Photo courtesy Shari Schmok

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Dripping Spring Head Coach Galen Zimmerman admitted he was concerned about Austin LBJ (7-4) spoiling his team’s perfect season in the first round of the playoffs. He went as far as calling the Panthers “a scary football team.”

But once the two teams stepped onto the field, Dripping Springs (11-0) quickly put to bed any talk of an upset, leading from the get-go and soundly defeating LBJ 59-29 Friday at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Austin to advance to the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs.

“We definitely knew they weren’t any team to take lightly so we had a good week of practice and we just executed today,” said senior quarterback Trevor Greenman.

“We started fast,” Zimmerman added. “We put some pressure on them because they got some kids playing both directions. They’re fast- tempo, and we were too, and I think that wore them down a little bit at the end of the first half and that helped us. That played in our favor.”

Greenman accounted for seven touchdowns (five passing, 2 rushing) and 366 total yards (249 passing, 117 rushing). Junior running back Jacob Cox added 130 yards on 17 carries. Senior wide receiver John Hoyle caught four passes for 119 yards with two scores. Junior Parker Alford, senior Curtis Raymond senior Keith Mitchhart also caught touchdown passes of 65, 31 and 17 yards, respectively.

“I feel like our receiving core is pretty good,” Zimmerman said. “We got a lot of weapons on the perimeter and it’s hard, I think because all three and four of those guys do different things and are pretty good. So they stretch the defense. At some point, you’re going to have a one-on-one opportunity for us that we can hopefully exploit and we shifted and motioned some that we able to get some guys open.”

Photo courtesy Shari Schmok

“I saw they were manned up,” Greenman added. “We liked our matchups. We got a lot of weapons on offense. They blitzed a lot. We were ready for it and we just came in to play today.”

The Tiger defense deserved its fair share of credit. The unit had five interceptions, including one that was returned 82 yards for a touchdown by senior Reed Beverly with 1:52 left in the half to give Dripping Springs a 49-13 lead going into the break.

Senior Ryland Kinard, junior Haden Dahl, junior Nathan Koch and senior Brittan Howeth had the other interceptions. Senior Matthew Hemphill recovered an LBJ fumble and Dripping Springs stole another possession by jumping on a muffed kickoff return.

“They’ve played well all year long,” Zimmerman said of the defense. “We’ve given up some points late at times that are a little misleading, but I think our defense, they are fast. We’re not real big, but they’re fast to the football and we’ve done a great job all year long.”

LBJ do-it-all senior Deon Collins, an Incarnate Word commit, didn’t disappoint in his final game wearing the Panther jersey. He rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries and caught four passes for 34 yards with two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. Junior Brian Batts added 122 yards rushing and a touchdown on 15 carries while completing 2- of-5 passes for 30 yards and another score. Junior wide receiver Donte Bourgeois caught three passes for 65 yards.

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