're real proud of the kids' effort, we're continuing to improve but we still have a lot of things we need to progress with,” he said. “You never progress as fast as you'd like, but we're happy.
The Roughriders have a 2-3 season record in non-district action.
“We've played some tremendous ball clubs. We just hope we can continue to play well as we move forward,” Ponder said.
This week the Riders are on the road Friday in Brownsboro.
“They're a really strong wing-T team, they're going to be really tough to stop on offense,” he said. Ponder said while Brownsboro does not pass along, they go to the air enough that the Roughrider defense will have to be on their toes.
“It's going to be high pressure, high intensity,” he said.
Please check out photo gallery from Friday's Roughriders vs. Grace Community football game: