Tigers football fall to Manor Mustangs
Last game of the Year
Photos by Ron Adair
For the second year in a row the Manor Mustangs kicked the Dripping Springs Tigers out of the playoffs with a special team play late in the game. On a cool, crisp night the two titans battled late into the evening. In the end the size advantage of the Mustangs weighed heavily on the 28-27 outcome. They had a beast of a runner with speed, plus speed and big stallions in the line that were a load to handle in crucial situations. Even so, the Tigers stood toe to toe with them all night and were primed to win this battle and move on. The unpredictability of sports stepped in and sent the Tigers (9-2) packing early again this year. No one wins on stats. Only the score counts.
Dripping Springs kicked off to start the game and a short kick out of bounds gave the ball to Manor on the 50. Seven plays later a 14-run put Manor ahead 7-0. A 31 KOR by Austin Hulon put the Tigers in business at their 47. Despite two penalties, Preston Alford took it in from the eight on the fifth play and Coleman Chapman made it 7-7. Everyone seemed to brace for a basketball score but it was a punting contest for most of the quarter as it ended that way.
Looking at 67 yards, the Tigers took the rest of the first quarter to march down to the 13, where Alford would take it in on the first play of the second quarter. 14-7. Turn about was fair play as Manor drove 63 yards to tie the game on a 19 pass play. Curtis Cox and Alford were mostly responsible for moving the ball from the 27 to the 10 before the Tigers were repelled by the huge Manor line and forced a 27 yard field goal by Desi De la Cruz to retake the lead. Aided by a 19 pass and 15 personal foul penalty, the Mustangs hit on a 32 pass to retake the lead 21-17. After Cameron O'Banan punted to the 12, the Tigers got a break when a Mustang back dropped the ball following a 14 run and Scotty Crosby fell on it. Cox powered it in from the two with .36 seconds left to give the Tigers a lead at the half.
The second half was a struggle for the offenses as the defenses dominated to thwart any successful drives. A 12-play drive by the Tigers that took six minutes off the clock and stalled at the three produced a 20 FG by De la Cruz. 27-21. Two plays into the fourth Manor was forced to punt with the Tigers taking over at the 14. DS moved the ball steadily down the field. Facing a fourth and goal at the five, DS correctly opted to kick a field goal and make it a two-possession game. However, a Manor player had other plans. He skirted the end and blocked the attempt, then chased it down and picked it up at the 15 and took off the other way. At the 40, he adroitly weaved through a mass of players as he crossed the field where he picked up some friendly convoys of blockers as he labored mightily to make it to the endzone. Just that suddenly, the Tigers trailed 28-27 with 5.08 remaining.
Needing only a field goal to win, the Tigers moved the ball down the field. Another outstanding catch by O'Banan put the ball on the 28. An incomplete pass and two losses for ten yards set up a fourth and 20, out of range. The long pass was contested by two defenders and fell harmlessly out of bounds. Game, set, match.
Game stats (DS first): First downs 25-14; Rushing 56-203, 32-161; Passing 184-93; Passes 9-17-0, 6-11-0; Punts 3-39.0, 4-28.5; Penalties 8-60, 4-45; Fumbles lost 0-0, 1-2.
DS stats: Rushing: Alford 32-92 2TD; Cox 18-76 TD; O'Banan 5-31; Zach Tjelmeland 1-4. Passing: Alford 7-15-148; O'Banan 2-2-36. Receiving: O'Banan 2-58; Andres Flores-Perry 2-52; Alford 1-31; Brodie Dyer 2-26; Tjelmeland 1-12; KOR: Hulon 1-31.
-Carl Waits, Sportswriter