But just like in a bad Halloween movie, the Lions kept trying to scratch their way out of the grave.
Boyd (5-3, 3-1) scored the first time they touched the ball, as Fino Cardona went off-tackle for 32 yards less than a minute-and-a-half into the game. It was the first of three touchdowns for the speedy junior on the night, as he gained 244 yards on just 15 carries.
After Nathan Thomas hit the first of his six extra-point kicks, the ‘Jackets were up 7-0.
It was three-and-out again for the Lions, although a little scarier for Boyd as quarterback Reid Sanders hit his receiver right in the hands racing down the sidelines on third down, but the ball fell incomplete. The ‘Jackets got the ball back at their own 41 and Cardona quickly went for 13 yards.
A couple of plays later, Cole Meador caught the first of his three passes, a 19-yarder, and on the next play quarterback Blake McDonald faked to Cardona and breezed for a 29-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
A completion, a sack and an incomplete pass later, Boyd got the ball back at its own 45. McDonald kept for 13, Cardona went for 12 and on the next play, Cardona hit the left side and outraced the defenders to the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown. It was 21-0 with 5:04 left in the opening stanza.
Ponder mounted a 10-play drive on its next posession, but gave up the ball on downs at the midfield stripe.
That’s where Cardona scored from, as he tiptoed up the middle, then cut back and again outraced the defense to the corner. With 2:05 left in the first quarter, Thomas’ kick made it 28-0.
But Ponder scrambled back to life with a 61-yard drive, 55 of those coming on straight-up-the-middle runs by Brennan Sooter. Sooter carried it in from 13 yards out 11 seconds into the second quarter, and the shutout was over.
A Boyd punt put Ponder back in business at their own 14, and they put together a drive that could have changed the tone of the game. But Chris Carmona and Chase Graham both broke up passes in the end zone and the Yellowjackets took over on their own 9 yard line with 5:27 to play in the half.
Cardona reeled off a 32-yard run and McDonald hit Meador for nine to the Ponder 33. On the next play, Meador got free on a deep route and the result was a 35-yard touchdown catch with 1:37 to play in the half.
But Ponder kept kicking the dirt off.
Starting at their own 39, the Lions reeled off an 11-play drive that ended in a touchdown with seven seconds left before halftime. The highlight was a 25-yard pass on fourth down from Sanders to Tanner Yeager, who caught 11 passes on the night for 116 yards.
That made it 35-14 at half. Boyd struck first in the third period when McDonald lofted a perfect strike to Michael Partin for a 55-yard touchdown with 3:23 to play in the third. The PAT kick fell short, but the ‘Jackets scored again when Sonny McCarmack plunged in from four yards out in relief of Cardona. Thomas’ kick put the final margin on the board for Boyd.
But Ponder still wouldn’t die. When McDonald boomed a 32-yard punt to end a drive, the Lions’ speedy Christian Worthington fielded it at the 31, headed left, then reversed his field and outran everyone down the far sideline for a 69-yard touchdown with 4:34 to play. After another Boyd punt, Sanders drove his team down the field and they scored on a nine-yard pass with just 1:06 left.
Ponder (1-7, 0-5) amassed 308 yards passing while Boyd rushed for 319 and passed for another 130.
The ‘Jackets will head up the road to take on winless Paradise next week before finishing the regular season at home against Whitesboro Nov. 9.
BOYD 48, PONDER 28
Ponder … 0 … 14 … 0 … … 14-28
Boyd … 28 … 7 … 6 … … 7-48
10:47, Boyd: Fino Cardona 32 run, Nathan Thomas kick
7:51, Boyd: Blake McDonald 29 run, Thomas kick
5:04, Boyd: Cardona 30 run, Thomas kick
1:51, Boyd: Cardona 50 run, Thomas kick
11:49, Ponder: Brennan Sooter 13 run, Coleman James kick
1:37, Boyd: Cole Meador 35 pass from McDonald, Thomas kick
:07, Ponder: Nick King 6 pass from Reid Sanders, James kick
3:23, Boyd: Michael Partin 55 pass from McDonald, PAT kick failed
11:04, Boyd: Sonny McCormack, 4 run, Thomas kick
4:34, Ponder: Christian Worthington, 69 punt return, PAT pass Austin Leveridge from Sanders
1:06, Ponder: Dylan Nichelson 9 pass from Sanders, PAT pass failed
PONDER … BOYD
First Downs … 29 … 22
Rushes/Yards … 28-93 … 36-319
Passing Yards … 308 … 130
Total Yards … 401 … 449
Passes C-A-I … 23-50-0 … 5-7-0
Punts-Avg. … 4-27 … 4-34
Fumbles-lost … 0 … 1-0
Penalties-yards … 4-20 … 8-55
Rushing: Ponder, Brennan Sooter, 21-105; Boyd, Fino Cardona, 15-244
Passing: Ponder, Reid Sanders, 23-50, 308 yards; Boyd, Blake McDonald 5-7, 130 yards
Receiving: Ponder, Tanner Yeager, 11-116; Christian Worthington, 3-103; Boyd, Cole Meador, 3-63