Back gets 4 scores in first half, leads Billies over Jarrell in second win of new season
It was a command performance by the Battlin’ Billies football team in front of an appreciative and masked home crowd in last Friday’s 54-14 victory over Jarrell at Fredericksburg High School Stadium.
The team’s home premiere showcased every player, including reserves, but it was Gavin French’s four touchdowns that stole the show.
Cade Jenschke’s 60-yard kickoff return got the crowd of 1,150 to its feet and set a lively and uplifting pace for the entire game, which kept fans on their feet cheering.
Conducting it all was senior quarterback Cole Immel, who mentioned last week that he had to have a better passing game, and he did.
He doubled his production from last week throwing 16 passes for eight completions and 144 yards.
One of those throws was a 31-yard pass three minutes into the game to Judson Beard for the first score.
Immel also scored on the ground on a 32-yard keeper for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Jarrell’s only score in the first half came on a Joseph Crathers 23-yard touchdown pass from Aden Edgar, two minutes into the second quarter. The two-point conversion made the score 21-8.
Three minutes later, French’s performance began. He dragged three Jarrell defenders into the end zone with him on his 19-yard touchdown run.
French’s smooth solo continued into the second quarter, with three more touchdowns on 8- and 19-yard runs and a 30-yard pass from Immel.
French rushed for 115 yards on 11 carries.
“I don’t even know what to say about him,” said Offensive Coordinator Coach Geoffrey Huff, who was impressed by the senior’s command of the game. “Gavin is a rodeo tough guy. He’s a bronc rider, so he’s a super tough kid. He is the ultimate leader.”
French, who won bareback riding competitions in 2018, played Friday’s football game hurt.
“We didn’t have him on the roster because we weren’t expecting him to play,” said Head Coach Lance Moffett. “He was having chronic pain, but he’s a tough kid. He just played through it, and that’s because he’s a bull rider. He’s not going to let an injury keep him from playing.”
Moffett mentioned that French stepped up his game after the team noticed that Jarrell was gunning for Beard, after his stellar game last week.
Because of the depth on this team, Immel was able to spread the ball around, he said.
The Billies tallied 311 rushing yards on 39 carries from a diverse group of nine running backs: Jenschke, Beard, Max Hardman, Immel, French, Javier Rodriguez, Austin Simpson, Gavin Mudd, Jose Diosdado and Everett Borton.
“When we talk about wanting to be balanced on offense, most people think that that means you want to be 50 percent run and 50 percent pass,” Moffett said. “We’re thinking balanced means if they take away Gavin, then Cole runs the ball, and if they take away Kade, then Jud catches. We’re trying to counter what they’re trying to take away.”
Fredericksburg’s 144 passing yards were spread over five receivers and included French’s TD and Tripp Dennis’ 18-yard touchdown pass from Immel in the third quarter.
Diosdado scored a five-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, which ended the Billies’ scoring rally.
Aaron Cordero-Rojas and Manuel Noreiga, who shared kicking duties for FHS, scored six points between them.
Jarrell scored the final touchdown of the game against the FHS second team.
The Billies’ first-team defense held the Cougars’ offense to eight points.
Javier Rodriguez had one interception, five tackles, one assist and caused one fumble and Gary Seidenberger had two sacks, four tackles and six assists.
The encroachment penalties that plagued the defense last week against Monahans (three) were non-existent this week, according to Moffett.
“We wrapped that into practice last week and we were mindful of it,” he said. “Every time they did it, we gave them some kind of consequence. I’m giving credit to our defensive coaches for doing it in practice.”
Jarrell’s team youth showed in the multiple off sides and face mask penalties. They had eight penalties for 85 yards to the Billies’ four for 55 yards.
The Cougars did manage to limit their turnovers to two from their previous game of five.
Billies Notes: FHS coaches named Jenschke, special teams; Javier Rodriguez, defense, and Gavin French, offense, as varsity players of the week. Rodriguez and James Sebera were turnover title winners. Cade Lehne, Adan Rivas, Clayton Curl, Logan McCarver and Ben Suarez received the junior varsity player of the week honors and Drake Threadgill received the freshman spotlight.
COVID-19 Report: The athlete who tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 15 is still under quarantine. No other members of the team have reported symptoms.