Patriots eliminated despite valiant effort
The Veterans Memorial Patriots saw their historic season come to an end Saturday afternoon at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio as they lost their Regional Semi-final round playoff game to the Dripping Springs Tigers by a score of 35-69.
The Tigers wasted no time scoring as they recovered a Patriots’ fumble on the opening kick-off and proceeded to score 35 seconds into the game. Then with less than three minutes gone in the first quarter, the Tigers struck again on a 79-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-0 Dripping Springs.
The Patriots responded with a 39-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Diego Hernandez to sophomore receiver Landry Gilpin at the 8:36 mark of the first quarter. Dripping Springs then went on to score 35 unanswered points to make the score 49-7 Tigers with just under six minutes remaining in the first half.
A 79-yard kickoff return by senior defensive back and kick returner Jacob Garcia led to the Patriots’ second score of the game when Hernandez scrambled into the endzone from 5-yards out to make the score 49-13 with 5:29 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers then put together a 62-yard drive which was capped off with a 35-yard touchdown pass making the score 56-13 Dripping Springs at the intermission.
In the second half, Hernandez and senior receiver Jacob Guerrero connected on three touchdown passes (25-yards, 13-yards and 11-yards) to account for the 18 of the Patriots’ 22 second half points. The other four points came on two-point conversions on passes from Hernandez to #18 (not on roster) and to junior wide receiver Joshua Acosta.
Despite the fact that the Patriots limited the Tigers to only 13 second half points, their first half lead was enough to give Dripping Springs the win and earned them the right to advance to the state quarterfinals.
After the game Patriots’ head coach David Gilpin shared how proud he was of the fact that his players never quit.
“When we went in at halftime we were obviously disappointed with the score,” Gilpin said. “It got away from us with a turnover on the opening kickoff which led to a quick touchdown. We then went three-and-out and gave up another touchdown. It took a little bit of starch out of us. But I told the kids at halftime, to give us some fight and while that’s what everybody says at halftime, that’s what we did and we asked them to play until there were zeroes on the clock and they did.”
“With our season having come to an end, all I can say is that I’m proud of our kids, I’m proud of our coaching staff, I’m proud of this great community and the administration that’s out here supporting us today, and I’m proud of the media that turned out to support us,” added Gilpin. “It’s all over for the Valley teams for this year but we’re all going to strap up and get ready to go again next year and try to knock down that state championship door.”
For mor ephotos of this exciting game, clcik here.