Two days after verbally committing to play for Ohio State, Columbus St. Francis DeSales junior running back Warren Ball celebrated at the expense of Maumee on Friday night.
Ball rushed for 211 yards and scored four touchdowns as Columbus DeSales handled the Panthers 41-0 at Kazmaier Stadium.
Maumee lost its all-league running back Eric Long early in the first quarter. The senior had just two carries before being sidelined with a leg injury. The Panthers were further handcuffed when they lost starting quarterback Jake Schneider to a possible concussion on the first series of the second half.
Still Maumee trailed just 14-0 at the half before Columbus DeSales pulled away.
Utilizing a compact, pounding style Ball averaged 9.6 yards per carry.
"Everything with Ohio State was right," Ball said. "I thank God for the commitment and tonight I was able to make my reads and play hard."
Ball (6-2, 205) scored on runs of 5, 8, 1, and 19 yards. He found pay dirt twice in the first half and amassed 164 rushing yards. Ball scored his third TD of the night to give the Stallions a 21-0 lead two minutes into the second half. Ball scored from one yard out after setting it up with runs of 10 and 13 yards to spoil the home opener for the Panthers.
"He has all the tools," Maumee coach John Boles said. "He has size, speed, and he runs tough. They are solid and talented. They have good size and they wore us down."
Maumee managed 209 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice. The Stallions amassed 391 of total offense, including 380 rushing. All five scores came on the ground and they only attempted four passes with one completion.
"We have to be a team that scraps," Boles said. "We have to get better quick. We have to become tougher, mentally and physically."
DeSales quarterback Nick Gentile scored on an 86-yard run that made it 28-0 before Ball scored again for a 35-point lead with 10:55 left in the game. The Stallions tacked on another late TD run for the final margin.
"That was the best team we've ever faced," Maumee linebacker Evan Karchner said. "They are big and physical. [Ball] was fast and he can cut well. We just couldn't hang with them at the end."
Schneider, fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, following a nice gain, Columbus DeSales pounced on the loose ball at the 25. Ball scored four plays later as the Stallions went up 7-0 just 1:48 into the game.
The Panthers put together a 10-play drive late in the first, but were forced to punt.
Maumee had 105 yards of offense in the first half, but could not score. Schneider rushed for 24 yards and threw for 66.
Penalties (six for 67 yards) and two turnovers negated several big plays for the Stallions in the first half.
Maumee senior Jordan Lane ended one drive with an interception.
But Ball later answered with an eight-yard TD run to take a 14-0 edge into the half.
Maumee third string QB Luke Junga led his team with 42 rushing yards. Schneider was 5 of 13 for 66 yards and had 34 rushing before he left due to "wooziness." "I knew they would be dangerous on offense," DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. "I think an awful lot of their quarterback and [Long] getting hurt helped us a lot. That's a good football team and I'm proud we held them out of the end zone."
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