PERRY - An overpowering ground game helped Ballard easily overcome turnover problems to whip Perry, 41-17, in its Class 3A District 2 football opener Friday at Perry.
The Bombers (1-2) piled up an amazing 585 yards of total offense. They ran for an incredible 511 yards, getting off to a 1-0 start in the district.
The decisive victory was a great moral booster for Ballard after the team was forced to forfeit last week’s 43-7 non-district win over Adel-Desoto-Minburn, due to playing an ineligible player.
“The team faced a lot of adversity this week,” Ballard head football coach Al Christian said. “We came together and got a win against a good Perry team.”
Ballard’s awesome offensive performance against Perry was even more impressive than the numbers showed considering the Bombers were without injured all-state tailback Hunter Wright. Three Ballard players ran for over 100 yards against Perry, led by Skyler Noftsger’s outstanding 203-yard, two-touchdown performance.
Gavin Hobbs picked up 112 yards rushing and Reece Huen went for 109 yards and one touchdown. Blake Henga picked up 62 yards and one touchdown on the ground and quarterback Isaac Schafbuch ran for 25 yards and a score.
Schafbuch also threw for 74 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kegan Odden. Gannon Manfull made three grabs for 29 yards, Henga had one catch for 21 yards and Noftsger chipped in a seven-yard reception.
The overpowering offense was complemented by a stout defense that limited Perry to 231 yards. A large chunk of Perry’s production came on one play after the outcome had been decided — an 80-yard touchdown pass from Alexis Garrido to Brandon Kenyon in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Defensive lineman Josh DeTar led Ballard with 9.5 tackles on defense. Sam Andrews added 5.5 tackles, Justice Sullivan and Joe Hofbauer five apiece, Ben Lee 4.5 and Henga 3.5.
Kenyon finished with two catches for 95 yards, Reece Dunlap had three grabs for 41 yards and Garrido completed 5 of 18 passes for 136 yards for the Bluejays, who fell to 1-2 overall. Mark Campos led Perry in rushing with 46 yards and Donald Chavez tacked on 29 yards.
As dominant as Ballard was on both sides of the ball, the Bombers still have plenty to work on heading into next week’s showdown with a powerful unbeaten opponent in Dallas Center-Grimes (3-0, 1-0). Ballard turned the ball over six times against Perry, including four interceptions.
“We cannot have six turnovers and win this week against a very good DCG team,” Christian said. “We will continue to work to get better and we will be ready Friday.”
Ballard’s game with DCG takes place at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at Rich Strouse Field in Huxley.
Ballard 41, Perry 17
B 7 20 7 7 - 41
P 0 3 7 7 - 17
B - Isaac Schafbuch 5 run (Brendan Vincent kick), 3:33.
B - Reece Huen 2 run (Vincent kick), 10:15.
P - German Alvaranga 35 FG, 7:07.
B - Blake Henga 1 run (kick failed), 3:51.
B - Kegan Odden 19 pass from Schafbuch (Vincent kick), 1:29.
B - Skyler Noftsger 10 run (Vincent kick), 7:37.
P - Donald Chavez 5 run (Alvaranga kick), 3:14.
B - Noftsger 7 run (Vincent kick), 7:10.
P - Brandon Kenyon 80 pass from Alexis Garrido (Alvaranga kick), 3:48.
Team statistics B P
Rushes-yards 67-511 33-95
Passing 6-12-4 5-18-0
Passing yards 74 136
Total yards 585 231
Fumbles lost 2 0
Rushing: B - Skyler Noftsger 27-203, Gavin Hobbs 15-112, Reece Huen 16-109, Blake Henga 4-62, Isaac Schafbuch 5-25. P - Mark Campos 2-46, Donald Chavez 12-29, Reece Dunlap 6-25, Alexis Garrido 13-(-5).
Passing: B - Schafbuch 6-12-4-74. P - Garrido 5-18-0-136.
Receiving: B - Gannon Manfull 3-29, Henga 1-21, Odden 1-19, Noftsger 1-7. P - Brandon Kenyon 2-95, Dunlap 3-41.
Tackles: B - Josh DeTar 9.5, Sam Andrews 5.5, Justice Sullivan 5, Joe Hofbauer 5, Ben Lee 4.5, Henga 3.5.