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Sept. 16, 1998

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 season).
      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 180-190 pounds.
      "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 three times.
      "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 Bandera’s 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 up 7-0.
      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 right.
      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 game’s 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 tries.
      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.

(To see all the stats go to the schedule section and click on the game)-Sorry not available yet!

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

BUYING TIME, Fredericksburg High School quarterback T.J. Theis stiff arms a Bandera defender as he looks upfield for a receiver during Friday night’s varsity game at FHS Stadium. In spite of rainy conditions and six turnovers, the Billies took a 27-7 win over Bandera. Theis passed for 180 yards and two touchdowns. -Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

WITH THE BALL securely in hand, Fredericksburg nigh School fullback Casey Montandon heads upfield for a gain during Friday night's 27-7 win at FHS Stadium. Montandon had four carries and 25 yards on the night.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

NO WHERE TO RUN, no where to hide might have been the tune Fredericksburg High School defenders hummed as they stopped Bandera's Martin Gaffney. After allowing one touchdown early, the Billies shut down the Bulldogs' offensive attack, giving the offense the opportunity to score 27 points. -Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

CELEBRATING a 16-yard touchdown reception, Justin Klaerner celebrates with teammate Luis Lopez in the last minutes of Friday night's varsity football victory over Bandera. Klaerner and six other Billie receivers combined for nine catches and 196 yards as a part of the Fredericksburg High School offense's 352 total yards. -Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

SPRINTING to elude a Bandera defender, quarterback Kaleb Kothe looks for a receiver just before throwing a fourth quarter touchdown pass during Friday night's Fredericksburg High School varsity football game with Bandera. The Billies brought their record to 2-0 with a 27-7 win.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith