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LOOKING FOR CHANGE, BILLIES HOST TIGERS
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,
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
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
"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
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
"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 3½ 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
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
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
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.
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