Late scores lift Hays past Dripping Springs 22-21

DRIPPING SPRINGS – Twelve unanswered fourth quarter points catapulted the Hays Rebels (2-0) to a stunning 22-21 come-from-behind win over the Dripping Springs Tigers Friday at Tiger Stadium.

Key defensive stops down the stretch, primarily in the final nine minutes of the game, played a vital role in the Rebel comeback.

But early on, Dripping Springs (1-1) utilized its stifling defense to take a 7-3 halftime lead highlighted by a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown by Liam Dahl. 

The Tiger lead eventually ballooned to 21-10 late in the third frame, aided by a pair of touchdown runs by quarterback Preston Alford, before the Rebels began their comeback.

A 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Durand Hill to wide receiver Bryant Lewis cut Dripping Springs’ lead to 21-16 with eight minutes left in the game.

After forcing Dripping Springs to punt on its next two possessions, Hays’ offense countered with a go-ahead 13-yard touchdown run by running back Xavier Green, giving Hays a 22-21 lead with three minutes to go.

Dripping Springs had one last chance to respond, but their final drive ended when Hays linebacker Coleman Johnson forced a fumble in the waning moments that was recovered by lineman Alex Harkey.

Lewis led the Rebels with 56 yards rushing on one carry and a touchdown, as well as 27 yards receiving with a score. Hays running back Nate Green finished with 55 yards rushing on 10 carries, with Xavier Green rushing for 36 yards and a touchdown. Hill went 4 of 6 for 44 yards and a passing touchdown.

Dripping Springs quarterback Preston Alford rushed for 96 yards and two third quarter touchdowns while also going 5 of 14 for 33 yards through the air. Tiger running back Curtis Cox rushed for 90 yards on nine carries.

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