Ballinger has had this game marked on their calendar as a measuring stick game to see where their program was at. Up against perennial powerhouse Cisco Ballinger was defeated 26-9.
Ballinger received the ball to open the game, but their offense was unable to gain any traction. After a quick three and out they had to punt the ball to Cisco. On the punt the Loboes brought heavy pressure and were able to get to the ball, blocking the punt and recovering it on the Bearcat 6 yard line giving them an extremely short field to work with. Two plays later they would score the first touchdown of the game, although they would miss the extra point. Cisco 6-Ballinger 0
The next two drives would end up being three and outs by both teams with Ballinger narrowly missing having a second punt blocked and then Cisco punting Ballinger down at their own 11 yard line. Ballinger would take over the ball at their own 11, needing to drive 89 yards for a score against a stiff Cisco defense. After chipping away for ten plays, on the eleventh Cooper Bean found a terrific hole in the defense and sprinted untouched up the middle of the defense for a 51 yard score. A low snap on the extra point led to a 2 point conversion try that the Bearcats were not able to convert. Cisco 6-Ballinger 6
Unfortunately for Ballinger the tied game was short lived as a missed read by the Bearcat defense led to a one play, 70 yard touchdown drive by Cisco, when Garrett Hearn ran a QB sweep out the the left with nobody there. Cisco 13 – Ballinger 6
Seven plays later Ballinger would again find itself down within the Cisco ten yard line, but an ill-timed personal foul penalty would push the Bearcats out. Ballinger was unable to convert after the penalty and had to settle for a field goal. Fortunately for the Bearcats they still have a weapon at kicker in Edgar Nunez. He hit another distance field goal on the season this time from 38 yards. Both defenses would come up big in the waning minutes of the half, with Ballinger closing it out on a Braden Bowman sack. Cisco 13 – Ballinger 9
In the second half Ballinger was not able to get much going offensively. The defense forced a punt to open the half and gave the Bearcat a chance to take the lead, but an interception by the Cisco defense gave the Loboes their second short field of the game. Not many teams can capitalize like the Loboes can. The powered the ball down the field to extend their lead. Cisco 20 – Ballinger 9
A fourth touchdown of the game by Cisco in the 4th quarter would give us a final score of 26-9
Ballinger fought tough in this game against #8 state ranked Cisco, but short fields given to the Loboes and penalties were too much for the Bearcats to overcome in the end. Despite the Ballinger holding Cisco to a season low 199 yards and 70 of that coming on one play.
Ballinger next travels to Anson. The Tigers are coming off a 48-27 defeat of Bangs. Anson is kind of a mixed bag so far on the season. They have played two 2A teams and have split with them, and they have played two 3A teams and have split with them. Most telling is the 44-0 defeat of Anson by Jim Ned on September 6th, a team that Ballinger scrimmaged before the season. Ballinger fought tooth and nail with the very same Jim Ned team and they seem to be much closer to the Indians than the Dragons in terms of capabilities at this point. It is no doubt that Anson has a potent offense, but the Bearcat defense should be able to do enough to slow them down.
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Look for Edgar to have a bounceback game. Last year he ran ALL OVER Anson for 323 yards. If the Tigers try to key on Edgar then look for Cooper, Garret Dixon and Beau Perkins to have a big game.
Ballinger defense will be big. Anson passes the ball a lot. Senior quarterback Drew Hagler has to get dirty. The Ballinger defense will be looking to take him down early and often. Look for the sacks to pile up, expect big days from Bowman, Dixon and Winn on defense as these are the Bearcats three top pass rushers.
Balls in the air means a chance for Tyler Vaughn to make an impact play on defense. He almost had one last week against Cisco. He knows his keys. He will find an interception this week.