- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 20, 2006

Adam Ballard appeared ready for the start of the season yesterday when he took a handoff during Navy’s second scrimmage and ripped off about a 10-yard run, finishing it with a punishing collision that a defensive back clearly took the worst of.

The hit drew a mixture of cheers and gasps from the small crowd at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, but coach Paul Johnson wasn’t satisfied. He walked over to Ballard and told the junior fullback to make a cut and score a touchdown the next time.

“[Johnson] expects a lot out of me and I can’t fault him for that,” Ballard said. “I expect a lot out of myself as well. I guess I’ll make that guy miss next time.”

So Ballard went and did as instructed. Moments later, he took a handoff and rumbled 13 yards, bullying his way through some arm tackles near the goal line.

He finished the day with 100 yards on 14 carries, and while senior Matt Hall is still sidelined by a hamstring injury, Ballard has entrenched himself as the No. 1 fullback.

“Man, the offensive line did a great job today,” Ballard said. “They were playing so well, it didn’t matter who was playing fullback today. They made my job really easy.”

The first-team offense scored on three of its first six possessions, but penalties on both sides of the ball and fumbles by the second- and third-teamers made the day a bit sloppier than last week.

Senior quarterback Brian Hampton finished with 97 yards on 16 carries and completed five of 10 passes for 63 yards. He hit sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada in stride for what would have been an easy 70-yard score, but the part-time quarterback/wideout dropped it.

When the first-team offense went out for a seventh drive, Hampton tried to air it out again, this time for senior Jason Tomlinson, but the ball was well underthrown and fellow senior Jeremy McGown picked it off.

“I thought Jeremy played well at corner,” defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. “He’s valuable. We need four of him. We need all four people back there playing like him.”

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