With his legs finally back under him, senior Jaylen Ball rushed for two touchdowns -- including what proved to be the game-winner during the final minute -- in the DeSales football team's 35-31 victory over Kettering Alter on Sept. 20.
Ball figures to team with junior Quintell Quinn to give the Stallions a formidable one-two punch at running back for the rest of the season.
But no matter how much he produces, expect Ball to let his play do the talking. He isn't one to boast.
"Honestly, before I talk about us, I'd like to give a lot of credit to the offensive line," Ball said. "They've been paving the way for me and Quintell. We can go behind their blocks and make plays."
DeSales improved to 5-1 with a 20-16 victory over Watterson on Oct. 4 to open CCL action.
Also an outside linebacker, the 5-foot-9, 195-pound Ball has been doing his part on both sides of the ball since returning from an offseason injury.
While riding his bike over the summer, he fell and suffered a broken collarbone, sidelining him for much of preseason conditioning.
Ball began making his return in late August but missed the Stallions' 35-28 season-opening victory over Dayton Carroll on Aug. 31 as he continued to recover.
Ball has rushed 32 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Quinn has 96 carries for 641 yards and 10 scores.
"Jaylen's just a high-motor guy who goes hard all the time," coach Ryan Wiggins said. "He lifts hard, practices hard and just gives a great effort. He's a team-first guy, and him being injured was big because of all the things he does for us. He's a good running back who's going to be used 10 to 12 times a game, and he's a really good linebacker. The coaches that watch our film recognize how hard he plays."
Ball is the younger brother of 2012 DeSales graduate Warren Ball Jr., who rushed for six touchdowns his sophomore season when the Stallions were the Division III state runners-up in 2009. He was one of the area's top running backs by the time he was a senior, rushing for 1,157 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Their father, Warren Ball Sr., played at Thomas More University.
Ball Jr. went on to play for parts of three seasons at Ohio State, seeing action in 32 games, before serving as a captain and rushing for 332 yards for Akron in 2017.
Jaylen's older brother now works as a scouting assistant for the San Francisco 49ers.
"It's always been a goal of his to make it to the NFL, and now he's there as a scout," Jaylen said. "We'll catch up all the time. He wants to help me reach my full potential. It's especially nice to have him as a resource."
The Stallions travel Friday, Oct. 11, to Dayton Belmont, which they beat 50-6 last season. Belmont is 2-4 after beating Dayton Thurgood Marshall 49-18 on Oct. 4.
DeSales follows that game by playing Oct. 18 at St. Charles, which is 4-2, and then faces two 5-1 teams in Steubenville on Oct. 25 and Hartley on Oct. 31.
Ball rushed 14 times for 76 yards and the game-winning touchdown and Quinn had 22 carries for 161 yards and one score against Watterson a week after the Stallions were limited to 60 yards rushing in a 42-22 victory over Middletown Fenwick on Sept. 27.
Ball is hoping for a college career but is "focusing on making the most of (his) senior year."
"I feel like we've come together a lot more," Ball said. "After that loss to (Dublin) Jerome (45-14 on Sept. 6), it was really tough and we didn't want to have that feeling any more. I feel like the O-line and D-line have set the tone early and ever since then we've been playing really hard and together.
"I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be back out there and do what the coaches need me to do to win."