Tiger Football winning season coms to an end

Tigers #42 Beau Collins, #17 Miles Farris, #3 Curt Raymond, and #21 Josh Embry take to the field for the coin toss. PHOTOS COURTESY OF RONNIE ADAIR PHOTOGRAPHY

By: 
Carl Waits

 

All the hopes and dreams of a far-reaching season was taken away from the Dripping Springs Tigers as the Richmond Foster Falcons swooped down and took advantage of six turn- overs for twenty-one points and a 28-21 victory. Even though it looked possible by the end of the game, there would be no miracle finish at the Area level as there was last year. The Tigers got the better of the stats but stats mean absolutely nothing, only the points on the board do. If you play long enough, you will have games like this one but the timing of this one was certainly not good for the Tigers goals.

In a pre-game interview with the Foster coach, he was recounting their season interruption by Hurricane Harvey. He had lost over 50 seniors that had gone 14-1, including a 51-28 win over these same Tigers. They did not have a spring practice, so they got to start a week early. They got in that week and one with a scrimmage. Harvey hit and everyone stopped for three weeks. They lost another scrimmage and their first scheduled game. They only got to practice a few days before their first game. They would go 6-3, so their mid- season would be delayed a few weeks as they caught up. For sure, this was the best complete and disciplined defensive unit the Tigers have faced this year. e defensive backs did not lose contact with our receivers but even more important, the front linemen were relentless and never let Trevor Green- man rest as they hurried him all night, causing him to not be as accurate as he has been all year.

The Tigers were very fortunate they were not behind by two touchdowns early in the first quarter. DS appeared to be slightly out of sync in their play early on. Foster kicked off and Joshua Embry would return it 8 to the 31. A holding call stalled a good start and forced a punt from the 31. Unfortunately, it only traveled one yard, so Foster was looking at 32 yards. Foster, a running team this year, put the ball on the two with seven carries. After lining up for a field goal, they changed their minds and the QB was stopped at the three.

DS could only get to the 12 and lined up to punt. Greenman’s punt was blocked. The ball bounded off to the left around the five and as a Falcon was zeroing in to put his talons in the pigskin for an easy TD, the ball took a bounce back toward the endzone giving Greenman a chance to beat him to the ball and he managed to get it to the 19 fora first down. The Tigers proceeded to move the ball down the field where they stall at the nine. A 26FG attempt was blocked and Foster took over at the 14. Aided by a 15-yard unsportsman- like penalty, in the middle, Foster embarked on a 16-play, 74 yard scoring drive with a one- yard plunge. This gave Foster a 70 lead with 10.21 left in the second quarter.

Another unsportsmanlike penalty on the KOR put the ball on the 30. The Tigers looked as though they had righted the situation when they moved the ball steadily to the Foster 47 in five plays. Greenman then found Curtis Raymond for the final 47 yards. Nathan Koch would make the PAT to tie the game with 8.38 showing.

After forcing a three and out for Foster, the roof caved in for the Tigers. On the first play, an overthrown pass was gobbled up and returned 18 to the 30. On the first play, the Foster QB found a receiver in the endzone. 14-7. 6.36 remaining. On the first play afterward another pass was swiped by a well-positioned defender and returned 21 to the Tiger 33. On the fourth play, the Foster back burst up the middle and would not be denied the endzone on his 15 jaunt. 21-7. 5.31 remaining.

Undaunted, the Tigers moved the ball well on their two drives before the half. The first drive moved from the 33 to the 29 where a fourth down pass was batted away. After Foster was forced to punt, the Tigers had 1.09 to move the ball 79 yards. With one tick of the clock left, the Tigers had reached the 6. After thinking field goal, the Tigers changed their mind and the pass play was defended.

Foster took the second half KO and held onto the ball for seven plays before punting to the 19. DS drove it to the Falcon 34, where the next pass was intercepted and turned into a 72 pick-six. 28-7 at the 6.46 point. It looked as if that might be the final nail in the coffin. The Tigers certainly did not believe it was over. Foster was doing their best to run time off and shorten the game and the Tiger defense was doing everything to get the ball back in the hands of the offense.

DS could not move the ball, but neither could Foster. The Tigers had gotten few breaks during the game and this time was no different. The Foster punter hit a low bounding ball that took a crazy bounce and hit a Tiger with Foster recovering the ball. Just another time Foster could use some clock. DS got the ball back and moved it to the five where the Foster defender out-battled the Tiger receiver in the far corner of the endzone for another interception. Another opportunity missed. Foster would get the game into the fourth quarter before giving it up again.

The Tigers faced 67 yards but quickly got it to the three on two passes to Raymond and two runs by Keith Mitchhart. Greenman would power it in from there. 14-28 with 9.39 remaining. Plenty of time. Foster kept hurting themselves with five-yard penalties, giving the Tigers more time. This time the Falcons would kick the ball into the endzone and leave Tigers with 6.08. Grudgingly, the Falcons held their ground as the Tigers moved the 80 yards in 12 plays. A little trickery put Mitchhart under center where he sneaked it in from the one. 21-28. 3.10 left. Getting down to nitty-gritty time.

Foster could not make a first down but only the Tigers with 1.06, no timeouts, and 74 yards away. The Tigers got it to the 29 with 27 seconds and clock moving. Foster was able to sack the QB and the team could not line up in time to spike the ball and get another play. The bubble had burst.

As painful as it is, the Tigers (11-1) certainly do not have any reason to hang their heads as they performed at a very high level all through the season and their careers. Forty seniors will be leaving but in their final three years they helped the team to a 28-8 record (.778) which mirrors the 47-49 teams 26-5 (.839). The remaining Tigers can start their chant of “Wait Until Next Year”.

Game stats (DS rst): First downs 27-14; Rushing 34-168, 49-177; Passing 315-76; Passes 20-44-4, 4-12-0; Punts 2-.5, 7-32.3; Penalties 6-75, 9-45; Fumbles lost 0-0, 0-1.

DS stats: Rushing: Green- man 25-146; Mitchhart 4-21; Jacob Cox 5-1. Passing: Green- man 20-44-315-4. Receiving: Raymond 7-200; John Hoyle 5-66; Mitchhart 4-103; Parker Alford 3-48; Dylan Smith 1-(- )2.

 

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