The Poynette prep football team could not have asked for a better start to the alternate spring season last Friday. The Pumas scored a dominate 34-6 victory over visiting Parkview/Albany.
“Just being able to get out and play a game against an opponent felt great after almost a year and a half off,” Poynette coach Greg Kallungi said. “It was a long time coming, but felt great. I was very happy with how hard and how well we played.”
It was the third straight season opener the Pumas have won.
“I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage, which is a key in any game,” Kallungi said. “I thought we did a great job of limiting our mistakes. Obviously with any first game, especially without having a scrimmage, there’s going to be some mistakes, but we were able to limit them and that was another key.”
Poynette did most of its damage on the ground. The Pumas finished with 232 yards rushing on 42 carries.
Dylan Elsing led Poynette’s rushing attack with 71 yards and a touchdown on five carries, while Connor Anker finished with 68 yards and a score on 12 attempts.
The Pumas set the tone for the game right away. Anker had a 50-yard touchdown run on their first play of the game.
Poynette missed the ensuing extra-point kick.
The Pumas extended the lead to 25-0 with three more touchdowns in the second quarter.
Elsing broke free for a 50-yard scoring scamper early in the second stanza. Jaden McCormick added the extra-point kick.
Poynette added to its lead three minutes later with a 1-yard scoring plunge by Jimmy Heath. The Pumas missed the extra-point kick.
Heath followed it up with a 30-yard touchdown pass to McCormick with 3 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the first half to increase the lead to 25-0.
Parkview/Albany avoided the shutout thanks to its defense. Luke Schwengels returned a fumble 80 yards for a touchdown with 1:49 left in the first half.
The Vikings failed on their two-point conversion attempt following the return.
Poynette’s defense also put points on the board. Payton Horne tackled a Parkview ballcarrier in the end zone for a safety midway through the third quarter.
The Pumas capped off their scoring with a 3-yard late third-quarter run by Hayden Taylor. McCormick kicked the extra-point for the final 34-6 margin.
“We won the turnover battle handily and didn’t bog down drives with penalties,” Kallungi said. “When you can do that, you give yourself a chance. We had a lot of guys that stepped up and played very well.”
Heath finished the game 2-for-2 passing for 36 yards and a touchdown. Elsing had two catches for 28 yards.
Elsing paced Poynette’s defense with 14 tackles, while Owen Bahr and Heath chipped in eight and seven, respectively. Carsten Small and Clayton Nehls both collected six tackles.
McCormick and Elsing both had interceptions.
Charlie Vogt led Parkview/Albany on offense with 127 yards rushing on 15 carries, while Korben Brown added 43 yards on 15 attempts.
Poynette will be on the road on April 1. The Pumas will play at New Glarus at 7 p.m.
“We’ve got a short week this week against a very good New Glarus team, but we’re definitely looking forward to the challenge,” Kallungi said.