Bombers lose defensive battle at Webster City: Ballard drops 8-7 slugfest in district opener
WEBSTER CITY - The Ballard football team came up painfully short in a grind-it-out battle with Webster City in the rain to open Class 3A District 2 play Friday.
The Bombers led nearly the entire way in a defensive showdown between two unbeaten teams. But Webster City scored its only touchdown with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Lynx then went for two and converted following the touchdown. That turned out to be the difference as the Bombers were handed an 8-7 setback.
“It was a slugfest all night long,” Ballard co-head coach Corey Vespestad said. “Both teams played physical football. It stings when you lose a close game like this one.”
Ballard found the end zone six minutes into the game when Sam Petersen crossed the goal line on a 5-yard run. Obi Soash added the extra point to put the Bombers up seven.
From that point until the middle of the fourth quarter Ballard maintained that lead behind a tremendous effort by the Bomber defense. But Webster City’s smash-mouth single-wing offense eventually began to wear Ballard down.
The Lynx started putting things together and drove the ball down deep in Ballard territory late in the fourth quarter. Webster City quarterback Chase Rattenborg then capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run with 3:06 to pull his team within 7-6.
Legendary Webster City head coach Bob Howard decided to roll the dice and go for two and the win following the touchdown. Rattenborg managed to find his way across the goal line again on another run to give the Lynx the lead.
Ballard was unable to answer in the final three minutes in falling to 2-1.
“We have great kids,” Vespestad said. “I know they will come in on Monday leading the way to get better and build off this tough loss.”
The Bombers held Webster City to just 266 yards. But they only had 146 on offense.
Mason Murphy had 10.5 tackles, including 10 solo stops, Jeremiah Wilkinson made 10 tackles and one stop behind the line and Kale Krogh, Connor Finch and Nick Wacha each added 8.5 tackles for a busy Ballard defense. Krogh tallied eight solo stops, Wacha two tackles for loss and Finch one stop behind the line.
Kyleer Watson chipped in 5.5 tackles and Logan Harmeyer five for Ballard. Harmeyer also had one tackle for loss.
Mason Askelsen tackedon 3.5 tackles and two stops behind the line. Carter Foddrill-Bryan recovered a fumble for the Bombers.
On offense Petersen ran for 30 yards, Wil Jennings 28, Connor Drew 12, Murphy 11 and Harmeyer five for Ballard. Drew completed 5 of 13 passes for 60 yards and one touchdown, Murphy made one big 36-yard grab and Nolan Schonhorst caught two balls for 25 yards.
Trey Mathis led Webster City with 130 yards rushing on 23 carries and Rattenborg added 88 yards on 16 attempts. Rattenborg also completed 4 of 6 passes for 44 yards.
C.J. Hisler made one reception for 19 yards, Tyler Olson two for 15 and Mathis one for 10 for Webster City.
Olson had four tackles and an interception, Skyler Scott four stops and a sack and Jamin Stuhr 6.5 tackles for Webster City on defense. Jack Van Diest added six stops and Devon Stoakes 5.5 for the Lynx, who improved to 3-0.
Ballard will try and rebound against Gilbert. The Tigers (2-0) didn’t play last week after their opponent, Mason City, had someone within the program test positive for COVID-19.
“We have played two really physical teams in a row against Carlisle and Webster City - It doesn't get any easier this week as we prepare to play Gilbert,” Vespestad said. “We must focus on continuing to get better this week.”
The Bombers’ game with the Tigers will take place at North Polk’s Comet Field in Alleman due to derecho damage done to Rich Strouse Field in Huxley. It is set to start at 7:30 p.m.
Webster City 8, Ballard 7
B 7 0 0 0 - 7
WC 0 0 0 8 - 8
B - Sam Petersen 5 run (Obi Soash kick), 6:00.
WC - Chase Rattenborg 6 run (Rattenborg run), 3:06.
Team statistics B WC
Rushes-yards 30-86 43-222
Passing 5-13-1 4-6-0
Passing yards 60 44
Total yards 146 266
Fumbles lost 0 1
Punts-average 5-29.6 5-31.6
Rushing: B - Sam Petersen 6-30, Wil Jennings 11-28, Connor Drew 8-12, Mason Murphy 4-11, Logan Harmeyer 1-5. WC - Trey Mathis 23-130, Chase Rattenborg 16-88, C.J. Hisler 4-4.
Passing: B - Drew 5-13-1-60. WC - Rattenborg 4-6-0-44.
Receiving: B - Murphy 1-36, Nolan Schonhorst 2-25, Kyler Watson 1-1, Petersen 1-(-2). WC - Hisler 1-19, Tyler Olson 2-15, Mathis 1-10.
Tackles: B - Murphy 10.5, Jeremiah Wilkinson 10, Connor Finch 8.5, Nick Wacha 8.5, Kale Krogh 8.5. WC - Jamin Stuhr 6.5, Jack Van Diest 6, Devon Stoakes 5.5, Skyler Scott 4, Olson 5.
Sacks: WC - Scott.
Fumble recoveries: B - Carter Foddrill-Bryan.
Interceptions: WC - Olson.