Main takeaways from Ballard's 26-0 victory over Boone to christen the new Rich Strouse Field

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune

The Ballard football team celebrated its first home game in 700 days by blanking Boone, 26-0, at the newly-renovated Rich Strouse Field in Huxley. Ballard couldn't play at home last year due to damage done by the 2020 derecho storm. The victory was also the Bombers' first of the season, putting them at 1-2. Here are key takeaways from the game:

It's good to be home

No matter the final outcome Friday, Ballard was just happy to be back home. That the Bombers got to play on a brand-new turf field with a nice new video board and press box made it that much better and it was topped off with an impressive shutout victory.

"It was great to play at home in front of our fans and get a win in the newly-renovated stadium," Ballard co-head coach Corey Vespestad said. 

Ballard football team enters Rich Strouse Field for its first home game in 700 days when the Bombers took on Boone Friday in Huxley. Ballard won the game at the newly-renovated stadium, 26-0.

The defense was dominant

Ballard had by far its best defensive outing of the season. The Bombers were steller in keeping Boone off the board after giving up an average of 39 points over their first two games. 

"Coach (Kyle) Howard and I are thankful to be surrounded by a great coaching staff," Vespestad said. "They do a great job of helping us prepare for our opponents each week and helping implement our game plan."

Colby Calvert and Chance Lande each had an interception and Ballard totaled seven tackles for loss. Nick Wacha made two stops behind the line and Blake Fleischmann, Beau Warg, Jack Nelson, Trevor Kalsem and Kale Krogh finished with one apiece. Jayden Swain led Ballard in total tackles with seven.

"Our kids love to compete and again had a great week of practice," Vespestad said. They are thankful for the opportunity to play the game they love each Friday night."  

Ihle and Cattell form deadly tandem at receiver

Jacob Ihle and Jayden Cattell combined to make eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Ihle had four grabs for 79 yards and Cattell four for 75. Bomber quarterback Ashton Hermann completed 13 of 22 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

Ballard's wide receiver Jacob Ihle celebrates with fellow receiver Jayden Cattell after a touchdown against Boone during the first quarter of the Bombers' 26-0 victory over the Toreadors Friday at Rich Strouse Field in Huxley. It was Ballard's first home game in 700 days due to damage from last year's derecho storm.

Ballard gets ground game going

Ballard ran for a season-high 214 yards on 37 carries. Hermann showed off his legs by picking up 100 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Gabe Christensen added 66 yards and one score on 19 rushes.

Back at home this Friday

Ballard gets the fortune of having two home games in a row. The Bombers have another winnable game against an Atlantic team that is also 1-2.

"It has been a while since we have played them," Vespestad said. "They are another physical and well-coached team. We need to continue to get better.

The Bombers and Trojans will kick off at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at Rich Strouse Field.

Ballard 26, Boone 0

Boone     0      0    0    0 — 0

Ballard    7    12    0    7 — 26

Individual statistical leaders — Ballard

Rushing: Ashton Hermann 11-100.

Passing: Hermann 13-22-2-198.

Receiving: Jacob Ihle 4-79.

Tackles: Jayden Swain 7.

Tackles for loss: Nick Wacha 2.

Interceptions: Colby Calvert 1, Chance Lande 1.