Billies run all over Austin-Travis
The Battlin’ Billies football team found redemption and big offensive spark, racking up 49 points and 558 yards’ offense on Friday at home against the Austin-Travis High Rebels.
A sea of red shirts filled Fredericksburg High School Stadium on Friday night to watch the team earn its first win of the season. The Billies (1-1 on the season) racked up big yards and allowed 324.
“It’s always good to win at home; I feel a lot better than I did last week,” said Lance Moffett, Fredericksburg Independent School District athletic director and head football coach. “We still have plenty to improve on, but we took a step since last week. We didn’t have as many mental penalties and mistakes.”
With just two penalties for 20 yards, the Billies cleaned up a lot of mistakes they made against Lampasas the previous week. But they ended Friday night with three turnovers (two of which were in the red zone).
“We executed a little bit better. I am concerned about turning over the ball. We turned it over three times and you can’t beat good teams when you do that,” Moffett said. “Austin-Travis is as good a team as we’ll face. Skill-wise, they get after it, and I’m pleased with the way we contained them.”
A team effort
Junior running back Tristan Sanchez led the Billies with four touchdowns, including three rushing and one receiving.
Sanchez remained humble after the performance.
“I’m really happy about the win. But even though I did score four touchdowns, I still fumbled twice,” Sanchez said. “But I do have to give credit to the linemen who really helped with the holes they created to help me score.”
Sanchez totaled 244 offensive yards, with 185 on the ground. He said the team changed its mentality after the Lampasas loss to help with their pre-game predictions. He said they hope to carry that mentality and momentum into their next game.
“We still have to practice on the things we messed up on,” Sanchez said. “We’ve can’t be cocky, but just remember what we’re capable of and take care of it.”
FHS senior wide receiver Jonathan (Johnny) Cleland also thought the Billies saw significant improvement in the win.
“I saw a lot of really good things out there. There was a lot of tenacity, emotion and heart, a lot of young guys developing,” Cleland said. “There’s definitely room for improvement. We need to get sharper on some things, but I feel really positive on the game.”
The Billie quarterbacks, junior Will Flannery and senior Riggs Threadgill, each contributed one passing TD to their team’s win.
“Until one of them separates themselves, we’re going to keep rotating them,” Moffett said. “It keeps the opponent’s defense off balance. They both throw differently and run differently. As long as we can maintain the balance, we’re going to keep doing it. I’m proud of them both.”
A hard-fought battle
The Rebels didn’t go down without a fight, despite being down 28-7 at halftime. They had big runs from senior quarterback Breonn Watson to keep their hopes alive throughout the game.
“You look down for a second and their quarterback is gone, so we have to work on containing those explosive plays,” Moffett said.
Austin-Travis dominated time of possession by more than seven minutes, but Rebel head coach Joe Martinez said they made too many mistakes to catch the Billies.
“We could not stop the run up the middle,” Martinez said. “I have to give the offensive line credit for doing such a good job sticking to their blocks and allowing their running backs to run free in the secondary.”
Martinez added that his team shot themselves in the foot, committing too many mental errors to be fully efficient, but that they still enjoyed a fun game.
“Coach Moffett runs a first-class operation,” Martinez said. “Hats off to everybody from Fredericksburg. We enjoy playing you guys; you have a solid program here.”
Moffett, who has developed a friendship with Martinez over the years, enjoys the little rivalry that has developed.
“We always get after each other. It’s a good matchup and we get to see the talent level that we want to see at a high level,” Moffett said. “They’ve got some good kids, and they do a good job coaching, and I applaud them. They did a good job scheming us tonight.”
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