Ballinger versus Clyde lived up to early season billing as one of the premiere games on the Bearcats schedule this season. In a tough battle where both teams took turns throwing haymakers it was the Bearcats who were victorious 21-14.
Ballinger kicked off to start the game and withstood a strong drive by Clyde to force a punt, but the Ballinger offense was stopped quickly by an interception. Again Ballinger would force a Clyde punt, but the offense of Ballinger would get backed up all the way to their own 4 yard line. With a solid mix of running and passing Ballinger was able to drive all the way down the field to score the opening points of the game. The drive ended with a well designed touchdown play that saw Weston Rollwitz run a drag route all the way across the field before catching a pass from Arrott on the move.
Clyde would answer back four plays later with a touchdown of the own to tie the score at 7. After this point neither team seemed to be able to get much going on offense as both defenses stepped up their play. The first half would end 7-7.
Ballinger received the 2nd half kickoff and drove down the field in 11 plays, but would end the drive with an interception in the end zone on a fake field goal. Clyde would answer back with a long drive of their own for the touchdown and the lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Ballinger would enter the 4th quarter with their backs against the wall. The Bearcats ran six plays with only one pass, a big completion down the middle to Tyler Vaughn, three big runs by Dixon and two by Arrott including a 12 yard touchdown run.
Ballinger’s defense would step up once again in crunch time forcing a quick three and out. On the ensuing Ballinger possession Carter Arrott would throw a bullet to Rollwitz tightroping his way along the sideline and Dixon would take a handoff 13 yards as he dove into the endzone to give the Bearcats their first lead since the game was 7-0 in the first quarter.Clyde’s last hope drive would be ended by Tyler Vaughn with yet another big play, intercepting the ball. Ballinger would take the ball all the way down to the Clyde one yard line on the final drive of the game. Rather than going for the emphatic victory touchdown Coach Lipsey instead kneeled the ball wo run out the remaining time on the clock giving the Bearcats a 4-0 start to the season.
Ballinger will travel to Llano to face the Yellowjackets Friday, September 25th. Llano is 4-0 on the season coming off their own late game victory against 2AD1 #6 San Saba in a 35-31 game that Llano won with an onside kick that led to the game winning score with just seconds remaining. Llano was a 4AD2 Bi-district champion last season before dropping to 3A this year. Ballinger will have a bi-week following the Llano game.
Players of the Game vs Clyde
Dixon put the running game on his shoulders against the Bulldogs for 214 yards. With six games remaining plus the playoffs at 419 yards on the season Garrett could be the first 1000 yard rusher the Bearcats have seen in quite some time.
Tyler should officially change his name to Tyler “Big Play” Vaughn because that is what he does best. Tyler has consistently made plays when they matter for Ballinger. An interception to start the season against Jim Ned, an interception in the end zone before halftime against Clyde and another to seal the victory. Throw in big time catches, this kid just gets it done.
For the second week in a row Gavin had a big catch and run. Gavin is turning in to a real weapon for Ballinger and he leads the team with 20 yards per catch.
Players to Watch vs Llano:
Winn has a chance to physically dominate a small Llano line. Ballinger being the larger team doesn’t happen often. Winn should take this opportunity on a large stage to really flash what he is capable of.
Weston will likely draw the assignment to cover Llano outstanding receiver Quincy Prince. Only 5’10” Prince plays like a man on fire. He leads the team with 17 catches for 312, but more impressively is his 8 touchdowns. He scores every other time he touches the ball and it will likely be Westons job to keep that from happening in this game.
Aiden will have to have a good day playing his gap assignment against Case Kuykendall. One of Llanos two quarterbacks. Kuykendall is the leading passer, leading rusher and 3rd leading receiver. Stopping him will be the key to winning the game.