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CONTROL - Billies Seeking To Shake Smithson Valley in Rematch Of
'97 Bi-District Contest
The last time the Billies met Smithson Valley, it was in the first round of the playoffs
-- Nov. 15 last year-- and the name of the game was ball control.
Fredericksburg High School's varsity lost that contest
18-6, largely on the strength of Ranger running back Jeff Shinn who rolled up 230 yards on
41 carries and scored two of Smithson Valley's touchdowns (on his way to a 2,000-yard
Shinn is gone, but the Rangers will likely bring that
dominating ground game to this Friday night's meeting between the two teams at 7:30 p.m.
at Ranger Stadium.
Chosen in some polls to top their district (27-AAAA), the
Rangers have strength and quickness, Billie Head Coach Jerald Klett said, and although
they lost Shinn and much of their offensive line to graduation, "in many ways they
are better than they were last year. They're about twice our size, and deep."
Heading up the Ranger attack is returning senior
quarterback Michael Peel, who was responsible for 99 yards on the ground against the
Billies last year. Peel (6'1", 190 lbs.) led Smithson Valley to their best playoff
showing ever, reaching the third round before falling 14-10 to Corpus Christi Calallen.
Hoping to thwart a Billie offense that has rolled up 524
yards in two games so far this season is a strong Ranger front seven -- Dean HilIman, E.J.
Clark, Gabe Sanford and Raymond Devora, along with line-backers Shane Bulgrin, Marc
Coleman and Matt Grieve.
"They give you fits all the time," Klett said.
"They do put some pressure on you."
The Billies "will have to do a good job of picking up
stunts and stuff" to combat the size of a that runs 200-250 pounds and linebackers
"They do pursue the football," Klett said.
With Peel, Klett also noted the threat on offense of
fullback Blake Jones and tailback Eliseo Saldana.
"Those three are pretty good, plus they have good
receivers in Greg Williams and Dustin Tondre, along with tight end Kyle Charles.
"They'll run the bootleg and sprint out," Klett
said. "Peel will keep or throw short-out routes. He's a real accurate passer,"
The Rangers also have a good kicker in Marc Coleman.
This is Smithson Valley Coach Larry Hill's fifth season
with the Rangers, and he has compiled a 83-23 record there, leading them to the playoffs
"It will be a battle," Klett predicted Monday.
"We'll find out where we are."
His team will be more focused and better prepared this
week, Klett said, because "they want to prove themselves."
Junior linebacker Chris Weirich is likely to be back from
an injury this week, as will Justin Jenschke, Klett said.
VARSITY SHAKES OFF MISCUES FOR WIN - Ninteen Fourth
Quarter Points Nail Down Victory
It wasn't exactly the common formula for gridiron success -- six turnovers and penalties
that nullified three touchdowns --but the Fredericksburg High School varsity football team
managed to emerge from a rain-slick meeting with Bandera Friday night at FHS Stadium
sporting a 27-7 win and bringing their season record to 2-0.
"We lost our cool early and we weren't real
focused," Head Coach Jerald Klett said. "Things started going haywire and we
lost our composure."
On their first possession, the Billies drew three penalties
and had a bad snap on a fourth down punt. On their second possession, quarterback T.J.
Theis was intercepted by Banderas Ralph Garcia.
The Bulldogs went in for a touchdown six plays later, and
with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter, Josh Small added the extra point to put Bandera
Regaining the ball at their own 29, the next drive for the
Billies stalled, only to be revived on a roughing the kicker penalty against Bandera. Two
plays later, Manuel Gonzales broke for a 51-yard run to the end zone only to have the TD
recalled on a holding penalty.
After the defense held and forced a Bandera punt, the
Billies fumbled on the sixth play of their next possession. But with just 2:30 left in the
half, Theis connected to a wide open Grant Gold for a 64-yard touchdown. Although Charles
Klein's kick was blocked, the score brought the Billies close.
"Our defense was real good again," Klett said.
Bandera picked up most of their yardage in the first half -- 85 total yards. Allowing only
one touchdown on the night, the defense "threw Bandera for a couple of big losses and
made some big plays," he said.
On Bandera's first possession of the second half, a tough
Billie defense pushed the Bulldogs back to their own 19 where a bad snap on a fourth down
punt skidded out of the end zone, giving Fredericksburg its first lead of the night (8-7)
and all the edge the Billies would have to have for the win.
But the bad luck wasn't over. The next offensive drive
ended when Theis was sacked on the Bandera 32 and fumbled.
If the first three quarters were frustrating, the fourth
offered an offensive reply. With 8:10 left in the fourth, Freddy Cantu ran the last five
yards on a 52-yard, five play drive to put the Billies up 14-7. Klein's kick was wide
An aggressive Billie defense hammered Bandera on their next
possession. Drew Woerner intercepted a Kerry Schindler pass only to have the touchdown
called back on an interference penalty. But the defense allowed only four total yards in
five plays, and Jonathon Bossum punted to the Billie 31.
After some short gains and three Bandera penalties put the
ball at the Bulldog 21, Gonzales ran to the end zone again, only to have another TD
recalled on a motion penalty. Theis came back the next play with a 26-yard pass to Rudy
Robles that put FHS up 20-7 with 2:49 left.
Unable to move on offense, Bandera turned the ball over on
downs on their own 16 with 1:40 left. Billie backup quarterback Kaleb Kothe connected with
Justin Klaerner on the next play for the games final touchdown. Klein's kick was
good, giving FHS a 27-7 edge.
"We were able to come back, in spite of some problems,
and did a good job," Klett said. "We have to learn that we just can't relax and
think we can line up and manhandle anyone."
Bandera, Klett said, has a "good ball club" that
had shown a lot of improvement over their opening loss to Dripping Springs. The two teams
"were pretty equal," he said.
Gonzales was the leading rusher on the night -- in spite of
the yards lost on penalties -- with 58 yards on 19 carries. Freddy Cantu gained 52 on 11
Passing "more than normal" in spite of wet
conditions, Klett said, Theis was successful on eight of 17 tries, gaining 180 yards and
three touchdowns but giving up three interceptions.
Gold was the top receiver with one catch for 64 yards and
the Billies' first score. Cantu had two catches for 57.
In all, Fredericksburg had 352 yards of offense -- 156 on
the ground and 196 in the air.
Loss of ground in the second half gave Bandera only 87
total yards of offense.
The two teams had a combined 10 fumbles. The Billies lost
three of six and the Bulldogs two of four on the wet field. The Billies were intercepted
three times, Bandera once.
Both teams had nine penalties each, with the Billies
assessed 49 yards and the Bulldogs 69.
Jamie Reeh once again led the FHS defense with six tackles
and an assist. Kaleb Kothe got the Billies' only interception and Casey Montandon
recovered a fumble.
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