HUXLEY – A week after a huge victory, the Ballard football team couldn’t slow down a potent Boone ground game in a 35-14 loss to the Toreadors Friday at Rich Strouse Field in Huxley.
Ballard (3-2, 1-1) had beaten then third-ranked Norwalk in a non-district Class 3A battle the previous week for an emotional homecoming victory. But the Bombers couldn’t make it two home wins in a row over an unbeaten team as Boone (5-0, 3-0) gashed the Bomber defense for 386 yards on the ground in the 3A District 4 contest.
The Bombers started the game looking strong as they led 7-0 through the first quarter. Jacob Nethers broke free on a 25-yard touchdown run and Andrew Rasmussen added the extra point with six minutes, 54 seconds left in the opening period.
But two big plays in the second quarter, along with tough defense, enabled Boone to take a 14-7 lead at the half. Kane Springis had a 35-yard touchdown run with 4:44 left and Alex Davis found Ryan Sunstrom for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the final minute for the Toreadors.
Another long touchdown gave Boone a 14-point lead early in the third quarter when Jaymen Tedrow raced through the Ballard defense for a 79-yard touchdown run for the Toreadors.
Ballard still had some fight left. With 5:29 to go in the third, Nethers capped a Bomber scoring drive with a 3-yard run into the end zone to pull Ballard within 21-14.
But Boone’s ground game began to wear down Ballard in the fourth quarter. The Toreadors put two touchdown drives together, with Davis finishing each one with a short run into the end zone.
Ballard was unable to respond, suffering its first district loss.
"Big plays hurt us gain," Ballard head coach Al Christian said. "We also didn’t take advantage of opportunities like we have been. It was a tough loss, but we need to bounce back this week."
Boone nearly produced three 100-yard rushers on the night. Davis ran for 108 yards on 21 carries, Tedrow finished right at 100 yards on just five rushing attempts and Springis ran for 97 yards on nine carries.
Davis’ touchdown pass to Sunstrom was his only completion in three attempts. He also had one interception.
Nethers finished right at 100 yards rushing on 25 carries for Ballard. Bomber quarterback Coy Baker, fresh off his best game against Norwalk, was solid again, completing 6 of 14 passes for 109 yards with no interceptions.
Mason Edwards made a big 51-yard reception for the Bombers. Tanner Petersen added three catches for 38 yards and Matthew Poots had two grabs for 20 yards.
As a team Ballard finished with 233 total yards.
Defensively, Ballard’s front seven had a busy night trying to slow down Boone’s powerful ground game. Ben Claussen was in on an impressive 22 tackles, Mark Goldberg tallied 15 tackles and an interception, Spencer Struve had 14 tackles and a fumble recovery, Marcus Johnson also made 14 stops and Tyler Kyhl made 10 tackles.
Quinton Erickson and Mason Jensen added seven tackles apiece and Mitchell Broer made five stops.
Next up for Ballard is a road game versus South Tama (2-3, 1-2). The game will start at 7:30 p.m. in Tama.
Boone 35, Ballard 14
Bo 0 14 7 14 – 35
Bal 7 0 7 0 – 14
Bal – Jacob Nethers 25 run (Andrew Rasmussen kick), 6:54
Bo – Kane Springis 35 run (Tyler Stotts kick), 4:44
Bo – Ryan Sunstrom 30 pass from Alex Davis (Stotts kick), 0:10
Bo – Jaymen Tedrow 79 run (Stotts kick), 10:42
Bal – Nethers 3 run (Rasmussen kick), 5:29
Bo – Davis 6 run (Stotts kick), 11:53
Bo – Davis 1 run (Stotts kick), 3:14
Team statistics Bo Bal
Rushes-yards 51-386 33-124
Passing 1-3-1 6-14-0
Passing yards 30 109
Total yards 416 233
Fumbles lost 1 0
Punts-average 1-18.0 6-37.5
Rushing: Bo – Alex Davis 21-108, Jaymen Tedrow 5-100, Kane Springis 9-97, Levi Morain 8-34, Jesse House 6-32, Nathan Pohl 2-15. Bal – Jacob Nethers 25-100, Zach Thompson 3-17, Isaiah Johnson 3-8, Coy Baker 2-(-1).
Passing: Bo – Davis 1-3-1-30. Bal – Baker 6-14-0-109.
Receiving: Bo – Ryan Sunstrom 1-30. Bal – Mason Edwards 1-51, Tanner Petersen 3-38, Matthew Poots 2-20.
Tackles: Bal – Ben Claussen 22, Mark Goldberg 15, Marcus Johnson 14, Spencer Struve 14, Tyler Kyhl 10.
Fumble recoveries; Bal – Struve.
Interceptions: Bal – Goldberg.