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A CHAMPIONSHIP OPPORTUNITY - Solid Tivy Team Roadblock To Sole
Possession Of District Crown
A chance to claim
their school's fourth straight district championship awaits members of the Fredericksburg
High School varsity football team this Friday, Nov. 6, when they travel to Kerrville for a
7:30 p.m. kickoff with the Tivy Antlers.
At 4-0 in 28-AAAA competition, the Billies have clinched at
least a tie for first place in the district, while breathing down their necks is
second-place Alamo Heights at 3-1.
Locked up in third place at 2-2 are Kerrville and Boerne,
and Friday's battle at Antler Stadium is a "must-win" situation for Kerrville's
"It would be nice to win over there on Friday and be
the true district champs," said FHS head coach Jerald Klett. "But this is a big
rivalry, and so our kids should be up for the game anyway."
But defeating Kerrville is expected to be tougher than the
Antler's record might indicate.
"They are a very solid team with a lot of good size
and speed," the Billie coach said. "It's just that they've had some bad luck
this season with untimely turnovers and penalties."
Going into the regular season's 10th and final week, the
Antlers actually have outscored Fredericksburg in district action, 112-92, and rate second
in league scoring just behind Alamo Heights' 124 points.
One the entire year, Kerrville also is second in points
scored at 193 points, ranking behind Heights (292) but ahead of Billies (180).
"Kerrville is one of the better teams in our district
and can line up to play with anybody," said Klett of a team that "can be
dangerous if they get it all together."
Both Tivy losses in district were close, having been
determined by a difference of just nine points. Medina Valley slipped by the Antlers two
weeks ago, 28-25, and then last weekend Kerrville lost a heartbreaker in triple-overtime
to Heights, 26-20.
Beforehand, the Antlers easily rolled over their first two
league opponents. Uvalde lost by 31 points (39-8), while Boerne was a 16-point victim
Kerrville had prepared for 1998 district campaign by
scheduling a tough series of pre-loop games that saw them fall in four of five contests to
playoff contenders Hays (49-20), Marble Falls (21-7), New Braunfels Canyon (42-17) and San
Angelo Lakeview (22-15).
The Antlers' lone win in pre-district action came against
Class AAAAA Del Rio (21-0).
By comparison, after posting a 3-2 record in non-district
play, the Billies encountered a big challenge in their first three 28-AAAA games and won
by a combined total of just 20 points.
Boerne fell in FHS' league opener by only three points
(15-12), and then Fredericksburg slipped by Medina Valley (21-14) and Alamo Heights
(27-21) before having an easier time of it last week against last-place Uvalde (27-7).
Kerrville's potentially explosive offense is led by
sophomore running back Marty Jefferson (190) and senior quarterback Matt Carraway (160).
"Jefferson really can move and also has good cuts and
can find the seams when he's running the ball," said Klett who added that Carraway is
a threat both running and throwing the ball on sprint patterns.
Both of Tivy's offensive and defensive lines are big, with
right tackle Logan Attaway (6-4, 283), left tackle Jonathan Garza (265) and right guard
George Garza (235) anchoring the offensive forward wall.
Out of the offset-I, Kerrville relies on the run, although
the Antlers have shown they can also move the ball effectively through the air, the FHS
On defense, where the Antlers basically offer a five-man
front although they occasionally give a split look with three deep in the secondary, the
mainstays are left tackle Jay Silvers (6-4, 300), right tackle Jonathan Garza (265) and
nosegurad Jason Gilbreath (190).
"Their linebackers -- Curtis Tyler (205) and Nelson
Tumlinson (190) -- are real quick," said Klett.
The Billie coach added that Kerrville also is adept in the
kicking department. "They like to bring eight people at you," he said, adding
that Jefferson is good at returning punts and kickoffs.
Kerrville's kicker -- senior Escar Rivera -- is back after
proving himself last year when the Antlers placed second in district play with a 4-1
record under first-year head coach Neal LaHue whose 1997 club went 7-4 on the season.
Klett said everyone on the FHS varsity roster should be
ready to play in Kerrville on Friday, including senior defensive back Luis Lopez who
sustained a broken finger in last week's win over Uvalde.
"If we can keep our kids motivated and keep our eyes
on winning that title outright, it ought to be a good game for us," Klett said
Going into Friday's game, the Billies have given up the
fewest points (128) in nine games among league's members, with Heights ranking second
(138) ahead of Boerne (159) and Kerrville (208).
In district play alone, however, FHS is second in points
allowed (54) to Boerne (52), while Kerrville is third (74) and Heights fourth (81).
The top three teams in final 28-AAAA standings after Friday
night will next go up against leaders from 27-AAAA in bi-district playoff action that will
follow in two weeks.
At present, Hays Consolidated leads that six-school
district with a 4-0 record, while four teams -- Smithson Valley, Bastrop, San Marcos and
New Braunfels Canyon -- are tied for second at 2-2 ahead of last-place Lockhart (0-4).
Friday's battle in Kerrville will be the fifth since two
schools resumed playing each other in 1994.
After Tivy won the latest series' first meeting in 1994 by
27-0, Fredericksburg has taken the last three contests (in order) by 31-14, 31-24 and
A loss to Kerrville on Friday would find the Billies ending
the regular season tied for first place with Alamo Heights, assuming the Mules can defeat
Boerne this weekend.
As for Kerrville, a win would assure the Antlers a playoff
berth as the league's third-place team, while a loss to Fredericksburg could find Tivy out
of the playoffs altogether, especially if Boerne upsets Heights.
In the district's other season-finale game Friday, Uvalde
(0-4) will host fifth-place Medina Valley (1-3).
BILLIES REVIVE AFTER SLOW START - To Clinch Tie For
It started out in
doubt but ended up on a positive note as the Fredericksburg varsity football team defeated
Uvalde, 27-7, here Friday to clinch at least a tie for first place in 28-AAAA.
The win sets up a regular-season finale in Kerrville this
weekend when the Billies can win their school's fourth straight district championship
But winning that title did not seem so close during the
first few minutes of Friday's game at FHS Stadium which was the Billies' last home game of
the 1998 season.
After seeing their first possession fizzle at the Uvalde 18
when a field goal try failed to split the uprights, the Billies soon found themselves
trailing as the Coyotes drove the length of the field on Uvalde's first possession for a
Capping the 80-yard drive was a 27-yard touchdown pass from
junior Brad Moore to sophomore Tyler Collier with 1:54 left in the first period. Ricky
Navarro, another Uvalde sophomore, kicked the extra point, and the Pack was up, 7-0.
"It was a good thing that they scored first,"
said FHS head coach Jerald Klett at Monday night's Billie Booster Club meeting,
"because it woke us up, and we came back to play well."
From there, the young Coyote club with 10 sophomores and
only 11 seniors was able to venture into Fredericksburg territory just once in their next
Meanwhile, the Billie offense was denied access across the
50 just twice in nine possessions.
On their next possession after the Uvalde score, the
Billies evened up the score, the Billies march which ended when junior quarterback T.J.
Theis connected in the end zone with senior Luis Lopez on a 10-yard toss. Junior place
kicker Charles Klein booted the PAT at 9:51 to go in the half for a 7-7 score.
Not long afterward, Fredericksburg went ahead when junior
defensive back Drew Woerner picked off a Moore pass at the Uvalde 34 and returned it for a
touchdown. However, the point-after kick failed for a 13-7 Billie lead with 3:26 left
Fredericksburg recorded touchdown No. 3 late in the third
period when senior running back Freddy Cantu got loose down the sideline for a 53-yard
scoring run. However, the Billies' ensuing PAT running try for two points failed, holding
the score to 19-7 with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter.
On its next possession, the Billie offense iced the win
with another scoring march, this one for 58 yards as Theis hit senior Grant Gold with a
46-yard TD bomb with 56 seconds left in the third. Again going for two, Cantu this time
successfully converted the PAT try to end game scoring at 27-7.
In the end, the Billies had their bast night of the season
running the football as they rolled up 225 yards on the ground while on defense holding
the Coyotes to an FHS season-best of only 77 yards rushing.
Instrumental in keeping the Coyotes from coming back was a
ground-stingy Billie defense that allowed Friday's visitors only 54 yards in total offense
after the break.
For Fredericksburg's offense, Friday's game was a big one
in that it marked the first time in nine games that Billies did not commit a turnover.
Cantu was the game's top ground-gainer with 186 yards on 24
carries, while in the air Gold caught two passes for 60 yards.
Defensively for FHS, junior Manuel Gonzales led the FHS
tackle-assisted tackle attack at 6-3, while junior Jamie Reeh was next at 6-2 just ahead
of junior Chris Weirich (4-3) and senior Eric Peters (4-0).
For Uvalde, Moore was his team's top rusher with 44 yards
on 10 tries, while leading pass receivers were Collier and sophomore Marcos Caballero,
each with 39 yards on three catches.
The loss hands Fredericksburg the best record (4-0) in
28-AAAA action and ties the Billies (7-2) with Alamo Heights on the entire season.
Uvalde meanwhile dropped to 0-4 in league play and 2-7 on
Friday's game marked the third straight year that
Fredericksburg has defeated the Coyotes.
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