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Alright...not really, but I was at the Timberland/Fort Zumwalt North District game last night because my wife's former coach is coaching out there now. I decided to go along to watch Timberland RB Montee Ball, and I did not come away disappointed, in either Ball or the game, which Timberland came back to win in OT 33-27.
Powermizzou will list Montee at 5'11 and 204, though the program last night had him (I believe) at 190. Honestly at this point, he might even be a shade under that, as I am sure he is down from where he was this summer. Ball has a good build to him, certainly able to get back to 205 and probably even push into the 210's and not lose any speed. For the season, Ball has now rushed for over 2600 yards and 29 TD's (at 8.9 yards per carry) and has also caught 4 for 124 and a TD
Given how much Timberland has leaned on Ball this year, he had something of an up and down game. He started fairly slow, as did Timberland as they fell behind 13-0. In those cases, there were not many holes for him between the tackles and the plays were also not getting to the edge. However, in the 2nd quarter, Ball scored his first of 3 TD's on the night with a BLAZING fast 50 yard sprint on an inside draw. He displayed a really nice running motion, very compact. Later in the quarter, Ball tallied his 2nd TD on the night with a little more power and finesse. On the play he broke a couple of arm tackles and then displayed the first of many nice jump stop moves to juke defenders, carrying the run to the sideline and scoring from 25 yards out.
In the 2nd half, Ball and his blocking disappeared again, but Ball was used as a nice decoy on a beautiful play-action pass that resulted in a long TD for Timberland to get them back up 20-19 at one point in the 3rd. However, Ball could not find any holes (or create much) and caused Timberland to be down 27-20 late in the 4th quarter. An AMAZINGLY athletic play by a Timberland defender (who went up and basically tied the FZN WR for the ball in the air....and then on the ground...and finally rolled over to win it from him for the INT...I had never seen anything quite like it). Ball just plain took over at this point....gashing FZN with long run after long run. Ball alone brought his team down to the 1 yard line where his QB took the plunge to tie the game late. He had some amazing runs, showing power, shiftiness and speed, and also proving tough to tackle on a key run as he did everything (including back peddling) to not go down.
In OT, after holding FZN scoreless (including Ball coming in on defense which he did not do almost the entire game and blitzing on 4th down to completely mess up FZN), Ball took the 1st carry of OT for 5 yards, and then the 2nd carry for the other 20, getting small hole at the line and exploiting for the game winner.
All in all, I was very impressed with Ball. On the field, he showed a lot of tools (speed, power, finesse) and off the field, he seemed calm, not cocky at all and into the game. The only minus for him on the night was his dropping a long pass off of play action. I did not have a great look at it, but it appeared that he had his hands on it and just dropped it. I MAY see Ball play again on Monday (at Parkway Central), but I came away extremely impressed.