Early adversity wasn’t enough to keep the Dripping Springs Tigers from exacting a 52-14 drubbing of the Lockhart Lions on homecoming Friday at Tiger Stadium.
Lockhart, which entered the game as the underdogs, came out firing early.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Lions went to work and put together an impressive opening drive.
Lockhart took an early 7-0 first quarter lead when sophomore Jayden Garza punched a 39-yard touchdown run right up the middle of the field. Lockhart’s score was aided by a successful 4th down fake punt that was run by running back Daequan Ellison.
From that point forward, however, the rest of the half belonged to Dripping Springs.
In the following offensive drive, Tiger senior quarterback Trevor Greenman picked apart the Lion secondary, taking the Tigers 79 yards on 8 plays, aided by running back Jake Cox and tight end Keith Mitchhart. Greenman capped off the drive with a touchdown run to tie the score at 7-7.
Mitchart then added a 10-yard touchdown reception from Greenman to give Dripping Springs a 14-7 lead heading into the second quarter.
After forcing a Lockhart punt, junior wide receiver Parker Alford made one of the biggest plays of the night by taking a screen pass 82 yards for a touchdown, which gave the Tigers a 21-7 lead.
On the following Lions drive, Tiger senior Matt Hemphill forced and recovered a Lockhart fumble, the first of 3 fumbles that Lockhart lost on the night.
Senior Keith Mitchhart carried the ball for a 25-yard touchdown to put Dripping Springs up 28-7 with 2:49 left in the first half.
A 20-yard touchdown pass from Greenman to senior wide receiver Curtis Raymond capped off the first half. Dripping Springs held a commanding 35-7 lead at halftime.
Dripping Springs maintained the fireworks to start the second half. A 44-yard Mitchhart touchdown run increased the Tigers’ lead to 42-7 in the third frame.
The Lions responded right back, aided by Dripping Springs committing 30 yards worth of penalties. Lockhart senior Austin Garcia punched in a score to cut the Tiger lead to 42-14.
Dripping Springs head coach Galen Zimmerman began to play athletes from his second and third teams, and seemed pleased to have been able to do so.
“We got guys that work hard in practice some playing time and quality reps,” Zimmerman said. “You never know, we got to have guys that have experience.”
Senior wide receiver Reed Beverley got in on the action by rushing for 29 yards on the Tigers’ next drive, and senior Josh Embry, who is a starter on defense, participated at running back.
Embry ran for 48 yards on 4 carries in his short time in the backfield. He also recorded 2.5 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
Junior Jacob Cox finished off the drive with a touchdown run from 1 yard out to put the Tigers ahead 49-14.
A 20-yard Nathan Koch field goal followed an interception by senior Dane Schmok.
Greenman went 14 of 18 with 259 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. His leading target was Mitchhart, who had three receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Mitchart ran the ball for 69 yards and two touchdowns on two carries.
Tiger running back Jake Cox rushed the ball eight times for 79 yards and had one touchdown. Dripping Springs offense tallied 533 total yards.
On defense, the Tigers’ leading tackler was senior Miles Farris with 6.5 tackles and recovered a fumble. The Tigers held Lockhart to 300 total yards of offense.
Zimmerman felt that his team “executed well,” and was pleased with how his team performed, primarily after facing an early deficit.
“Tonight, we had a little adversity at the start, but our kids handled that well, and played hard.”