PONCA - Regulation was not enough time for rivals Cedar Catholic and Ponca to produce a winner, and it took a 32-yard field goal by Trojan kicker Ted Bengston to give the away team a 17-14 win on Friday night.
“It was his first career FG, and they won't get any bigger than this one,” said Cedar head coach Chad Cattau.
Bengston said the feeling of making his first career field goal was exhilarating.
“After it went in, everyone was really excited and celebrating, but we knew that Ponca had a chance to score as well,” said Bengston. “Our defense did a great job to hold them and then the real celebration began.”
Bengston began kicking extra points for the Trojans this year, following in his brother Capp’s footsteps. Capp Bengston graduated in 2017 and set the record for most career extra points with 79.
The Bengston family has had plenty of opportunities to practice. It does help to have a goalpost in the front yard to practice at home.
“I have practiced kicks similar to that at home many times, but as much as I try to make it game-like, it’s a whole different experience when it’s actually happening,” said Bengston.
A field goal seemed the fitting way to end this defensive battle between rivals. Neither team’s offense accumulated more than 200 total yards. Ponca finished with 197 while Cedar would finish with just 135.
The Trojans were led by junior tailback Jacob Keiser. The All-State candidate scored the first touchdown of the night on a four-yard run. Bengston would make the point after. Keiser’s touchdown was at the beginning of the first quarter, and it would take until after halftime for Ponca to respond.
Indian’s quarterback Evan Anderson found his way into the end zone on a five-yard run, but the Indian’s would not convert the point after, and Cedar led 7-6.
With thirty seconds left in the third quarter, Keiser would again come up big for the Trojans. Quarterback Myles Thoene connected with the running back out of the backfield and Keiser would take it 51 yards for a touchdown. Bengston again would make the extra point, Cedar led 14-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ponca would tie the game up with two minutes left in regulation on a 13-yard passing touchdown from Anderson to Hunter Bennett. Anderson would run it in on the two-point conversion to tie the game, sending it to overtime.
Cedar also won the turnover battle, causing two fumbles and recovering one, while not giving up a turnover on offense. Cattau says the team has been making this a point of emphasis.
“We have been really emphasizing getting turnovers the past two weeks in practice,” said Cattau. “We are setting aside time in practice where we are working solely on stripping the ball from the ball carriers. I thought this really showed up Friday. We were constantly ripping at the ball in an effort to get it out.”
The win for Cedar puts the Trojans just a game away from .500 and starts District play with a win. Cedar has now won two straight and will carry momentum into this week’s matchup at home against the top team in Class C2 — Norfolk Catholic.
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Cedar Catholic 7 0 7 0 3 17
Ponca 0 0 6 8 0 14
Team Stats CC P
Total Off. 135 197
Passing Yds 69 66
Rushing Yds 66 131
Penalty Yds 8-60 5-40
First Downs 6 17
Cedar Catholic - Myles Thoene, 3-15 69 yards 1 TD. Ponca - Evan Anderson, 9-17 55 yards 1 TD; Gage McGill, 2-2 11 yards.
Cedar Catholic - Jacob Keiser, 19-57 1 TD; Eric Hoesing, 2-6; Myles Thoene, 3-3. Ponca - Gage McGill, 18-47; Evan Anderson, 24-39 1 TD; Hunter Bennett, 7-35; Landon Fox, 3-9; Paul Masin, 1-2; Jordan Orduno, 1- -1.
Cedar Catholic - Jacob Keiser, 2-62 1 TD; Matthew Becker, 1-7. Ponca - Brandon Kneifl, 3-29; Joel Anderson, 3-15; Hunter Bennett, 1-13; Carter Kingsbury, 1-8; Paul Masin, 1-1; Gage McGill, 2-0.
Cedar Catholic - Josh Pinkelman, 20; Eric Hoesing, 10; Peyton Haahr, 8; Cole Becker, 8; Jacob Keiser, 7; Rex Becker, 7; Tate Thoene, 6; Myles Thoene, 5; Easton Becker, 5; Connor Vlach, 5; Derek Heimes, 4; Hunter Thoene, 2; Jacob Rohan, 1. Ponca - Evan Anderson, 9; Gage McGill, 7; Joel Anderson, 4; Carter Kingsbury, 2; Hunter Bennett, 3; Brandon Kneifl, 2; Cole Richards, 1; Austin Brennan, 1; Paul Masin, 1.