Billies fall in area round 19-7
By Matt Ward —
Perhaps the most successful season in nearly 30 years came to an end Friday night as the Fredericksburg High School varsity football team fell to Gonzales 19-7 in the area playoffs under frigid conditions at John Gupton Stadium in Cedar Park.
Freezing temperatures, wet field conditions and a talented Apache defense made life difficult for the high-powered Fredericksburg offense, which was held to 28 points less than the 35.36 points per game the Billies averaged in their previous 11 contests.
“I’m just very disappointed for these kids. They wanted this one bad,” FHS head coach Lance Moffett said. “We just couldn’t get focused on what we needed to do tonight. They played their guts out. We had a great second half and we had our chances. I’m not saying they’re more talented than us; they were more talented Friday night than we were.”
The Billies, who went on a 10-game winning streak while winning their first district title since 1998, will lose 16 seniors to graduation, but return a strong junior class eager to begin off-season preparations for next year.
“This is a sour taste. I’d like to thank my team. Those are my brothers just as much as the four brothers I have in my family. They mean everything to me,” junior safety Brayden Beard said. “We’re coming back next year. This is just the beginning of a franchise. We’re a dynasty now.”
Gonzales, a ground-and-pound team, took the fight to Fredericksburg from the opening kickoff as sophomore Alyas Ramirez ran 40 times for 225 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing a nine-yard touchdown pass in the victory.
“We knew he was going to get the ball pretty much every play, but all our guys did their job,” senior linebacker Adolfo Enciso said. “We just weren’t wrapping up. It was tough to tackle.”
“We tried to get the intensity going, but we were slow at the beginning,” Enciso added. “At halftime I talked to the guys and told them that we couldn’t be playing like this if we want to win, so we fixed it in the second half, but definitely weather was a factor in this one.”
After the two schools traded punts to open the contest, the Apaches called Ramirez’s number on eight of the nine plays on their first scoring drive with the sophomore scoring on a 22-yard run to give Gonzales a 7-0 lead with 3:24 left in the first quarter.
With an effective Apache offense controlling the clock, the Billie offense was only able to put together three drives in the entire first half.
Fredericksburg’s longest drive saw junior quarterback Kyle Grona convert on fourth and three to extend the possession, but an incompletion on fourth and goal from the Apache 11 kept the Billies off the scoreboard in the first half.
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