SHINGLE SPRINGS — Ponderosa High’s varsity football program extended its perfect preseason to 3-0 Friday night at home, cruising past visiting Cordova 24-0 in front of a full crowd at Simon Bruin Stadium.
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Without seizing it, Ponderosa managed to dictate the pace of play, scoring two touchdowns in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. Despite a four-touchdown victory, head coach Jason Tenner saw plenty of room for Ponderosa to tighten up it’s play before opening up Delta River League action next month.
“We have a lot of young players this year, it’s a very young team,” Tenner said. “And we are emphasizing to get these young boys that every little detail counts. There’s a lot of room for these players to mature and grow – in the league we are playing in this year, at this level, the margin of error is very slim.”
Ponderosa opened the scoring four minutes into the second quarter as senior Austin Tibbs took a hand off from quarterback Colby Chiverton and received great blocking on the left side for a 12-yard score. A bad snap kept Ponderosa from tacking on the extra point, but solid Bruin defense gave Chiverton and Co. more opportunities.
With just under two minutes left, Ponderosa found itself on Cordova’s 14-yard line. A quarterback keeper, complemented by superb blocks from Josh Bist and the Bruin offensive line, put the hosts up 12-0 just before half.
The Bruins had been mixing pass plays with the running game throughout the game, but the second half proved more fruitful in the air.
“Cordova did a good job of sealing up our rushing lanes,” Tenner said. “So we incorporated some of those long pass plays you saw out there.”
After a neutral third quarter, just over seven minutes remained in the game when Chiverton faked right and lofted a pass to senior Connor Gross, who had created separation from his defender. The ball sailed over the outstretched hand of Cordova’s cornerback before Gross pulled it in and took it 66 yards for six.
Ponderosa attempted two-point conversions after each touchdown without a lick of luck.
Three minutes later, Chiverton connected with junior Josh Bist for a 7-yard touchdown to round out the evening’s scoring.
Chiverton finished 11-for-17 in the air with 161 yards and no interceptions.
The win extends Ponderosa’s perfect record another week. For Tenner and his staff, emphasis will be placed on the Bruins’ ability to tighten up the little things and stay focused mentally.
“We have a number of great athletes and a lot of talent on our team this year,” Tenner said. “We are just young and we need to get them to understand that even the tiniest things we do out on the field matter. If we can keep working hard, continue to grow and mature — we’re going to have a good year.”