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Sept. 30, 1998


      Maybe the friendly confines of FHS Stadium can help or perhaps the fact that it's homecoming weekend will make a difference, but something needs to change Fredericksburg High School's varsity football fortunes this Friday night, Oct. 2, when Dripping Springs comes to town for the Billies' fifth and final non-district game.
      Following a 6:55 p.m. pre-game homecoming ceremony, kickoff time is 7:30 p.m. for the showdown between the 4-0 Tigers of Dripping Springs and a struggling FHS varsity that has not scored in two weeks.
      "We have to get our offense going, both in running and passing," said FHS head coach Jerald Klett whose team only two weeks ago had led 28-AAAA teams in scoring, 60-7.
      But since then, the Billies have run into a pair of gridiron buzz saws in Smithson Valley (34-0) and Clemens (22-0) which, in the process, have dropped them several notches in pre-district 28-AAAA standings.
      "Our workouts have since been going well," said Klett who explained that the Billie coaching staff has this week tailored FHS' offensive game plan by concentrating on what the Fredericksburg varsity does particularly well.
      Another factor that would help FHS climb back into the victory column would be a cut back on the number of injuries that have recently plagued the Billie varsity.
      Senior defensive back Justin Jenschke is doubtful on Friday due to a shoulder injury, and senior offensive tackle Dale Woerner is expected to be out at least several more weeks for a fractured foot. Too, senior lineman Eric Peters may not see much action due to an injured foot.
      On the bright side, however, senior defensive end Sergio De La Garza is expected to return to action Friday following a thigh injury as are kicker Danny Marquardt (ankle) and senior defensive lineman Kyle Treibs (hand injury).
      "We've also got to start cutting down on the turnovers that have really hurt us," said Klett. To date, in four games the Billies have fumbled the ball away seven times and served up seven interceptions.
      This Friday would be as good a time as any for Fredericksburg's turnovers to end and for consistent play to return.
      But even if things do get better, the going won't be easy against a Dripping Springs club that has outscored its opponents so far this season, 121-26.
      Victims to Tiger head coach Howard Ballard's team this fall have been Bandera (39-12), Burnet (40-6), Manor (16-12) and Wimberley (26-6).
      "Dripping Springs has good speed and size," said Klett. 'They remind you a lot of Smithson Valley and Clemens."
      Kingpins in the Tiger offensive attack include senior quarterback Brett Peterson (5-10, 202), senior fullback Rhett Eickenloff (195) and junior tailback Tony Salazar (180).
      Up on the DS line, senior tight end Reagan Foster (6-3, 220) is "real good," Klett said, as is a front wall whose interior three tip the scales at 220, 224 and 224 pounds.
      The Tigers will likely operate out of I and one-back offenses, while running counters, isolation plays and sweeps.
      "They both run and throw the ball well." Klett said.
      Defensively, Eickenloff is a two-way performer and receives help from fellow linebackers Matt Preslar (180) and Mark Bomar (195). Other standouts include defensive end Justin Conrad (225) along with tackles weighing in at 215 and 220 pounds.
      "Their defense is very aggressive and has real good quickness," Klett said. "They get off their blocks well and do an extremely good job of pursuing the ball."
      In the Fredericksburg - Dripping Springs on-again-off-again series that began in 1990, the Billies hold a 4-2 win-loss lead, although the Tigers are the most-recent victors, having defeated FHS last fall 13-7.
      FHS' latest win against Dripping Springs was a 27-10 decision here in 1996.
      Friday's Dripping Springs non-district finale preludes up a five-game 28-AAAA campaign for three-time defending champion Fredericksburg that opens district play here Oct. 9 against Boerne.
      After that, the Billies will travel to Medina Valley on Oct. l6 before returning to FHS Stadium for back-to-back home bouts against Alamo Heights (Oct.28) and Uvalde (Oct.30). Closing out the regular season will be a trip to Kerrville on Nov. 6.

ZEROED OUT - Turnovers, Strong Clemens Team Keep Billies Scoreless

      For the second straight week, Fredericksburg High School's varsity football team came up short in the scoring column, falling to Clemens, 22-0, in Schertz on Friday and slipping to 2-2 in pre-district play.
      The loss was also the Billies' second consecutive shutout and came in the aftermath of a 34-0 skunking recorded the previous week at Smithson Valley.
      "We just couldn't seem to get going offensively," said FHS head coach Jerald Klett who said his team played well much of the time only to be tripped up by another round of turnovers that now has the Billie varsity averaging 3 miscues a game.
      Scoring the first two times it got its hands on the football, perennial playoff champion (1994-97) Clemens drove 75 yards on its first possession of the night, with fullback Jesus Lira busting into the end zone from the three on the night's first of three sustained Buff drives.
      With more than half of first quarter time already expired (5:43), Nick Brumgard kicked the PAT for a 7-0 Buff lead.
      Next, it looked as though the Billies were going to counter with a score of their own as the visitors drove from their own 25 down to the Clemens 25. But that is when hope faltered as Buff defensive back Joey Rivera picked off a pass and returned it 80 yards for another Buffalo score. The ensuing PAT try hit the up-rights, holding the hosts to a 13-0 lead.
      Later in the halt, the Billie offense again threatened to get rolling as FHS moved from its own 34 down to the Clemens 24. But again, the turnover bug bit Fredericksburg when Buff safety K.R. Carpenter picked off a second Billie aerial at the hosts' 29 with just 48 seconds left before intermission.
      Again the Buffaloes took advantage of the break as speedster Donnie Pinkerton broke loose on Clemens' second play of the series for a 73-yard scoring run that ended with only one second on the clock. The score held at 19-0 when the Buffs' two-point running conversion try was stopped at the goalline.
      After intermission, the going for Fredericksburg's offense only got rougher as the Billies --unable to cross the mid-field stripe in their next three possessions -- could manage just two first downs and 54 more yards in total offense.
      Meanwhile, the Buffaloes moved into FHS territory each time they got their hands on the ball after the break. The most-productive foray came with just 31 seconds left in the third when Brurngard kicked a 39-yard field goal for a 22-0 Buff advantage.
      That possession was in keeping with Clemens' ideal field position on Friday when the Buffs took the ball on six of their possessions into FHS real estate.
      In contrast, the Billies ventured across the 50 only three times in seven possessions, with the best effort getting only as far as the Clemens 24.
      In the end, the Buffaloes tagged the FHS defense for a season-high of 305 yards in total offense along with 167 return yards.
      Of Fredericksburg's 147 yards in total offense, which were better than the team's season low of 88 yards the previous week against Smithson Valley, senior running back Freddy Cantu had the lion's share with 64 yards on 14 carries.
      On the other side of the line, Clemens' fastback Pinkerton topped all rushers with 175 yards on 17 tries.
      Defensively for FHS, senior defensive end Jamie Reeh was tops in the tackles-assisted tackle column at 11-1. Other leading contributors included Drew Woerner (7-3), Ben Bailey (6-2) and Chris Weirich (5-2).
      This season's back-to-back shutouts marked the first time that a Billie varsity has been held scoreless since 1994 when Fredericksburg was skunked four times.
      With Friday's loss, FHS has now lost four of the five games played against Clemens since the latest Billie-Buffalo series began in 1994.

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

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

WRAPPING UP--Fredericksburg varsity junior defensive back Drew Woerner (88) shows how it's done in bringing down Clemens receiver Patrick Jackson after a short gain Friday in Schertz. Woerner's technique helped make him one of the Billies' top tacklers in the 22-0 non-district loss to the Buffaloes. FHS (2-2) will try to put a stop to a two-game slide this Friday, Oct. 2, by hosting Dripping Springs in a 7:30p.m. homecoming bout at FHS Stadium.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

ON THE LOOSE AGAIN, Fredericksburg varsity ball carrier Freddy Cantu (25) heads down-field ahead of Clemens defender Mark Tafolla (51) for a gainer during Friday's non-district game in Schertz. Despite Cantu's 64 yards rushing, the Billies were held scoreless for the second straight week in losing 22-0 and falling to 2-2.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

BOXED IN, Clemens scatback Donnie Pinkerton (24) heads for the turf under pressure applied by Fredericksburg varsity defenders Eric Peters (77) and Chris Weirich (21). Still, the Buffalo tailback managed to roll up 175 yards rushing and to score a touchdown in his team's 22-0 victory over the Billies on Friday in Schertz.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

END OF THE LINE--Clemens ball carrier Donnie Pinkerton (24) runs out of room in Friday's non-district game in Schertz, no thanks to Fredericksburg varsity defenders Jimmy Grobe (35) and Casey Montandon (42) who bring the Buffalo speedster to the ground as teammate Eric Peters (77) closes in. Fredericksburg lost the non-district contest, 22-0, before a Clemens homecoming crowd.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith