Dripping Springs Cinderella season over, Foster advances to State Semis

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Photo via TexasHSFootball


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The weather outside was frightful, the torrential rain causing leaks from the Alamodome’s ceiling and splattering into strategically placed tables and buckets below. The downpour didn’t limit the crowd turnout for Foster and Dripping Springs; the Falcons had an impressive audience, but the entire town showed up for the Tigers — cheering on a losing effort as Foster beat Dripping Springs 51-28 in the Class 5A Division I state quarterfinal.

Credit to the Dripping Springs fans; despite the deficit, the crowd stayed with their team until the close of regulation.

“It’s a ton of people,” said Dripping Springs coach Galen Zimmerman. “They love and support their kids. First time to do it is always a special time for everyone.”

The Tigers are an emerging force in Central Texas high school football, boasting a 12-1 season — the best ever — and embarking on the deepest playoff run in school history. Their accomplishments this year ended in the quarterfinals, where their postseason inexperience was exposed by a suffocating Foster defense that forced six turnovers.

Dipping Springs spirits were tested in the first quarter, when the Falcons launched into a punishing 34-0 start. The blistering Foster offense was lead by four-star receiver and Oklahoma commit CeeDee Lamb, who scored five touchdowns on the night. The corners could do nothing to contain the runner’s routes, and any coverage was shrugged off by Lamb’s impressive physicality and wingspan.

The Tigers’ defense attempted to shift coverages against an offensive line that towered over the front seven. The Falcons looked like the bigger team, imposing their might and showcasing why they don’t have a blemish on their record.

The momentum began shifting through the half and into the third quarter for a 28-3 Dripping Springs run. Coach Zimmerman opted to rely heavily on Reese Johnson’s arm over a running game that was stifled at the line of scrimmage. The comeback was short lived; a scrambling touchdown by Falcons’ Quinton Oliver and a botched handoff by Johnson lead a Foster shutout through the fourth quarter, outscoring Dripping 14-0.

“We never felt like we were going to lose the game,” said Foster coach Shaun McDowell. “We knew we needed a couple stops. Defense stepped up big for us in the third and fourth quarter. You can’t get better than that.”

Richmond Foster improved to 14-0 and will face the winner of Manvel/Temple in the state semifinal. Dripping Springs finishes their season in the Alamo City, but will move forward into 2017 with their helmets held high.  “Our guys bought into being together, trusting each other and playing one game at a time,” Coach Zimmerman said. “When you get to this time of the year, it’s all you got.”

Coach McDowell expressed confidence his team’s undefeated record through the State Semi-Final game: “Our biggest adjustment is to play together. That’s the magic of this team. We need to step up and make a play, and our guys did.”

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