After last week’s drubbing, Ball High needed a game like Friday night’s.
Tors sophomore running back Clarence Dalton certainly made sure it happened.
Dalton rushed for 186 yards and three touchdowns, including a 58-yarder at the start of the third quarter, to power Ball High past the Galena Park Yellowjackets, 48-7, in District 23-5A football action at Kermit Courville Stadium.
The win moved the Tors to within one win of reaching the playoffs, improving to 3-2 in league play and 4-3 overall.
“I wanted to do it for the team,” said Dalton, who also scored on runs of 8 and 16 yards, all three touchdowns straight up the middle.
“The line, line, line came through,” Dalton added. “We had to redeem ourselves after last week. We did what we had to do to win tonight.”
And then some.
Execution was the key, not to mention wind-aided field position in the first quarter that eventually led to a 21-0 command by the 4:41 mark, Dalton scoring his first of three touchdowns untouched.
“We executed much better,” Ball High coach Kimble Anders said. “Our guys made plays. The wind helped a lot. We got it to work to our advantage.”
After stopping Galena Park on its opening possession, the Tors only needed six plays to cover 51 yards.
Tony Robbins started off the drive with a 12-yard sprint to the Yellowjackets’ 39. Then runs of 19 and 10 yards by Martavian Jackson and Fitzroy Vanhorne, respectively, set up Robbins’ zig-zag effort of 15 yards to the end zone.
When Zack Lerner kicked his first of six successful point-after kicks, Ball High was up 7-0 with 9 minutes exactly showing on the clock.
Another defensive stop by the Tors and a short 7-yard punt into the wind led to a quick one-play scoring strike, this one a 40-yard pass-and-run from Jackson to Donnavan Walker.
Moments later, Austin Lawrence hauled in his third interception of the year and returned it to the Galena Park 27, where he fortunately fumbled into the hands of an alert Larnell Mitchell.
Dalton, who had 13 carries total, was responsible for all 27 yards, running for 4 and 15 before scooting in unmolested the final eight steps.
Lerner’s PAT gave Ball High its early 21-0 advantage.
The Yellowjackets answered with a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive. But just before the first half ended, the Tors marched 66 yards in seven plays, as well, thanks in part to a 35-yard dash by Dalton to the Galena Park 21.
A face-mask penalty on the run pushed the ball to the 11, eventually leading to a 15-yard scramble for paydirt by Jackson.
At that point, Ball High led 27-7.
The Yellowjackets had a chance to pull within two touchdowns, but Michael Fox denied the visitors with an interception in the end zone.
Dalton then put the game out of reach with his second-half touchdown runs of 58 and 16 yards, the latter with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter.
The Tors added an insurance score just before the period ended, Jackson racing 55 yards to the Galena Park 3 to set up Deonte Hunt’s short touchdown run up the middle from there.
Jackson had a field day himself both on the ground and in the air, passing for 137 yards and running for another 107.
Vanhorne and Hunter Jones had four catches apiece for 37 and 44 yards, respectively. Nigel Green added three receptions for 16 yards.
“We definitely bounced back tonight,” Anders said. “We want to take it one game at a time though. We’ve got to stay focused.”