HUXLEY - A potent rushing attack carried the Ballard football team to a decisive 48-23 homecoming victory over Gilbert Friday at Rich Strouse Field in Huxley.
The Bombers racked up 390 rushing yards, improving to 4-1 overall and getting off to a 1-0 start in Class 3A District 8.
“We are proud of how our guys played,” Ballard co-head football coach Corey Vespestad said. “We stubbed our toe a couple of times, but they found a way to overcome it. It’s always fun to win a homecoming game…something our seniors will remember.”
Ballard led 28-10 at the half.
Skyler Noftsger got things off on the right foot by returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score and he followed with a 7-yard touchdown run four minutes later. Joe Hofbauer scored his first touchdown of the season on a 4-yard run five minutes into the second quarter and Connor Drew found Kegan Odden on a 28-yard touchdown pass later in the half.
In the second half, Aaron Kinshaw and Reece Huen both had touchdown runs and Drew hooked up with Jack Luster on a 7-yard scoring strike to help the Bombers pull away.
Ballard’s overpowering ground game featured great balance.
Drew and Huen both went over 100 yards with 127 and 124, respectively. Noftsger added 86, Blake Henga 26 and Kinshaw 15.
The Bombers finished with 436 yards of total offense.
Drew also completed 3 of 7 passes for 46 yards. Odden made two receptions for 39 yards.
On defense, Hofbauer had 10 tackles and a sack, Logan Harmeyer 6.5 stops plus a sack and Sam Petersen five tackles and a fumble recovery. Henga and Sam Andrews chipped in six tackles apiece and Brooks Fleischmann added two stops and an interception.
Gilbert (1-4, 0-1) finished with 310 yards of total offense.
Matt Barragy threw for 119 yards and one touchdown and ran for 47, Tanner Henningsen picked up 52 yards and one touchdown passing, Landon Howard caught seven passes for 76 yards and Ethan Newell both caught and ran for a touchdown for the Tigers.
Ballard plays at Bondurant-Farrar (4-1, 1-0) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
“We’re excited to play Bondurant this week,” Ballard co-head coach Kyle Howard said.
Ballard 48, Gilbert 23
G 7 3 6 7 — 23
B 14 14 7 13 — 48
B - Skyler Noftsger 98 kickoff return (Brenden Vincent kick), 11:46.
B - Noftsger 7 run (Vincent kick), 7:43.
G - Tucker Hansen 12 pass from Matt Barragy (Matthew Koenig kick), 2:58.
B - Joe Hofbauer 4 run (Vincent kick), 7:55.
B - Kegan Odden 28 pass from Connor Drew (Vincent kick), 2:42.
G - Koenig 32 FG, 0:04.
B - Aaron Kinshaw 9 run (Vincent kick), 10:04.
G - Ethan Newell 8 run (kick failed), 5:41.
B - Reece Huen 42 run (kick failed), 6:34.
B - Jack Luster 7 pass from Drew (Felix Rautland kick), 4:42.
G - Newell 45 pass from Tanner Henningsen (Koenig kick), 1:51.
Rushes-yards 36-139 51-390
Passing 14-26-1 3-7-0
Passing yards 171 46
Total yards 310 436
Fumbles lost 1 3
Punts-average 3-36.0 2-23.0
Rushing: G - Matthew Barragy 6-47, Carson Johnson 6-23, Ethan Newell 2-17, Aiden Carr 8-17, Ethan Vesey 9-15, Landon Howard 2-13, Mitchell Johnson 3-7. B- Connor Drew 14-127, Reece Huen 8-124, Skyler Noftsger 14-86, Blake Henga 6-26, Aaron Kinshaw 4-15, Blaine Hermann 2-8, Joe Hofbauer 1-2, Donovan Bertrand 2-2.
Passing: G - Barragy 12-24-1-119, Tanner Henningsen 2-2-0-52. B - Drew 3-7-0-46.
Receiving: G - Howard 7-76, Newell 2-52, Tucker Hanson 2-26, Vesey 1-10, Brennen Hergenreter 1-5, Carr 1-2. B - Kegan Odden 2-39, Jack Luster 1-7.
Tackles: G - Drew Hawthorne 12.5, Cooper Hurn 8.5, Mitchell Johnson 7.5, Gabriel Killian 6. B - Hofbauer 10, Logan Harmeyer 6.5, Henga 6, Sam Andrews 6, Sam Petersen 5.
Sacks: G - Cayden Mesken 2. B - Hofbauer, Harmeyer.
Fumble recoveries: G - Cael Ihle, Cole Steenhoek, Jacob Steenhoek. B - Petersen.
Interceptions: B - Brooks Fleischmann.