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FORMITABLE FOE - '98 Mules Have Real Kick, Challenge Billies To
For a team that
had only five returning starters from its 1997 squad, the Alamo Heights Mules are doing
pretty good for themselves as this fall's District 28-AAAA varsity football schedule
enters the home stretch.
Primed for a big league show-down here at 7:30 p.m. against
Fredericksburg in FHS Stadium this Friday, Oct. 23, Heights head coach Don Byrd's team not
only sports the district's best overall record (6-1), but the Mules also have scored more
points (245) than any other 28-AAAA member in addition to allowing the fewest number of
"Alamo Heights has a real good football team again
this year," FHS head coach Jerald Klett told Billie Booster Club members at the
organization's Monday night meeting in the FHS cafeteria. "In fact, they are one of
the best teams we'll face this year and are maybe even more balanced than Clemens"
--a team that four weeks ago defeated FHS, 22-0.
Meanwhile, Fredericksburg --which with Kerrville Tivy is
tied with Heights at 2-0 for the 28-AAAA lead--is second-best in the district for points
allowed (100) and is third in the league just behind Tivy's 148 points with points scored
"This is going to be a real challenge for us,"
said Klett of Friday's game against a school that graduated 34 seniors last spring.
"Theres nothing to underestimate about Alamo Heights; hopefully, we'll play to
our capabilities. We're due a good game."
Among the big yard-gainers in the Mule one-back offensive
attack is senior running back Chris Sullivan (5-8, 160) who Klett characterizes as
"quick and fast."
Equally potent is big senior quarterback Wes Sharples (6-4,
225) who "throws the ball real well".
"They mix it up real good behind that big offensive
line," said Klett who noted that the Mules are "pretty effective running
counters, screens, draws, trips and stretch plays.
Key players in the offensive front wall include juniors
Jacob Bommer (6-4,250) and Kyle Masters (6-1, 221).
Defensively, Heights uses a 50 alignment and relies on
performers like all-district senior lineman John Diggs (6-1, 230) and second-team
all-district defensive end Clint Parker (6-4), 170.
On Friday, Fredericksburg is hoping to put a crimp in Mule
designs to make the playoffs for the third straight year, with last year's 9-3 Mule
varsity placing second in 29-AAAA play and then advancing as far as the second round of
As for Fredericksburg, the Billies
will be hoping for a more sustained offensive game than the two previous contests it which
it took fourth quarter scores to win against league members Boerne (15-12) and Medina
Included in that goal will be avoiding problems in the
fumble-pass interception department where the Billies are averaging 3½ turnovers a game.
Klett said that the Billies will go into Friday's showdown
with no new major injuries to their lineup.
Barrett Durst, who cracked a thumb against Medina Valley,
will be ready to play thanks to help from a cast, while Chris Weirich is set to go against
Heights despite hyper-extending a knee on Friday.
This season marks the first season that the Billies and
Mules are in the same district.
However, the two schools have met each other on the
football field over the past four years as pre-district opponents, with the series being
knotted up at 2-2.
During that time, Fredericksburg has not defeated a Mule
team since scoring a 32-20 victory in 1995. Since then, Heights has downed FHS two times
in their last two meetings, 14-8 and 28-14.
FHS won the latest series' opener in 1994 by 26-21.
FOURTH QUARTER DRIVE BOOSTS BILLIES OVER MEDINA VALLEY
supposed to be any easy games for Fredericksburg in this fall's 28-AAAA varsity football
action, and Friday night's encounter in Castroville against Medina Valley certainly lived
up to that billing.
For the second straight week, the Billies had to rely on a
fourth quarter score to claim a win, with Friday's 21-14 decision putting them in a
three-way tie (2-0) for first place in district standings with Alamo Heights and Kerrville
The hard-fought contest fit right in with previous
Panther-Billie grid battles,. marking only the first time since 1990 that a Fredericksburg
varsity was able to defeat Medina Valley in Castroville and the fourth time in nine years
for FHS to win anywhere against the Panthers.
In the process, Medina Valley -- a team that had made it to
the playoffs 15 of the past 19 years -- dropped to 0-2 in district and 1-6 on the season
in its first year up from Class AAA football.
The Panthers now sit alongside Boerne (which lost to FHS
two weeks ago, 15-12) and Uvalde in league standings with three weeks to go in the regular
But the first half of Friday night's clash in Castroville
did not offer great promise for a Billie victory.
Fredericksburg could muster only two first downs, committed
two turnovers and failed to complete a pass before intermission. In addition, the Billies
stumbled twice near the red zone as drives died at the Medina Valley 20-and 16-yard lines.
In fact, it was a defensive play that gave Fredericksburg
its only first-half score. On the first play after the Panthers intercepted a pass at the
MV 12, Billie defensive end Sergio De La Garza stripped the ball from Panther running back
Jason Dominguez' hands just as Chris Weirich scooped it up and raced into the end zone for
With 7:02 showing on the first quarter clock, Charles Klein
split the uprights with the conversion kick for a 7-0 FHS lead.
That edge held up until early in the second period when the
Panthers got a break on a Fredericksburg fumble at the FHS 25. Seven plays later,
Dominguez avenged his earlier fumble by scoring on a three-yard carry that was followed by
a PAT kick from Weston Ducas to tie the game up at 7-7 with 10:22 left in the half.
However, Fredericksburg's offense came alive after the
break when, on the Billies' first possession, they drove 87 yards on 13 plays. Senior
tailback Freddy Cantu capped the march on a three-yard dive that was followed by another
Klein kick for a 14-7 FHS lead with just three seconds left in the third period.
With time marching on, the Panther offense finally got
moving in the fourth as it climaxed an 80-yard drive that included a key fourth down
conversion at the FHS 44. The score came when sophomore fullback Matt Crisp ran it in from
the six. At 4:02 left to play, Ducas' toe made it 14-14 for an interesting
But the Billies needed only three more minutes to pull back
in front. Themselves converting on a fourth-and-one with a clutch carry by junior
quarterback T.J Theis, the Billies drove 58 yards as Theis capped the effort with a
33-yard scoring bomb to senior tight end Heath Holloway.
Klein added another point on the PAT for a 21-14 score as
the clock showed just 59 seconds to play.
The Panthers had two more chances to strike back, but an
interception by Kaleb Kothe and a fumble recovery by Drew Woerner ended a frustrating
night for the host team.
Even though it out-gained the Billies in total offense,
253-212, in the end, Medina Valley could push the ball across midfield on only five of 12
possessions, failed to complete any passes and squandered a scoring opportunity at the FHS
13 in the third period.
By contrast, Fredericksburg's passing game came alive as
Theis connected on five of six tosses for 66 yards and a TD.
Cantu was Fredericksburg's top rusher with 120 yards on 26
carries, while Holloway's 33-yard scoring catch made him the leader in the receiving
For the hosts, Dominguez led the game's rushers with 154
yards on 31 tries.
Leading tackle-assisted tackle defenders for FHS included
Randy King (7-3), Jamie Reeh (6-5), Barrett Durst (6-4), Chris Weirich (5-5), Drew Woerner
(5-2) and Seno De La Garza (4-4).
With Friday's win and last year's 14-7 Fredericksburg
victory here against Medina Valley, the Billies have recorded their school's first-ever
back-to-back victories over the Panthers.
(To see all the
stats go to the schedule section and click on the game)-Sorry not available yet!
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