by Moses Leos III
Big plays in critical moments carried the Dripping Springs Tigers to a 33-26 win over the Hays Rebels in a matchup 37 years in the making.
Friday’s game at Tiger Stadium was the first meeting between the two Hays County schools since 1979.
Dripping Springs (3-0) and Hays (1-2) traded scores in the first quarter before the Tiger offense found their rhythm, guided by running backs Teo Brinckmann, Jacob Cox and quarterback Reese Johnson. The trio combined for 333 rushing yards on the night, which each player rushing for over 100 yards each.
Dripping Springs led 20-10 with 4:17 left in the second frame via a 15 yard touchdown pass from Johnson to wide receiver Curtis Raymond.
For every Dripping Springs touchdown scored, Hays worked to orchestrate a response. They did so with an air attack led by quarterbacks Tyler Conley and Gentry Brawith, who combined for 278 yards and two touchdowns.
A 49-yard strike from Conley to wide receiver Tyrone Meredith pulled the Rebels to within 20-16 at halftime.
The Tigers held a slim 26-23 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Dripping Springs’ ability to capitalize on Rebel turnovers, however, proved to be the difference in the game.
A fourth quarter interception by Tiger Josh Embry allowed the Tiger offense to go on a four play, 48 yard scoring drive. Tiger running back Jacob Cox burst through the line for a 28-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers a 33-23 lead. Dripping Springs scored 21 points off of four Hays turnovers in the game.
Hays tacked on a late 32 yard field goal from Tyler Wilson, but their last chance at a comeback ended as an onside kick was recovered by Dripping Springs.
Johnson led Dripping Springs with 109 yards rushing on the night. Brawith led Hays by going 12 of 18 for 156 yards and one touchdown.