FHS carries momentum into home showdown with 0-6 Taylor team
The Billies ride a wave of momentum into a game against a struggling rival.
Fredericksburg High School varsity football hosts the Taylor Ducks for the second week of District 14-4A DI action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at FHS Stadium.
Head coach Lance Moffett is doing everything in his power to make sure the Billies don’t let last Friday’s historic win against Liberty Hill distract themselves from the immediate goal of beating the Ducks.
“We proved to ourselves last Friday that we are a good football team,” Moffett said. “One of things I’ve talked to our entire organization about is that it was a great win. Now we have to forget it this week. We have to focus on getting better as a football team.”
Taylor struggled through the first six games of the season and enter Friday without a win.
But FHS won’t take a win for granted against a team that’s given the program fits in the last five seasons.
“Coach (Geoffrey) Huff calls it a trap game,” Moffett said. “You come from a euphoric high of beating state finalists in their home place and now you play a team that’s 0-6.
“Human nature says that you might not practice as hard, work as hard or do the things you need to do. As a staff, we’ve decided to tell the kids about Friday night and get better at things we need to get better at doing.”
The Ducks are going through growing pains during coach Robert Little’s first year leading the team.
Junior Jayson Saucedo serves as Taylor’s top offensive threat.
He has plenty of speed to get behind FHS’ coverage and break the game wide open.
“They have some talented kids,” Moffett said. “They have a new coach, so they have a new offense, new defense and a whole new system. They haven’t really figured it out and put it all together, but anytime you play Taylor, they’re certainly talented enough to beat you.”
A win against the Ducks gives FHS a leg up in the District 14-4A DI title race that’s shaping up to be a wild ride.
“We put ourselves in the driver’s seat by beating Liberty Hill,” Moffett said. “They were picked to win the district in all preseason polls, so we’re in good shape … all things go right, we ought to be 2-0 in district. I think three wins guarantees you a spot in the playoffs. You might get in with two, but last year we didn’t because of a tiebreaker. I think this week and next week are critical in terms of determining a playoff spot for us.”
If the chance to seal a playoff spot early isn’t enough motivation, then the Billies have to look at last year’s game against Taylor.
The Ducks essentially ended the Billies’ season by beating them, 36-14, during a rainy home game last year.
“You have to give them their credit. They’re playing football, they’re getting coached. They have good talent. You screw around and turn the ball over three, four or five times and you look up … they ruined our season last year.
“We should have beat them by three touchdowns last year but they beat us because they have talent and we didn’t play. We didn’t function and our whole season went up in flames. That’s going to be my message to the kids.”
After allowing three kick return touchdowns in two weeks and making other mistakes on kick and punt units, the special teams unit has made a positive impact during FHS’ win streak.
The Billies recovered an onside kick and scored on a fake field goal by junior Rob Zuberbueler against Liberty Hill.
“I think coach (Gilbert) Renaud has done an outstanding job,” Moffett said. “He’s done a great job of retooling how we do practice, putting a bigger emphasis on getting more coaches involved in practice and doing more individual specific drills that help us get better at the things we’re not good at.”
Game info: Taylor Ducks at Fredericksburg High School Battlin’ Billies, 7:30 p.m. Friday at FHS Stadium.
Series history: Taylor leads the all-time series, 6-2. The Billies’ last win against Taylor came in an overtime thriller in 2015 at Taylor.
Taylor at a glance: The Ducks suffer from growing pains during Robert Little’s first year in charge of the program. Taylor is 0-6, including a 41-7 loss to Canyon Lake in both teams’ District 14-4A DI opener.
Taylor players to watch: Junior Jayson Saucedo is Taylor’s dangerous playmaker this season … quarterback Michael Schneider is a two-year starter.
Offensive player of the week: Senior Jarrett Beard lit up Liberty Hill’s secondary last week to the tune of 13 receptions for 194 yards and three touchdowns. He also connected with brother Judson Beard for a 32-yard TD pass.
Defensive player of the week: Senior Quinten Petsch was a key component of an FHS defense that held to 229 total yards and three touchdowns last Friday.
Special teams player of the week: Rob Zuberbueler made another standout special teams play. The junior lined up a kicker and took a pitch from Cole Immel for four yards and a touchdown during the Billies’ first drive of the second half.
JV Red player of the week: Noah Borda and Kade Jenschke.
JV White player of the week: Michael Allshouse.
Freshman player of the week: Matthew Smith.
FHS season leaders
Passing: Tucker Elliott 99-195-1388-5 15 TD.
Rushing: Tucker Elliott 96-338 3 TD; Jarrett Beard 50-236 2 TD; Dylan Ahrens 43-199 2 TD.
Receiving: Jarrett Beard 40-697 11 TD; Judson Beard 15-235 3 TD; Josh Wienecke 11-141 TD; Dylan Ahrens 11-122 TD; Trent Kozielski 9-86.
Tackles: Hunter Metzger 42, Luke Duderstadt 38, Jarrett Beard 22, Brant Sasko 17, Javier Rodriguez 15, Dylan Ahrens 15, Christian Avilez 13, Rob Zuberbueler 13, Zachary Wubbolding 13.
Tackles for loss: Hunter Metzger 4, Luke Duderstadt 4, Jack Gallagher 4, Christian Avilez 3.
Sacks: Christian Avilez 5, Davis Reeh 5, Luke Duderstadt 1, Zachary Wubbolding 1, Jack Gallagher 1, Hunter Metzger
QB hurries: Davis Reeh 11, Luke Duderstadt 10, Jack Gallagher 5, Hunter Metzger 4, Brant Sasko 4.
Interceptions: Jarrett Beard 1, Javier Rodriguez 1.
Passes defensed: Judson Beard 11, Jarrett Beard 5, Gavin French 5, Hunter Metzger 3, Rob Zuberbueler 2, Javier Rodriguez 2, Quinten Petsch 2.
Forced fumbles: Gavin French 1, Hunter Metzger 1, Javier Rodriguez 1, Luke Duderstadt 1, Christian Avilez 1, Dylan Ahrens 1, Tucker Elliott
Total points: Jarrett Beard 82, Judson Beard 24, Aaron Cordero-Rojas 24, Tucker Elliott 20, Dylan Ahrens 18, Hunter Metzger 6, Joshua Wienecke 6.
District 14-4A DI standings Canyon Lake .............. 1-0, 5-1 Lampasas ....................1-0, 5-1 FHS ..........................1-0, 3-3 Burnet .........................0-1, 4-2 Liberty Hill ..................0-1, 2-3 Taylor ......................... 0-1, 0-6
District 14-4A DI schedule
Friday, Oct. 18
Taylor at FHS, 7:30 p.m.
Canyon Lake at Burnet, 7:30 p.m.
Liberty Hill at Lampasas, 7:30 p.m.
Last week’s scores
Friday, Oct. 11
FHS 35, Liberty Hill 21
Lampasas 45, Burnet 13
Canyon Lake 41, Taylor 7