HUNTSVILLE — Lee Fedora leaned upon an old friend and mentor to kick-start his A&M Consolidated team Friday night — Billy Hoppers, the Tigers defensive coordinator.
The two go way back to when Fedora was a wiry receiver and defensive back for Consol in the late 1980’s when the team went from a 2-7 team one season to the state runner-up the next year — and Hoppers was the defensive coordinator of those teams.
As Fedora racked up his 176th career coaching win, 35-7, over Whitehouse in the 5A Div. II Region III bi-district game at Sam Houston State on Friday, Fedora’s high-flying offense got held in check for the most part while the Hoppers-led defense kept the game winnable.
The game went scoreless through the first quarter and seemed headed that way until halftime until the Consolidated defense forced a Wildcats punt from the Whitehouse 36. An errant snap sailed over the punter’s head before downing at the 2-yard line.
The Tigers scored on a 2-yard run by Aaron Campbell-Love to make it 7-0, which held until an explosive third quarter.
The A&M Consolidated defense forced a fumble on Whitehouse’s first possession, and senior Tre Newton scooped and scored to put the Tigers ahead, 14-0.
And just like Consolidated has done all season, the Tigers shuffled quarterbacks until it found the right combination. They wound up relying on Daylan Faltysek’s legs in the third quarter. Faltysek, who didn’t see as much starting action this season as two other signal callers, called his own number twice and ran for scoring touchdowns of 40 and 34 yards, respectively, to put Consolidated ahead, 28-0.
The Tigers then went to the coach’s nephew, season-opening starting quarterback Caden Fedora, who escaped some pressure and found sophomore Brian Darby for a touchdown to go ahead, 35-0.
Whitehouse, which finished the season with a 6-5 record, scored a touchdown with eight seconds remaining to get on the board with some dignity before getting bounced from the playoffs.
Consolidated got big plays all night on defense from guys like Newton, Nate Floyd, Chase Martinez and Joshua Ellison, among others, to thwart the Whitehouse offense. The Wildcats were held to 25 yards of offense in the first quarter and 55 in the first half. Whitehouse finally cracked the century mark in its scoring drive in the waning seconds of the game.
A&M Consolidated (9-2) advances to the area Round to face the Hutto Hippos (10-1), who beat Brenham, 33-12. The game will be Friday (Nov. 24) at Waller ISD Stadium at either 7 or 7:30 p.m. Details will emerge on Saturday.
Lee Fedora has an impeccable record at Waller ISD stadium, going undefeated during his tenure at Navasota and winning the state semifinal over Bellville there in 2012 and a handful of wins over teams like Sealy and West Columbia in early playoff rounds.
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