Late TDs lift Tigers past Canyon in 42-41 thriller

Fourteen unanswered points in the final four-plus minutes of play Friday catapulted the Dripping Springs Tigers to a thrilling come-from-behind 42-41 win over the New Braunfels Canyon Cougars at Tiger Stadium.

Dripping Springs’ comeback win was predicated on the play of quarterback Tanner Prewit, who helped the Tigers overcome a 13-point deficit late in the fourth frame. Prewit and the Tiger offense orchestrated two critical late game scoring drives, including a go-ahead 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ty Kaatz with 1:39 left in the contest.

Prewit went 14 of 29 for 246 yards passing and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 22 yards and a score. Kaatz led the Tigers with 126 receiving yards on seven catches and two touchdowns.

Early on, Dripping Springs (2-1) and Canyon (2-1) went toe-to-toe, trading scores in a fluid fashion in the first half. Dripping Springs held a narrow 21-20 lead at intermission, which came as the result of a failed two-point conversion by Canyon following a late second quarter touchdown.

But Tiger miscues allowed Canyon to tally 15 unanswered points to start the second half; Canyon held a 41-28 lead going into the fourth frame. The Cougars outscored Dripping Springs 21-7 in the third quarter, with 14 of those points coming off of Tiger turnovers.

Guiding the Cougar offense was a three-person ground game consisting of quarterback Zavier Perez and running backs Seth Leeper-Haney and Nathan Culbreath.

Perez finished with 96 yards rushing and one touchdown, while also going 4 of 9 for 148 yards passing and two touchdowns. Leeper-Haney rushed for 181 yards on 23 carries and one score, while Culbreath had 63 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns.

Enter Dripping Springs’ defense, which kept Canyon’s offense grounded in the final 14 minutes of the contest. That includes a key fourth down stop with 4:34 left in the game.

Dripping Springs offense took advantage and went on a two play drive, capped off with a 62-yard touchdown to wide receiver Cameron O’Banan, pulling the Tigers to within six points at 41-35.

After a second straight defensive hold, the Tiger offense marched 60 yards on seven plays, which ended with Prewit’s 41-yard strike to Kaatz. The drive was kept alive with a key fourth down conversion on a pass from Prewit to Kaatz.

Running back Jake Cox led the Tigers with 146 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.

Dripping Springs opens district play next week when they play the Travis Rebels. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Burger Stadium.

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