HEWITT – Fredericksburg Heritage captured their seventh state football title on Thursday after defeating Weatherford Christian School, 46-26, in the TAPPS Division III Championship. After scoring on their first drive, the Eagles found themselves in unfamiliar territory, trailing 19-8 at the half.
Heritage received the opening kick and scored on a run by John Fritzsch to gain the early lead, 8-0. Weatherford Christian, looking for their first state championship in two tries, was not to be intimidated. Taking just a minute and a half off the clock, the Lions drove and scored on a run by Jackson Floyd. The Lions missed the conversion attempt and trailed 8-6, a score that would hold through the end of the first quarter.
The Lions would strike again just under halfway though the second quarter. Weahterford Christian connected on a 4-yard scoring pass from Floyd to Devon Hardage to take a 12-8 lead. Heritage looked to answer but a 17-yard loss on a fumbled snap killed the drive and the Eagles were forced to punt.
The punt pinned the Lions at their own 3 yard line and a holding penalty on WCS moved the ball back to the one and a half yard line. After earning two first downs, one a 4th down conversion from their own 13, the Lions connected on a 50-yard pass to Bryson Smith to setup an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Foland with 12 seconds until halftime.
Weatherford Christian received to open the second half and picked up where they left off in the first half. A 1-yard scoring run by Wyatt Berry upped the WCS lead to 26-8, taking just two minutes off the clock. Key plays on the drive were a 36-yard run by Berry and a 23-yard reception by Foland. The Lions would punt or turn the ball over on downs each of their next four possessions.
Fredericksburg Heritage responded by taking control of the game on both sides of the ball. The Eagles scored on five straight possessions while shutting out the Lions the rest of the way. Joshua Hoermann setup the first score of the second half with runs of 33 and 23 yards before John Fritzsch found the endzone on a 10-yard run to cut the Lions lead to 26-16 after the conversion by kicker, Samuel Richburg.
On the Eagles’ next drive, it took just four plays to score again. Fritzsch scored from eighteen yards out to make the score 26-24. The next Eagles drive took two minutes off the clock and ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hoermann to Noah Given. The conversion attempt was blocked and the Eagles lead was now 30-26.
Heritage needed just five plays on the next drive to reach paydirt, this time on a 28-yard strike from Hoermann to Fritzsch with 8:17 remaining to take a 38-26 lead. Fritzsch would run or receive the ball on every play of the drive. The final score for the Eagles came on a 9-yard run by Hoermann and the successful XP kick made the score 46-26 with 5:22 remaining in the game.
Weatherford Christian gave one last fruitful effort to get back in the game, putting together a 10-play drive that went 47 yards before the Lions were intercepted by the Eagles’ Richburg in the enzdone with 2:53 remaining.