AUSTIN – A go-ahead touchdown pass from quarterback Cameron O’Banan to wide receiver Andres Flores Perry in the final seconds Friday helped the Dripping Springs Tiger football team escape with a thrilling 17-14 win over the LBJ Jaguars.
The moment encapsulated a high-energy, physical contest between both clubs that at times had the feeling of a postseason contest.
“It was just a stop-and-release play and he just got on top of him,” O’Banan said on the game-winning pass. “I just threw it up and it was like slow motion man, just like the movies.”
A fourth down stop by the Tiger defense with 33 seconds remaining gave the offense one last opportunity to score. A facemask penalty on LBJ, followed by two completions to the sideline, set up the game-winning touchdown.
“We just tried to take a shot there at the end on a little double move, and he (O’Banan) slid up in the pocket,” Dripping Springs head coach Galen Zimmerman said. “There was little bit of pressure but we did a great job of protecting him because it takes a little while, and you know he put it on the money and Andres made a great catch.”
Before the late-game fireworks, both squads locked horns in a defensive battle.
After a 45-yard field goal by Tigers kicker Desi De la Cruz in the first quarter, neither team scored a touchdown until the final minutes before halftime.
The Jaguars capitalized on a fourth-and-goal opportunity and scored on 1-yard quarterback scramble by Hunter Scott to take a 7-3 lead. O’Banan entered the game at quarterback for the Tigers and led the team on an eight-play, 63 yard touchdown drive in under two minutes. A 1-yard pass to receiver Shel Hudson allowed Dripping Springs to retake a 10-7 lead just seconds before halftime.
LBJ sprinted out of the gates on the opening possession in the third quarter as they marched down the field and scored on 9-yard run up the middle by running back Sean Fresch. LBJ led 14-10.
However, the Tiger defense shut down LBJ’s offense and kept the Jaguars off the scoreboard for the rest of the game.
“They played from start to finish, they played great,” Zimmerman said about the Tigers defense. “That offense right there, to hold them to two touchdowns was phenomenal.”
For Dripping Springs, O’Banan finished the game 13-of-22 passing for 102 yards and two touchdowns, and also added 29 yards receiving on four catches in the first half. Perry led the team in receiving with 40 yards on two catches and one touchdown, while Hudson had five catches for 26 yards and score.
LBJ’s Fresch finished the game with 30 carries for 128 yards and one touchdown. Scott had five rushes for 26 yards and one score, and completed 5-of-18 passes for 86 yards.
With the win, Dripping Springs remains unbeaten in district play and stays tied with Seguin atop the 12-5A, Division I standings with four games left.
“I think it gives us confidence that we can (win),” Zimmerman said. “I mean their (LBJ) defensive line is unbelievable. They’ve got speed, but they are a physical team. So for us to be able to come out of this one, on their field, with a win against a team like that, I think it gives us confidence that we can play with a lot of people.”
The Tigers will look to stay undefeated as they travel to play the Juan Navarro Vikings (1-5, 0-3) Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Dripping Springs returns home to play Seguin Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.