A Manor Mustangs touchdown scored with less than a minute left in the game Friday doomed the Dripping Springs Tigers in a heartbreaking 43-40 bi-district round playoff loss at Tiger Stadium.
The Manor Mustangs put together a scoring drive to start the game. The Tigers responded as senior quarterback Tanner Prewitt and the offense orchestrated back-to-back scoring drives to give themselves a 14-6 lead and momentum going into the second quarter. Prewitt accounted for both scores, running in the first score and hitting sophomore Cameron O’Banan for the other.
However, Manor’s powerful running game got them back on the board, led by running back and Tulane University commit Tahj Brooks. After scoring a 20-yard touchdown on the Mustangs’ first drive of the second quarter, Brooks led his team down the field on the following drive and the Mustangs jumped to a 20-14 lead.
The Tigers immediately retaliated. O’Banan capped off a lengthy drive with a key rushing touchdown, which gave the Tigers a slim 21-20 lead at intermission.
Scores were exchanged back and forth throughout the third quarter. Prewitt hit senior Parker Alford for a wide open 25-yard touchdown on a post route to start the half. The Mustangs responded with a 6-yard touchdown run from Brooks, his third of what was a five-score performance. Following a strip sack of Prewitt that resulted in a fumble, the Mustangs added a 34-yard field goal, which gave them a 29-28 lead.
The back and forth offensive game continued into the final quarter. Prewitt scored twice in the second half, one through the air to Enzo Arnold, and the other via a quarterback sneak from 3 yards out. The Mustangs didn’t relent, however, and matched the Tigers for each score. The Tigers trailed 43-40 with 57 seconds left in the game.
Following a defensive holding penalty, and a spectacular catch from O’Banan, the Tigers were in field goal range with six seconds left. But a potential game-tying 30-yard field goal attempt by kicker Coleman Chapman bent right and bounced off the right goal post, effectively ending the Tigers season.
The Tigers finished with 548 total yards of offense but had three critical turnovers; Manor collected 432 yards offensively. Prewitt finished with 302 yards passing on 35 attempts with four touchdowns and the interception. The senior quarterback also added 88 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries. Senior Jake Cox gained 88 yards on 14 carries. Arnold led the team receiving wise with 126 yard and a touchdown on eight receptions. Defensively the Tigers were led by senior Haden Dahl, who recorded 13 tackles and a sack. Senior Cole Cavender recorded nine tackles and junior Jakob Joy recorded eight tackles and a sack. Junior Andres Flores Perry recorded five tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. Despite the loss, head coach Galen Zimmerman was proud of his team and felt his team had every opportunity to win.
“We played a great football team and made one or two more mistakes,” Zimmerman said. “It ended really close.”
Zimmerman was thankful for his seniors and hurt for the way their careers ended.
“This senior class is incredible. They haven’t lost many games,” Zimmerman said. “To go out in a close one at home in the playoffs hurts, because they’ve invested a lot. With how close it was, and the success they’ve had over the last few years, it just hurts.”
The Dripping Springs Tigers finish their season at 8-3.