The Ball High Tors dominated the Fort Bend Elkins Knights in a 42-7 win Saturday night at Hall Stadium that clinched the program’s first playoff berth since 2009.
Just six years ago, the Tors had an 0-10 season, and they also had a four-season stretch from 2010 to 2013 where the team had a combined record of 5-35.
“This is my fifth year, and we’ve been chopping at it, bits and pieces at a time,” Ball High head coach Kimble Anders said. “Tonight, we were able to accomplish that goal. The kids have just been continuing to improve, and that’s all we ask — each year to continue to improve, getting bigger, stronger, faster.”
Leading the way Saturday for the Tors was quarterback Martavian Jackson, who had five total touchdowns, hit six different receivers (including four different receivers for TDs) and had only four incompletions in 20 pass attempts.
“We haven’t been to the playoffs in eight or nine years, and my pops called me right before we played the game and he was like, ‘Do what you do. This team, they follow you,’” Jackson said. “In that first drive, we got the tempo, we got going. And then, after that, we just took off.”
After a bit of a defensive struggle to start things out, Ball High opened the scoring with a 40-yard dash to the end zone by Clarence Dalton (24 carries, 185 yards) for a 7-0 lead with 1:53 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tors added to the scoreboard with a 39-yard TD on a quarterback keeper by Jackson (16-for-20, 209 yards; seven carries, 50 yards) at the 7:35 mark of the second quarter and a 19-yard TD pass from Jackson to Nigel Green with 3:03 left in the frame en route to taking a 21-0 lead into the halftime break.
Ball High added TDs in the second half on a 26-yard pass from Jackson to Fitzroy Vanhorne, a 40-yard pass from Jackson to Jaden Bennett and a 7-yard pass from Jackson to Donovan Walker.
“We didn’t ease off or anything like that,” Anders said. “It was important to continue to score and keep them off the field and play hard defense. That’s going to carry over to the next game.”
Elkins’ only score of the game came on 46-yard TD run by Kashon Martinez that, at the time, made the score 28-7 at the 8:52 mark of the third quarter.
The Tors’ defense held Elkins’ offense in check, and came away with three interceptions — two by Austin Lawrence (who also had two nice pass breakups) and one by Rodnick Hockley — while the Tors’ offense had no turnovers and racked up 435 total yards.
“Honestly, I think this is the most complete game we’ve played,” Anders said. “The offense and defense did some great things.”
The now playoff-bound Ball High Tors (5-3 overall, 4-2 in District 23-5A) will wrap up their regular season schedule 7 p.m. Friday at home against Fort Bend Willowridge.
“It’s a good feeling, but we can’t stop, we’ve got to keep going,” Jackson said. “We’re not talking about state right now. We’ve just got to go a game at a time and stay humble.”