Analysis of Ballard's 31-14 loss to Adel-Desoto-Minburn in Class 3A football

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Ballard receiver Jayden Cattell makes a grab against Adel-Desoto-Minburn's Vince Benetti during the third quarter of the Bombers' 31-14 loss to the Tigers Friday at Adel. Cattell had two catches for 46 yards.

The Ballard football team fell to 0-2 with a 31-14 loss to Adel-Desoto-Minburn Friday at Adel. Here is a quick analysis of the Bombers' loss to the Tigers and where they're headed as they prepare for their first true home game in 700 days this Friday against Boone at the newly-renovated Rich Strouse Field in Huxley:

The Bombers made noticeable strides

Ballard suffered a 47-14 loss at Bondurant-Farrar in Week 1. The Bombers traile 21-0 after the first quarter and were never in the game against the Bluejays. Ballard put up a much better fight against A-D-M. The Bombers were only down 17-7 at the half and 24-14 after three quarters and they actually led at the end of the first quarter. The Ballard defense gave up 82 fewer yards to A-D-M than it did Bondurant-Farrar and the offense saw slight improvement in the running game (168 yards against A-D-M to 141 versus Bondurant-Farrar).

"We have to continue to learn and grow as a team," Ballard co-head coach Corey Vespestad said. "A-D-M had a great game plan coming into Friday night and they executed that plan."

Turnovers were costly

Ballard did turn the ball over three times against A-D-M with two fumbles lost and an interception. The Bomber defense only forced one Tiger miscue. 

Defense must do better against the run

The pass defense improved Friday, giving up 138 yards after getting burned for 291 against Bondurant-Farrar. But the Bombers had a rough night trying to slow the Tiger run game, giving up 297 yards.

Hermann and Christensen keep up solid play on offense

Ballard quarterback Ashton Hermann breaks a tackle attempt by A-D-M linebacker Gabe Heitz during the third quarter of the Bombers' 31-14 loss to the Tigers Friday at Adel.

Ashton Hermann had his second quality outing at quarterback in a row. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 119 yards with one touchdown and interception apiece and also showed off his legs with 71 yards and one touchdown rushing. Gabe Christensen finished right at 100 yards rushing for the second game in a row and he also caught two passes for 31 yards. Jayden Cattell also had another solid effort at receiver, making two catches for 46 yards after having three for 49 versus Bondurant-Farrar and Jacob Ihle caught a touchdown pass for the second game in a row.

The Blakes did well on defense

Senior Blake Fleischmann had 11.5 tackles and three stops behind the line against A-D-M. Blake Stover added six stops, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

The Bombers aren't overlooking Boone as they prepare for Friday's big home game

Getting to play its first game at Rich Strouse Field in 700 days has Ballard buzzing this week. The Bombers also get to play on a newly-renovated turf field to boot. Ballard also faces a very beatable opponent in a Boone team that struggled against both Nevada (48-7) and Webster City (42-0) in its first two games. But both Nevada and Webster City are tough opposition, with the former team ranked seventh in 3A. Ballard won't be looking past the Toreadors.

"We will have to go back to work this week determined to get better in all facets of the game as we prepare for a tough-nosed Boone squad on Friday," Vespestad said. "We have to eliminate our mental mistakes and penalties."

A-D-M 31, Ballard 14

Ballard    7        0        0        7 — 14

A-D-M      3      14        7        7 — 31

Individual leaders — Ballard

Rushing: Gabe Christensen 18-100. 

Passing: Ashton Hermann 10-13-1-118. 

Receiving: Jayden Cattell 2-46.

Tackles: Blake Fleischmann 11.5.

Fumble recoveries: Blake Stover 1.