By Tucker Stephenson
Courtesy of Herald-Zeitung
NEW BRAUNFELS — Not many people were expecting a wild shootout to ensue between Dripping Springs and Canyon Friday night in New Braunfels, but when the smoke cleared, the two teams had combined for nearly 1,000 total yards and 92 points at Cougar Stadium.
The Tigers (2-1) were able to put an end to the madness in the second half after shoring up their defense. Dripping Springs escaped with a 54-38 victory after limiting Canyon to just a single field goal after halftime.
“I credit the defensive staff for getting those kids lined up and figuring out what they were doing to us, and really figuring out how we were going to adjust to it,” Dripping Springs head coach Galen Zimmerman. “Our kids, defensively, played physical all night.”
The Cougars and Tigers traded scores back and forth during a lengthy first quarter that saw Canyon emerge holding a 28-20 lead.
Dripping Springs saw Preston Alford find the end zone on respective runs of 1 and 6 yards in the opening stanza, while Curtis Cox also scampered across the goal line from 36 yards away.
Meanwhile, the Cougars cashed in on a pair of scoring runs by Sayveon Jarrett and two touchdown passes from Dallas Gomez to Callon Farr.
However, the tide began to turn for the Tigers in the second period. Dripping Springs went into the half up 41-35 thanks to a 19-yard TD toss from Alford to Cameron O’Banan and scoring runs of 16 and 22 yards from Alford.
Dripping Springs’ sophomore quarterback finished the game with 383 total yards and was responsible for six TDs in the triumph.
With the Tigers’ defense continuing to keep Canyon in check, Dripping Springs put the game on ice in the second half with two additional scores. Cox rumbled into the end zone from 10 yards away early in the third quarter, and after a short field goal by the Cougars, Shel Hudson put the finishing touches on the win by hauling in a 38-yard TD pass from Alford.
Hudson was all by himself in the Canyon secondary and cruised across the goal line to give the Tigers a 16-point lead with 4:27 left in the third.
“I’m excited for our kids, because it’s hard to win on Friday night in the state of Texas,” Zimmerman said. “So to do it however you can do it is a big deal.”
Alford was 17 of 20 through the air for 233 yards and a pair of scores and also ran for 150 yards and four TDs on 17 carries. Cox added 148 yards and two more scores on 10 totes, while Tyler Herron ran for 64 yards.
O’Banan made five receptions for 85 yards in his season debut after returning from injury.
Dripping Springs is now slated to open district play this Friday night with a 7:30 p.m. home game against Austin Travis.