By Amira Van Leeuwen
It was a muggy Friday night in Dripping Springs, where the Tiger Varsity football team managed to use a bruising ground game and the outstanding passing of senior quarterback Baylor commit Austin Novosad to blowout a 37-7 victory over the Wagner Thunderbirds.
Before kickoff, the Dripping Springs Tigers recognized the seniors for Senior Night. All of the seniors stood alongside their parents and teammates as the announcer read off each of their favorite memories.
Wagner kicked off to Dripping Springs, and the Tigers held the ball until the Thunderbirds forced a turnover on fourth down. But the Thunderbirds could not maintain possession of the ball for long before the Tigers got it back. Novosad threw a 58-yard pass to senior wide receiver Walker Wright.
The play put the Tigers on the board, and the extra point was good (7-0).
Wagner offense could not shut out a tough Dripping Springs defense and with two minutes left in the first quarter, Wagner punted to Dripping Springs. At second down, the Tigers fumbled, and the Thunderbirds recovered the ball.
The Thunderbirds started the second quarter with the ball but were stopped at fourth down and in field goal range at the Dripping Springs 13-yard line. Ten minutes left in the quarter, and Wagner attempted a field goal but missed, turning the ball back over to Dripping Springs.
A safety in the second quarter made the score 9-0.
With three minutes left in the half, Wagner senior outside linebacker Nathan Western intercepted a pass, and the Thunderbirds retook possession of the ball. But they didn’t have it for long before Dripping Springs recovered a fumble.
After regaining possession, Novosad threw a 22-yard bullet pass to senior wide-receiver Skylar Capone-Ford into the end zone, and the Tigers scored again. The extra point was good, and the Tigers stayed ahead at halftime (16-0).
Dripping Springs kicked off to Wagner in the third quarter. Wagner managed to get two first downs before Dripping Springs junior defensive back Gabriel Quintana intercepted the ball. After, sophomore runningback Jack Tyndall rushed for 47-yards into the endzone to earn the Tigers another touchdown. The extra kick by Wright was good, making the score 23-0.
The Wagner defense didn’t stand a chance against a fast, agile Dripping Springs offense.
After the touchdown, the Tigers kicked it off to the Thunderbirds. Wagner had possession of the ball on their 25-yd line but then fumbled. Dripping Springs junior linebacker Tomsen Vickery recovered the fumble getting the Tigers a first down with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Then Dripping Springs sophomore runningback Jack Tyndall rushed for 4-yards to get another touchdown, and Walker’s extra point was good. The Tigers remained on top (30-0).
Junior slotback Juan-Ye Taylor scored for the Thunderbirds at the beginning of the fourth quarter with a 21-yd run into the endzone. Senior kicker and wide-receiver Merce Mlodani kicked the extra point (30-7).
But Dripping Springs wasn’t done yet as junior quarterback Jack Williams rushed for 7-yards for another Tiger touchdown. The extra point kicked by Wright was good, and the Tigers were up 37-7.
The Thunderbirds repossessed the ball and managed to get the ball down to the Dripping Springs 15-yd line, within scoring range, but with under a minute left, there wasn’t much else they could do.
The Wagner offense ran the ball throughout most of the game but could not manage to get past a strong Dripping Springs defense. Compared to the Tigers the Thunderbirds were small in stature and lacked speed.
The game ended with a final score of 37-7.
The Tigers’ top rusher was Williams, who averaged 7-yards per carry, and the Thunderbirds’ leading rusher Taylor, who averaged about 5-yards per carry.
Wagner’s top receiver was senior wide receiver Gary Smith averaging 20 yards per rush for a total of 20 yards. Wright was Dripping Springs’ top receiver, who averaged almost 21 yards per rush for a total of 125 yards.
Dripping Springs’ next home game is on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Austin High School.