HUXLEY - Strong defense and just enough big plays in the passing game helped the Ballard football team knock off Bondurant-Farrar, 20-17, for a Class 3A District 8 victory Friday at Rich Strouse Field.
The Bombers held the Bluejays to 288 total yards and they forced one turnover. Connor Drew also threw for 209 yards to help Ballard overcome being held to 30 yards rushing.
“Our guys focused this week on getting better and building on the previous week,” Ballard co-head coach Corey Vespestad said. “We had another great week of practice. I’m proud of how we played as a team.”
Ballard led 14-7 at the break.
Blaine Hermann had a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Sam Petersen hauled in a 30-yard scoring strike from Drew with 3:26 left in the second for the two Bomber touchdowns in the opening half. Bondurant-Farrar’s score came on an 11-yard Kaeden Lozano run early in the second quarter.
Bondurant-Farrar pulled within 14-10 through three quarters of play. Oskar White hit a 30-yard field goal for the Bluejays with 4:10 left in the third.
But Ballard responded when Drew capped a drive with a 1-yard touchdown run just under five minutes into the fourth quarter. Bondurant-Farrar put one more touchdown on the board on a 6-yard Lozano run with 4:18 left, but Ballard stood tall the rest of the way to improve to 3-3 overall and get off to a 2-0 start in the district, tying the Bombers with Norwalk for first in the district standings.
Drew completed 14 of 21 passes for 209 yards with one touchdown and interception apiece. He was also Ballard’s leading rusher with 23 yards on 13 carries.
Petersen caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Nic Edwards hauled in a 48-yard reception, Jacob Ihle made three catches for 36 yards, Mason Murphy had two grabs for 16 and Hermann ended up with eight yards rushing.
On defense Petersen tallied nine tackles and a fumble recovery and Sam Salasek finished with 12 stops. Connor Finch had nine tackles and one stop behind the line, Logan Harmeyer 8.5 stops and a tackle for loss, Murphy six tackles, Nick Wacha five, Rylee Davidson 4.5, Mason Askelsen four and Kale Korgh 3.5 plus two tackles for loss.
Bondurant-Farrar fell to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the district. Lozano ran for 165 yards and Cade Eichmeyer threw for 66 and picked up 53 rushing for the Bluejays.
Up next for Ballard is another big district home game against Carlisle (4-2, 1-1). It is the Bombers’ final home game of the season as they close out the year at Norwalk and North Polk.
“We have another tough game ahead of us with Carlisle,” Vespestad said. “They are well coached and are a very physical team. We have to continue to get better.”
The Bombers’ game with Carlisle takes place at 7:30 p.m. this Friday back on Rich Strouse Field in Huxley.
Ballard 20, Bondurant-Farrar 17
BF 0 7 3 7 - 17
B 7 7 0 6 - 20
B - Blaine Hermann 4 run (Connor Utley kick), 7:29.
BF - Kaeden Lozano 11 run (Oskar White kick), 10:10.
B - Sam Petersen 30 pass from Connor Drew (Utley kick), 3:26.
BF - White 30 FG, 4:10
B - Drew 1 run (kick failed), 7:13.
BF - Lozano 6 run (White kick), 4:18.
Team statistics BF B
Rushes-yards 48-222 25-30
Passing 7-15-0 14-21-1
Passing yards 66 209
Total yards 288 239
Fumbles lost 1 0
Punts-average 4-37.8 4-36.8
Rushing: BF - Kaeden Lozano 34-165, Cade Eichmeyer 12-53, Porter Smith 1-4, Ryan Snider 1-0. B - Connor Drew 13-23, Blaine Herman 5-8, Sam Petersen 2-3, Jacob Ihle 1-0, Mason Murphy 2-(-1), Nate Nessa 2-(-3).
Passing: BF - Eichmeyer 7-14-0-66, Ty Beresford 0-1-0-0. B - Drew 14-21-1-209.
Receiving: BF - Snider 2-31, Beresford 1-10, Aiden Lewis 1-7, Braden Miller 1-7, Lozano 1-6, Smith 1-5. B - Petersen 6-108, Nic Edwards 1-48, Ihle 3-36, Murphy 2-16, Bryce Haessig 1-4, Kyler Watson 1-(-3).
Tackles: BF - Miller 8.5, Beresford 7, Cameron Meislahn 7, Lewis 5, Snider 4. B - Sam Salasek 12, Petersen 9, Connor Finch 9, Logan Harmeyer 8.5, Murphy 6, Nich Wacha 5.
Sacks: BF - Miller.
Fumble recoveries: B - Petersen.
Interceptions: BF - Nolan Meyer.