One thing is for sure when Brady and Ballinger meet on the football field, the opponent will be the toughest the other will play for the rest of the season. Maybe not the most talented, but the hits will be harder and the players on each team will be giving it their all on each and every play from the first to the last whistle. One year after the Bearcats defeated Brady 20-19 in overtime on the road the Bearcats were in for a dogfight against the Bulldogs at home. In a rematch that wasn’t over until the final whistle the Bearcats were victorious 26-22.
Ballinger won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half. After a strong defensive stand the Bulldogs punted the ball and, Ballinger would turn the ball over immediately on an ill-advised throw into double coverage that Brady would intercept.
Both teams would continue to feel each other out before Brady would eventually score the first touchdown of the game late in the first quarter. After missing the extra point they would take a 6-0 lead over the Bearcats.
Ballinger would finally get the ball rolling at the beginning of the 2nd quarter behind some hard running by Edgar Nunez and Darin Hall. Hall would put the ball in the end zone for the Bearcats first score of the game to go up 7-6.
Ballinger would go on to have a very strong 2nd quarter and at times looked like they would dominate the rest of the game.
A perfectly timed interception by Garrett Dixon put the Bearcats back on offense. They were not able to capitalize, but it allowed them to flip the field and had Brady punting out of their own end zone on their ensuing possession. Darin Hall took his moment to shine and with some superb blocking in front of him was able to take the ball 49 yards for a touchdown putting Ballinger up 14-6.
On the ensuing kickoff a seemingly flustered Brady team allowed the kickoff to roll down to the one yard line before the ballcarrier attempted to pick up the ball where he was blown up by Weston Rollwitz and fumbled the ball for an apparent touchdown. The referee, however, called the ball down at the 1 yard line and Brady took possession.
On the very next play Aidan Busenlehner didn’t let Brady out of the end zone and stopped the Bulldogs for a safety extending the Bearcats 2nd quarter scoring run to 16 points going into halftime.
Brady would come out after half with a renewed vigor and despite giving up an opening drive field goal to the Bearcats allowing them to go up 19-6 they would continue to fight back. Brady drove down the field on the following drive and threw a 3rd quarter touchdown pass as well as completing the two point conversion to make the game 19-14 going into the 4th quarter.
In the 4th quarter Nunez placed a perfectly thrown ball over the defense to Weston Rollwitz to extend the Bearcat lead to 26-14. Brady would fight back and score a touchdown on the ensuing drive to make the game 26-22.
Ballinger would have an opportunity to ice the game on their next possession, but a stiff Brady defense had the Bearcats go 3-and-out. Brady would have one last opportunity on offense to win the game. Starting from the Ballinger 49 yard line Brady took a huge risk throwing into double coverage, but a tremendous effort by the receiver making the catch at the 14 yard line. Two plays later it appeared that Brady had won the game, but they were flagged for a chop block that gave Ballinger another shot to hold the Bulldogs.
Due to the penalty and with mere seconds to go Brady had no choice, but to throw the ball from the 24 yard line. One incompletion caused by Weston Rollwitz left the Bulldogs with a 4th down try to win the game from the Ballinger 19 yard line.
A perfectly drawn up play by the Bulldogs had corner Weston Rollwitz crash down on the slot receiver while the outside receiver faked a block. As soon as Weston bit down on the fake screen the receiver took off for the pass. Ballinger’s Junior safety Tyler Vaughn was able to read the quarterback perfectly and arrived just in time to intercept the ball in the end zone securing the Ballinger victory.
Ballinger 1-0(0-0) will next travel to Big Lake Reagan County to take on the Owls 0-1(0-0). The Owls lost Friday 20-12 to the Stanton Buffaloes.
Top performers against Brady:
4 catches-106 yards-1 touchdown
6 carries-22 yards-1 touchdown
1 punt return touchdown