All eight panel “experts” predicted the 7-2 Bombers would prevail against the 2-6 Patriots. But it didn’t happen.
If you saw the West Frankfort game, you saw sophomore quarterback Jay Benard grow up quickly. Massac’s last two possessions of the West Frankfort game were well controlled and efficient. That carried over to the season-ender against the visitors from LaCenter.
Some more terrific running by Dillon Stoner, some big pass plays by Benard, some timely defensive plays by a host of boys and, not insignificantly, a loss of composure by the visitors on several occasions resulted in a hard fought, “spirited” win by the Pats.
One area the Patriots have struggled with all year has been penalties and for a change, the Pats weren’t the most penalized team on the field Friday night.
Ballard struck first at the 4:30 mark in the first quarter with Alex Hougins darting into the end zone for a 7-0 lead after the point after touchdown (PAT) kick.
A 25-yard touchdown strike to Dalton Mitchell from Benard after a handful of tough runs by Stoner got the Pats on the board with 5:41 left in the first half after Hayes Lawson’s kick split the uprights.
Some leaky pass coverage allowed Ballard to score with one minute left in the half, and it appeared Ballard would take a 14-7 lead into the intermission.
--- TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY ONLINE, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE PLANET'S e-EDITION ---