Billies fall short to Antlers
Just about everything that could go wrong did Friday night.
Despite the miscues, the Battlin’ Billies kept firing and almost pulled away with a home upset.
Fredericksburg High School varsity football dropped its home opener to Kerrville Tivy, 42-35, Friday night at FHS Stadium.
Both teams played a hard-hitting version of tug-of-war in an electric environment as fans from both schools packed the stands.
The biggest lead of the night was seven points, which both teams held at various points during the first half and fourth quarter.
“That’s just a great example of what Texas Friday night football is all about,” FHS head coach Lance Moffett said. “Two teams, two communities, both sides full. Kids fighting their tails off. In today’s society, you don’t get kids fighting their tails off like that.”
FHS grabbed the lead early in the fourth after senior running back/linebacker Dylan Ahrens recovered a loose ball during Tivy’s first fourth-quarter drive and followed with a 29-yard TD run three players later to give his team the seven-point lead with 10:35 left in the game.
“I thought we fought our tails off,” Ahrens said. “I think we could have wrapped up better on defense. We made a few errors on offense, but our offense played a heck of a game.”
Just when FHS thought it had taken the game’s momentum, the Antlers came back with an answer.
Tivy’s high-velocity offense drove 70 yards in two minutes to score on a 60-yard TD bomb from Tivy senior QB Trapper Pannell to senior wideout Brooks McCoy.
Neither team managed any points until an eventful Tivy drive late in the quarter.
The Antlers marched from their 35 yard line to Billies’ territory before running into a third-and-five situation on the FHS 31.
Pannell missed McCoy on a route in the middle of the field, but a collision between senior running back/safety Jarrett Beard and the wide receiver resulted in a 15-yard targeting penalty on Beard.
Tivy also committed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct foul after the hit, which negated the gained yards.
The play left FHS without one of the team’s top players on both sides of the ball and gave Tivy a fresh set of downs in Billies territory.
The Antlers’ offense only needed three more players for Pannell to run in for a 10-yard score, which gave Tivy a seven-point lead with 1:12 remaining in the game.
FHS QB Tucker Elliott had his offense moving with efficiency during the final drive, completing passes of 11 and 17 yards to sophomore Jud Beard and senior Joshua Wienecke to reach Tivy’s side of the field.
But the drive stalled on Tivy’s 47-yard line and three straight incompletions and a fumble on fourth-and-10 left FHS emptyhanded.
“We had our chances,” Moffett said. “We let them outnumber us and play with 11 guys that didn’t play both ways. We got tired, we made mistakes when we were tired and some of the mistakes were big. But that’s part of it. Our kids never quit. We have a good football team and it showed tonight.”
Elliott had a career game against Tivy. The senior threw for 262 passing yards and two TDs and also ran for 122 yards, including a 1-yard TD plunge early in the fourth, on 13 carries.
The Billies’ do-it-all senior provided the team with big plays again.
Beard rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown while leading FHS receivers with six receptions for 131 yards and two TDs.
All three of his TDs were more than 30 yards long.
“Jarrett just makes great plays on the field,” Elliott said. “I’m kind of just throwing the ball up to him and he’s making great plays. That’s all him.”
Ahrens rushed seven times for 43 yards and a score and recorded a team-high seven tackles.
The senior backer provided the team with its top two-way presence from whistle to whistle.
“I think I could have done more,” Ahrens said. “First half was a little shaky, I had a fumble, but I came back with a touchdown and fumble recovery. I think I played okay but I think I could have played better.”
Defensively, the Billies were even with Tivy in the turnover battle, with two each.
FHS senior linebacker Luke Duderstadt forced a fumble that senior Jack Gallagher recovered during Tivy’s first drive of the second half.
One play later, Tivy safety Coleson Abel picked off a deep pass intended for Beard.
Tivy also recovered a Billies fumble during the first quarter.
Tivy QBs Pannell and Cole Miears combined for 342 passing yards and four TDs.
Pannell was Tivy’s leading rusher with 57 yards and a score.
McCoy provided the Antlers with their top offense output.
He caught eight passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns.
Next for FHS (1-1) is a game against Bastrop Cedar Creek. Game time is 7 p.m. Thursday at Bastrop Memorial Stadium.
Tivy (2-0) faces the Del Rio Rams at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Del Rio.
Score By Quarters
Tivy 7 7 14 14 – 42
FHS 7 0 14 14 – 35
FHS-Jarrett Beard 32-yard TD run (Aaron Cordero-Rojas PAT), 5:52.
Tivy-Fisher Middleton 5-yard TD pass from Trapper Pannell (Jared Zirkel PAT), 1:56.
Tivy-Brooks McCoy 14-yard TD pass from Cole Miears (Zirkel PAT), 5:06.
FHS-Beard 46-yard TD pass from Elliott (Cordero-Rojas PAT), 6:37.
Tivy-McCoy 61-yard TD pass from Miears (Zirkel PAT), 4:47.
FHS-Beard 51-yard TD pass from Tucker Elliott (Cordero-Rojas PAT), 2:46.
Tivy-Stoney Rhoades 17-yard TD run (Zirkel PAT) :16.
FHS-Elliott 1-yard TD run (Cordero-Rojas PAT), 11:48.
FHS-Dylan Ahrens 29-yard TD run (Cordero-Rojas PAT), 10:35.
Tivy-McCoy 60-yard TD pass from Pannell (Zirkel PAT), 8:36.
Tivy-Pannell 10-yard TD run (Zirkel PAT), 1:12.
Tivy FHS 30-157 Yards Rushing-Carries 35-226 342 Yards Passing 262 28-40 Passes Att-Comp. 20-38 0 Passes Intercepted 1 499 Total Offense 488 2-2 Fumbles-Lost 2-1 x Punts-Average 5-183 6-65 Penalty Yards 4-50
Tivy-Trapper Pannell 11-57 TD; Fisher Middleton 8-53; Cole Miears 4-28; JD Rodriguez 4-9; Stoney Rhoades 2-18 TD; Team 1-(-) 8.
FHS-Tucker Elliott 13-122 TD; Dylan Ahrens 7-43 TD; Jarrett Beard 6-51; Hunter Metzger 4-0; Javier Rodriguez 3-4; Judson Beard 2-6.
Tivy-Pannell 20-29-208 2 TD; Miears 8-12-134 2TD.
FHS-Tucker Elliott 20-38-262-1 2 TD.
Tivy-Brooks McCoy 8-184 3 TD; Rhoades 8-90; Miears 8-44; Middleton 3-10 TD; Frank Molina 1-14.
FHS-Ja. Beard 6-131 2 TD; Josh Wienecke 5-58; Trent Kozielski 3-39; Ahrens 2-7; Javier Rodriguez 1-16; Ju. Beard 1-12; Jacob Lees 1-(-)1.
FHS-Cristian Avilez 1, Luke Duderstadt 1, Jack Gallagher 1.