GEORGETOWN – Facing a one-point fourth quarter deficit Saturday and needing a miracle, Dripping Springs Tiger prayers were answered in the form of wide receiver Garon Duncan.
An 11-yard touchdown pass hauled in by Duncan with 48 seconds left in the game, along with a Tiger defensive red zone stand in the final seconds, carried Dripping Springs to a heart-stopping 49-42 bi-district round win over the Georgetown Eagles at Birklebach Stadium.
Dripping Springs moves on to the area round where the Tigers face off against Manvel, ranked fifth in the 5A, Division I state poll, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Merrill Green Stadium in Bryan.
Dripping Springs (9-3) built a 27-17 halftime lead on the shoulders of running back Preston Alford who tallied three of his five rushing scores in the first half. Alford finished the game with 211 yards rushing on 32 total carries, along with 56 yards receiving on seven catches.
However, Georgetown’s prolific offense battled back and outscored the Tigers 21-7 in the third frame to tie the contest at 34-34 going into the final frame. The Eagle comeback was spearheaded by quarterback Darson Herman who threw for 295 yards on 16 of 25 passing with four touchdowns.
Dripping Springs responded with an 11-yard touchdown run by Alford early in the fourth frame which gave the Tigers a 41-34 lead.
But Georgetown immediately countered with an 11-yard passing touchdown from Herman which, with a successful two-point conversion on a fake extra point, pushed the Eagles ahead at 42-41 with eight minutes left.
Enter the Tiger defense which stepped up and forced a Georgetown punt late in the fourth frame to give the Dripping Springs an opportunity for a go-ahead score.
Tiger quarterback Austin Novosad didn’t waste the chance and guided the Tigers into the red zone, capped off with an 11-yard strike to Duncan on a slant route, placing the Tigers ahead 49-42 after a two-point conversion.
Dripping Springs’ defense stood firm one final time as the Eagles, who drove as far as the Tiger 12 yard line in the game’s final moments, couldn’t convert down the stretch.
Duncan finished with six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown while wide receiver Noah Lawyer had four receptions for 56 yards. Tiger wide receiver Cameron O’Banan finished with 107 all-purpose yards. Dripping Springs kicker Coleman Chapman was a perfect 5 for 5 on extra points.
Altogether, Dripping Springs and Georgetown combined for 1,131 yards of total offense on 156 plays.