Opening the season against possibly the toughest team on your schedule is always a tough task.
Opening the season against possibly the toughest team on your schedule is always a tough task. Playing an opponent that has 15 seniors when you are playing with seven sophomores is a recipe for disaster. On top of that Ballinger has four upper classmen that were out of football last season for various reasons leading to even more inexperience in already small classes. All of this culminated in a 55-0 final score and dropped the Bearcats to 0-1 on the season.
From the opening kick the Bearcats never were able to grab much momentum. Jayden Rivera forced two fumbles within the Ballinger 10-yard line, but preventing those scores did little to change the final score as Comanche was able to run the ball at will against Ballinger. Divad Briones did his best to slow down the ball carriers, but when the middle wasn’t there they simply bumped outside and took huge chunks of yardage against a defense that seemed to be a step slow all night.
The coaching staff was able to learn some things throughout the game.
“We have to get better at reacting to the speed of the game," Coach Chuck Lipsey said. "Even though we were playing one of the better 3A teams in the area we left some plays on the field with dropped balls. We need more experience and have our young guys grow up in a hurry. That will come from practice and playing on Friday nights.”
This will be a process for Ballinger as they look to continue to improve and build upon what they have started.
“What I want is in week 10, we are the most improved team in West Texas” Lipsey said.
In the opening week of the season Grape Creek hosted Alpine. Alpine would be victorious 65-0 over a Grape Creek team breaking in a new coaching staff and replacing a three year starter at quarterback.
It’s not clear at this time whether Alpine is that good or just had a good matchup against the Eagles. Something that should be clear by the end of the season as Ballinger will play Alpine in Week 10 to see how far they have come.
This week the goal is simple for Ballinger. Continue to improve and play well for 4 quarters.
"I'm proud of our kids for not quitting, even when we were down last week. They continued to play hard.” Lipsey said, “We are going to move some guys around to get them where we need them. It’s up to us to put them in the right spot.”
This week the Bearcats will take on the Grape Creek Eagles. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from extremely disappointing openers. This game could be a high scoring affair as the teams gave up over 100 points combined last week.
This game should be a Ballinger win if everything goes the way it is expected. Alpine is coming off of a next to last place finish in 3A-2 Region I District 3 while Comanche went undefeated in 3A-1 Region I District 3. The Bearcats will need a large home crowd behind them to help will the team to a victory.
Ballinger will host the Grape Creek Eagles on Friday September 8 at 7:30 p.m. Ballinger will be on the three week road trip after this game, traveling to Clyde September 15, Merkel September 22 and Junction September 29.