As many predicted they would, Ballinger used their motivation from a subpar Week 1 performance to motivate them into a dominating Week 2 performance. Ballinger traveled to Reagan County and were victorious 48-7
For the second week in a row Ballinger won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half. After the staunch Bearcat defense shutdown the Owls offense Ballinger was ready to get to work. Darin Hall started at running back for the game and he continues to give the Bearcats a spark on offense. His first touchdown came on the first Ballinger drive of the game, but he wasn’t done. Ballinger 7-Reagan County 0
The Owls went 2-and-out on their next drive, but a great punt return by Hall put the Bearcats in prime striking position. On the first play of the drive it was textbook Ballinger football. Edgar Nunez rolled out, finding a wide open Weston Rollwitz in the end zone. Weston had turned his defender inside out on the play. Ballinger 14-Reagan County 0
Ballinger would again hold the Owls to a punt on their next possession. On the ensuing Ballinger drive would be the largest sticking point for Ballinger on the night. On a third and long Ballinger opted to run an option play. The ball would end up on the ground and Reagan County would scoop up the ball and run 20 yards for a touchdown. Ballinger 14-Reagan County 7
When Ballinger got the ball back they almost scored on one quick strike to JoeMarcus Guerrero, but he was tackled on the 2 yard line. After failing to run run Darin Hall up the middle on the next play Ballinger was able to boot Edgar out to the left and run in untouched for the score. Ballinger 21-Reagan County 7
When Reagan County next got the ball the momentum was all Ballinger. During a short, mostly ineffective drive, Braden Bowman sacked the quarterback and stripped him of the football. The following Ballinger drive was textbook. Two Darin Hall runs later and the band was striking up the Ballinger Bearcat Fight Song. Ballinger 28-Reagan County 7
Reagan County’s next possession ended when Garrett Dixon had a blindside sack of the quarterback on one of the most vicious collisions of the night. The Owls attempted to get out of the shadow of their own end zone by punting the ball, but it was all for naught. Two plays later and Edgar was doing what he does. Weaving in and out of defenders while they were left grasping at air. Ballinger 35-Reagan County 7
Ballinger would again go on defense, but this next series would not last long either. On the second offensive play the Reagan County quarterback held the ball out to handoff to the running back, but instead found Ballinger linebacker Aidan Busenlehner taking the ball out of his hands. Ballinger would again take possession of the ball with a short field. After a short screen pass to Adrian Anene, Nunez would run the ball in the rest of the way. Ballinger 42-Reagan County 7
This would lead to the end of the 1st half and when the Bearcats returned after half you would be hard pressed to find a started on the field. This was a perfect opportunity for the Bearcats and Coach Chuck Lipsey to spread around some playing time so early in the season. Lipsey would elect to skip Tyler Vaughn at quarterback and give James Washington his first live varsity reps at quarterback. Coach Lipsey was content with not running up the score on the opponent and leaving with as little injuries as possible. He elected to run a ball control heavy offense in the second half, with heavy doses of Washington, Hall and Peter Alfaro. Late in the 4th quarter Darin Hall would find the end zone for the third time in the game and his fifth of the season while the Bearcat defense refused to give up any points on the game. A bad snap on the last extra point lead to a failed two point conversion attempt. Final score Ballinger 48-Reagan County 7.
This week Ballinger will travel to Colorado City to face a Wolves team that defeated the Bearcats last season. It is a loss that left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans, players and coaches. It was a game that Ballinger physically dominated the majority of, but for a handful of deep Hail Mary passes that just didn’t go their way in a one touchdown defeat.
Looking at this Colorado City team does not feel like looking at the same team from last year, however. Last year the Wolves were coming off of back to back wins over 2A powerhouse Albany 32-13 and stiff 3A competition Crane 41-21 This season they are coming off of back to back losses 18-3 against Albany and 43-0 against Crane.
The Wolves offensive line should have their hands full with Adam Winn, Marcus Castleberry and company. Having scored 3 points on the year so far and going against a potent Ballinger offense does not bode well for Colorado City.
Week 2 Top Performers
5/6 passing 115 yards 1 touchdown
4 carries 42 yards 2 touchdowns
20 carries 142 yards 3 touchdowns
2 catches 35 yards
1 sack, 1 caused fumble, 1 fumble recovered(def stats incomplete)
Week 3 Who to Watch
Watch for sophomore #51 Marcus Castleberry at nose tackle. Colorado City has a smallish line. Marcus is already, as a sophomore, commanding double teams on the line. He is plugging up the middle of the field and allowing the players around him to make plays. He might not put up impressive numbers, but there is no doubt that his play will have a huge impact on the game.
Secondly, Adam Winn has been quieter than usual this season after playing two teams that mostly run the ball. That changes this week while playing Colorado City, who likes to throw and throw a lot. Look for Adam to put up huge defensive numbers while being solid and steady opening up holes on offense.
Ballinger linebackers will have a big day as a group. It is hard to say which one as every one of them has the ability to and already has impacted games early. Cooper Bean, Braden Bowman, Aidan Busenlehner and Garrett Dixon have lived in opponents backfields this season. Don’t look for that to change this week.
Keep watching Darin Hall. I expect Cooper will continue playing the majority of his snaps on defense as long as Darin is getting the job done on offense. Cooper leads the defense. There is a huge drop without him on the field. As long as the offense continues to roll without him, Darin will continue to get touches. He is making every carry count this season averaging 6.3 yards per carry and leading Ballinger in all purpose yards.