A blocked extra point attempt with ten seconds left in the game helped the Hays Rebels seal a thrilling 35-34 win over the Dripping Springs Tigers Friday at Shelton Stadium.
The block, made by Hays lineman Alex Harkey, capped off a frenetic, back-and-forth contest between the two programs.
Hays (2-0) opened the game with an 11-play, 69 yard drive where they ran the ball effectively against Dripping Springs (1-1) defense. Rebel senior running back Nash Danford finished the drive with a 23-yard touchdown run up the middle of the field to give Hays an early 7-0 lead.
Dripping Springs answered right back a few plays later with a 42-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tanner Prewit to senior wide receiver Parker Alford, which tied the game at 7-7 with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
On Hays’ next drive, junior running back Xavier Green burst past Tiger defenders for a 64-yard touchdown run, increasing the Rebel lead to 14-7.
Dripping Springs responded right back once again with Prewit tossing a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Enzo Arnold to tie the game at 14-14 heading into the second frame.
After another Danford touchdown run, Hays defense made critical plays in the second quarter with a fourth down stop, and an interception by John Rodriguez, to hold the Tiger offense scoreless. Hays led Dripping Springs 21-14 at halftime.
Dripping Springs came out ready to roll as Arnold scored a 57-yard touchdown on the first drive of the second half. Later in the third quarter, Hays recaptured the lead at 28-21 with a four-yard touchdown run by senior running back Devin Hines.
But the Tigers didn’t back down and closed the third frame with a bang. A 78-yard touchdown run by Tiger running back Jake Cox as time expired in the third quarter pulled Dripping Springs even at 28-28.
A crucial fourth down defensive stop by the Rebel defense midway though the fourth frame gave Hays’ offense the opportunity it needed.
They took advantage via an 8-play, 80 yard drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown plunge from senior quarterback Xavier Martinez; Hays led 35-28 late in the contest.
On the final drive of the game, the Tigers moved the ball with ease thanks to Prewit’s running ability and accurate arm. A 10-play Dripping Springs drive in the two-minute drill set up a Prewit to Alford 3-yard touchdown connection in the corner of the end zone with only 10 seconds left.
But on the ensuing game-tying extra point attempt, Harkey blew up the middle of the Dripping Springs line and blocked the kick.