HUXLEY - The defense decided it wanted to do all the work early for Ballard in dominant 71-14 Class 3A District 2 win over Iowa Falls-Alden Friday on homecoming night in Huxley.
Ballard recorded an interception on each of Iowa Falls-Alden’s first thee possessions, setting up a touchdown on the opening possession and returning the latter two for six. All three scores came within just over four minutes to start the game and the Bombers were off and running, building a 36-0 lead by the end of the quarter and increasing it to 57-7 by halftime.
“We were just in the right place at the right time,” Ballard safety Blake Henga said. “We’ve been practicing really hard on our keys down. They threw the ball, we caught and ran it back.”
Henga returned the third Bomber interception 47 yards to pay dirt. An Isaac Schafbuch interception set up an 11-yard Skyler Noftsger run for Ballard’s first touchdown and then Ben Lee got a lineman’s dream by picking off a Cadet pass and running it back 40 yards for a score.
“My first pick-six ever,” Lee said. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Ballard built the early 20-0 lead in the first four minutes despite the offense only being on the field for two plays.
“I was on kickoffs more than I was on actual plays on offense at first,” Noftsger said. “That was pretty different.”
Noftsger still ended up with a huge night on offense. He ran for 196 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries.
“The linemen blocked amazing today,” Noftsger said. “The holes were open and we had a lot of fun.”
By the time it was all said and done, Ballard had amassed more points in a single game than other team in school history.
Ballard totaled 428 yards of offense. Most of that came on the ground as the Bombers ran for 384 yards on only 29 attempts.
Isaac Schafbuch ran for 47 yards and one touchdown and Reece Huen ran for 49 yards and one score and added a 44-yard reception for Ballard. Gavin Hobbs ran for 51 yards, Aaron Kinshaw for 41 and they each had one touchdown run apiece for the Bombers, who improved to 2-4 overall and 2-2 in 3A District 6.
Josh DeTar made 6.5 tackles, Justice Sullivan six, Ben Hokel 5.5 and Dylan Hockey and Sam Andrews five apiece for Ballard on defense.
The Bombers travel to Boone next Friday in a tough test with the No. 10 Toreadors (6-0, 4-0).
“Coming off of Webster City and DCG — some really good teams — this is kind of a way to get our momentum back,” Lee said. “But we’ve got a lot to work on still.”
Iowa Falls-Alden dropped to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the district. Tyjon Rose had a 76-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and he found Luke Rubow on a 4-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to account for both Cadet touchdowns.
Ballard 71, Iowa Falls-Alden 14
IFA 0 7 7 0 - 14
B 36 21 14 0 - 71
B - Skyler Noftsger 11 run (Brendan Vincent kick), 10:28.
B - Ben Lee 40 interception return (kick failed), 9:22.
B - Blake Henga 47 interception return (Vincent kick), 7:51.
B - Isaac Schafbuch 36 run (Vincent kick), 3:43.
B - Safety, 2:40.
B - Noftsger 50 run (Vincent kick), 1:54.
B - Reece Huen 41 run (Vincent kick), 11:48.
IFA - Tyjon Rose 76 run (Luke Rubow kick), 10:05.
B - Skyler 1 run (Vincent kick), 4:45.
B - Gavin Hobbs 3 run (Vincent kick), 0:41.
B - Noftsger 80 run (Vincent kick), 10:58.
IFA - Rubow 4 pass from Rose (Rubow kick), 3:05.
B - Aaron Kinshaw 37 run (Vincent kick), 0:26.
Team statistics IFA B
Rushes-yards 38-178 29-384
Passing 12-20-3 1-2-0
Passing yards 117 44
Total yards 295 428
Fumbles lost 0 0
Punts-average NA 2-31.0
Rushing: IFA - Tyjon Rose 8-93, Kyler Hadwiger 11-42, Cayden Howland 13-39, Juan Salmeron 1-3, Lucas Haverkamp 5-1. B - Skyler Noftsger 11-196, Gavin Hobbs 7-51, Reece Huen 3-49, Isaac Schafbuch 5-47, Aaron Kinshaw 3-41.
Passing: IFA - Rose 8-9-0-83, Tom Quinlin 4-11-3-34. B - Schafbuch 1-2-0-44.
Receiving: B - Huen 1-44.
Tackles: B - Josh DeTar 6.5, Justice Sullivan 6, Ben Hokel 5.5, Dylan Hockey 5, Sam Andrews 5.
Interceptions: B - Schafbuch, Blake Henga, Ben Lee.