2020 UofL commit Josh Minkins Jr and his Ballard Bruins had a big match up Friday with defending 6A high school champions Louisville Male. Unfortunately, Male proved to be too much for the Bruins as the Bulldogs won 41-14. However, Minkins still was able to make an impact on the game, accounting for both of Ballard’s touchdowns.
The first touchdown Minkins scored was on a fumble. Male was driving and in Ballard territory. A Male RB was running the ball and at the Bruins 34 yard line he was hit hard and fumbled the football. Minkins scooped up the fumble and took it 66 yards to the house for his first TD.
Minkins second touchdown was as a WR. On a broken play in which the Ballard QB was forced from the pocket to his left. Minkins saw his QB in trouble and found an open space right along the left sideline. He sat in it and alerted the QB that he was open. The QB delivered the ball to Minkins and Minkins ran into the end zone untouched for Ballard’s second TD.
Minkins had two other nice receptions. One was a short hitch route. He ran it because the DBs were playing off of him. He made an impressive run after the catch for about 9 yards, coming up just short of a first down. He juked 3 would be tacklers out of their shoes to get those YAC yards.
The other reception was a little bubble screen. Minkins catches the ball a couple yards behind the line of scrimmage on 2nd and 5. He comes up about a half yard short of the first.
Defensively, Minkins was able to make a few impact plays besides the fumble. Early in the game on a run play, Minkins comes in and lays a hit on a Male RB, getting an assisted tackle. The hit was a nice pop.
On another running play, he recognizes run immediately and avoids the block attempt of the Male WR. He takes away the edge and eventually gets an assisted tackle.
At another point early in the game, Minkins is lined up in the slot opposite UK commit Izayah Cummings. Cummings runs a slant and Minkins stays right with him, getting a hand in and breaking up the pass. His impressive length came into play here.
In yet another play, Minkins is once again lined up in the slot on Cummings. Minkins is up near the line of scrimmage while the CB on his side is playing well off the line. At the snap, Minkins chips Cummings, but releases quickly as Male had the WR run a slant. Minkins then is able to get his hands on the slanting receiver within the 5 yards allowed and disrupt the timing of the route causing an incompletion.
Minkins was in one on one man coverage a lot against Male. I was impressed by his physicality at the line when in press. He used his strength to really disrupt whichever receiver he was defending; whether it was in the slot or out wide.
The game was actually in doubt at one point. After Minkins receiving TD made it a 14 point game, Ballard was right on Male’s goal line in the 3rd quarter with a chance to make it a one score game. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize and Male then ran away, literally, with the game.
After the game, Minkins took to Twitter and delivered a heartfelt message that showed both his maturity and leadership.
As a captain and leader of this team, I will make sure I keep my guys focused on the main goal. We didn’t come out with the win but it’s a lesson for us to correct and fix our mistakes. The critics will bring us down but we still got a lot of ball left to play! #Team51
— II (@joshminkins) August 31, 2019
Minkins as a person and player are exactly why Coach Scott Satterfield wanted to bring him into the flock. Now Josh Minkins Jr and Ballard move on to face North Hardin next week.
Check out the game highlights by clicking here.