Ballard found the end zone three times in the second quarter Friday, scoring 20 points in a seven-minute span that fueled a 41-17 win over host Perry at Dewey Field in Class 1A District 2 action.
Both teams were to have entered the game 1-1 overall, but it was revealed Ballard had been forced to forfeit their 43-7 win over visiting ADM Sept. 1 due to their inadvertently using an academically ineligible player, thus giving the Tigers a 2-0 victory.
The change in fortunes appeared to have little effect on the Bombers, who demolished the Perry defense for 587 yards of offense. Ballard running backs tore through gaping holes and ran through initial contact throughout the game, piling up 511 yards on 67 rushes. The guests ran over 80 plays while the Bluejays had more than 30 fewer snaps.
Perry appeared to be in great shape early after recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff. Mark Campos had strong runs of 23 yards and of 19 to move the ball inside the Bomber two-yard line, but the senior suffered a dislocated elbow on the play and is out indefinitely.
The Bluejays failed to punch the ball into the end zone and settled for a short Anthony Aragon field goal attempt, which was blocked.
Conner Kenyon intercepted an Isaac Schafbuch pass at midfield and returned the ball to the 28-yard line to put the Jays back in business, but the Bomber defense stiffened and turned the hosts away on downs.
From there the game belonged to the guests, who dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Schafbuch stepped into the end zone and Brenden Vincent hit the PAT for a 7-0 Ballard lead after one period of play.
Reece Huen’s three-yard dive in the second frame made it 14-0, but Perry got on the board when German Alvarenga drilled a 35-yard field goal to move the scoreboard to 14-3.
Blake Hegna dove in from a yard out (the PAT was missed) and Schafbuch connected with Kegan Odden on a 19-yard fade pattern for a TD to push the score to 27-3 at halftime.
Skyler Noftsger’s 10-yard plunge early in the third quarter set the score at 34-3 as the Bombers exploited the missing presence of Campos in the middle with numerous runs straight at the defense.
Jon Flores had a fumble recovery for Perry to stop the next Bomber drive, with the following Ballard possession turned away when big defensive lineman Mike Echeverria dropped back into a screen route and picked off a Schafbuch pass, rumbling 22 yards back up the gridiron to set up Donald Chavez’s five-yard TD dive that put the score at 34-10.
Noftsger danced untouched into the end zone from six yards out early in the fourth quarter for a 41-10 Ballard lead. The margin may have grown wider, but Reece Dunlap intercepted a pass to thwart one drive, and, after Perry lost a fumble, made another interception, this time in the end zone, to stifle a Ballard push.
That put the ball on the 20, from where Alexis Garrido found a streaking Brandon Kenyon behind the Bomber secondary. Kenyon pulled in the aerial and easily outran the defense for an 80-yard TD that capped the scoring.
Kenyon caught two passes for 91 yards and the score, with Dunlap grabbing three passes for 41 yards as Garrido finished 5-of-18 for 132 yards. Under duress on most attempts, he hit 5-of-11 after his first seven attempts fell incomplete.
Dunlap had 16 yards on 10 rushes and Garrido nine on 11 carries while Dunlap ran six times for 25 yards.
Chavez led the defense with 7.5 tackles, with Justin Stammer and Mana Martinez each making seven stops. Dunlap, Flores and Kaleb Olejniczak had 6.5 tackles apiece, with Conner Kenyon in on five denials.
Schafbuch was 6-12-4 for 76 yards and the 19-yard TD to Odden. Gannon Manfull (3-29), Hegna (1-21) and Noftsger (1-7) also caught passes.
Noftsger sprinted to 203 yards and two TDs on 27 carries, with Huen scoring once and gaining 109 yards on 16 hauls. Gavin Hobbs ran 15 times for 112 yards, Hegna four times for 62 yards and a TD and Schafbuch five times for 25 yards and a score.
Perry visits Boone Friday, then returns to Dewey Field Sept. 22 for Homecoming against DC-G.