Bombers run over Toreadors in playoff first round: No. 9 Ballard rolls to 40-14 victory

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Sam Petersen

BOONE - A dominant run game and an opportunistic defense enabled ninth-ranked Ballard to easily move on to the second round of the Class 3A football playoffs with a 40-14 victory over Boone Friday.

The Bombers (7-1) ran for 331 yards and forced seven turnovers to advance to face Nevada in the second round this Friday. Ballard shut out Boone (0-8) over the first three quarters to build an insurmountable 26-0 lead on its way to its second victory over the Toreadors this season.

“It was great to have the opportunity to play on another Friday night and to get a playoff win,” Ballard co-head coach Corey Vespestad said. “Our guys are excited and focused on the next opportunity.”

Sam Petersen ran for 143 yards on 26 carries for the Bombers. He scored two touchdowns - a 5-yard run in the first quarter and a 52-yard jaunt in the fourth.

Gabe Christensen added 75 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He broke free on a 43-yard run in the third quarter and went in from 16 yards out in the fourth.

Mason Murphy tacked on 40 yards and one touchdown rushing and two receptions for 42 yards. His touchdown was a 5-yard run in the second quarter.

Mason Murphy

Connor Drew hooked up with Logan Harmeyer on a 38-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds left in the first quarter for Ballard’s other touchdown. Drew completed 9 of 18 passes for 125 yards and added 56 yards on the ground and Harmeyer made three grabs for 61 yards.

Murphy also had 6.5 tackles and an interception on defense. Kyler Watson picked off two passes, Owen Harms had 2.5 stops and an interception, Connor Finch made six tackles, Jeremiah Wilkinson had 5.5 stops and Harmeyer and Cory Hennick each tallied four tackles.

 Christensen, Nick Wacha and Logan Nosekabel each recovered a fumble for Ballard.

Ballard is looking forward to renewing its rivalry with Nevada (6-2) in a big playoff matchup next Friday in Boone.

 The teams last played in 2015 - a 47-7 Ballard victory - but Nevada’s program has made huge strides since. The Cubs are coming off a 69-6 dismantling of Perry in its first round game.

“We need to have a great week of practice as we prepare to play Nevada,” Vespestad said. “They are a well-coached and physical team.”

The Bombers and Cubs will kick off at 7 p.m. 

Ballard 40, Boone 14

Ballard   12   7   7   14 - 40

Boone      0   0   0   14 - 14


First quarter

Ballard - Sam Petersen 5 run (kick failed), 8:25.

Ballard - Logan Harmeyer 38 pass from Connor Drew (2-point conversion failed), 0:30.

Second quarter

Ballard - Mason Murphy 5 run (Obi Soash kick), 2:36.

Third quarter

Ballard - Gabe Christensen 43 run (Soash kick), 8:07.

Fourth quarter

Boone - Jayden Angle 6 run (kick good), 5:56.

Ballard - Sam Petersen 52 run (Soash kick), 2:32.

Ballard - Christensen 16 run (Soash kick), 1:42.

Boone - Tegan Bock 56 pass from Morgan Smith (kick good), 0:44.

Individual statistics - Ballard

Rushing: Sam Petersen 26-143, Gabe Christensen 5-75, Connor Drew 13-56, Mason Murphy 8-40, Hunter Vitzthum 1-12, Jayden Swain 3-5, Logan Harmeyer 1-0.

Passing: Drew 9-18-1-125.

Receiving: Harmeyer 3-61, Murphy 2-42, Nolan Schonhorst 1-9, Petersen 1-6, Bryce Haessig 1-4, Kyler Watson 1-3.

Tackles: Murphy 6.5, Connor Finch 6, Jeremiah Wilkinson 5.5, Harmeyer 4, Cory Hennick 4.

Fumble recoveries: Christensen, Nick Wacha, Logan Nosekabel.

Interceptions: Watson 2, Murphy, Owen Harms.