The Ballou Knights have their sights set on a return trip to the Turkey Bowl and were determined not to let a road game against the McKinley Tech Trainers get in their way.

After suffering their first loss of the season last week against division rival H.D. Woodson, Ballou (7-1) stayed on course by flying past McKinley, 31-12, and earning the final playoff spot in the DCIAA East. Ballou raced out to a 25-0 halftime lead and never looked back with senior quarterback Delonte Edwards throwing three touchdowns in the first half.

Edwards was hot on a chilly night, throwing for 174 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for another. He threw scoring strikes of 15, 35 and 30 yards in the first half as Ballou capitalized on five consecutive turnovers by McKinley.

When Edwards wasn’t throwing over McKinley, senior running back Darren Holbrook was running through them. Utilizing a toss play that Ballou ran repeatedly, Holbrook ran for 191 yards and gashed McKinley for several huge gains. The diminutive two-way player also made his mark on the defensive end, intercepting a McKinley pass in their own end zone late in the second half and racing 45 yards the other way to thwart a brief comeback attempt.

As dominant as Ballou was, McKinley (4-6) was equally as disappointing. Turnovers set up Ballou with short drives and easy scores and dropped passes and fumbles repeatedly stalled the home team’s offense. By the time McKinley got on the board with consecutive touchdowns in the second half, the game was out of reach—even before Edwards tossed his final score of the evening to Dontray Crawford.

Ballou will return home for its season finale against Eastern, and erasing the sting of the loss to the H.D. Woodson Warriors has Ballou back in high spirits.

“We were kind of depressed ” Ballou head coach Moses Ware said. “I think it took some of the kids almost until Thursday to get over that. We all put so much into H.D. so to lose that one hurt but the kids bounced back. means a lot, we feel like we let one go last week. Our ultimate goal is to win a championship so this puts us back in position to accomplish our first goal which is making the playoffs.”


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO