Facing a winless season and after having just buried a too young teammate, Massac County needed a win in the worst way. But with Ballard earning their way into Kentucky’s somewhat convoluted playoff system and, truth be told, still stinging a little over last year’s 56-0 whipping at Metropolis, the hoped for win just didn’t materialize.
The Pats got off quickly as Jordan Troutman and Daz Nickerson got a ground game established early. Nickerson appeared to have scored on the fourth play of the game but apparently eased off the accelerator and allowed Austin Walters to close on him and down him inside Ballard’s two yard line.
There disaster struck in the form of that old bugaboo, the mishandled snap.
With QB Cameron Koch on the sidelines in street clothes, sophomore Braden Fritch was tossed into the fire and that ongoing issue of center-quarterback transfers bit Fritch also.
With paydirt just a few feet away and some much needed momentum within grasp, Ballard recovered Massac’s first turnover and with 9:56 left in the opening stanza, turned a busted play of their own into a 76 yard touchdown pass from Trevor Langston to junior DeVoun Bledsoe.
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