AUSTIN (KXAN) — To make it to round four of the high school football playoffs is special. For Vandegrift and Dripping Springs, they’re making sure to soak it in ahead of their state quarterfinal bout in Class 6A Division II.
“This means everything,” said Garon Duncan, Dripping Springs senior wide receiver. “It’s a blessing to be able to be out here playing this late. It’s only good teams that are out here.”
“It’s amazing,” said Miles Coleman, Vandegrift junior wide receiver. “We’re just taking it week by week. Sticking to our game plan and doing [the] Vandegrift way.”
For the Vipers, they’ve lost in this round the past two seasons. To get into that coveted final four, they’ll need to rely on Coleman, their leading receiver. The shorter-in-stature junior is averaging over 100 yards receiving a game.
“He’s one of our most reliable receivers,” said Brayden Buchanan, Vandegrift senior quarterback, about Coleman. “You know you can count on him during any time to make a play. If he’s the outlet, don’t take it for granted, he may catch the ball five yards down the field but he’s going a long way after.”
Vandegrift has lost just one game all season long. That was back in Week 1 against Dripping Springs when the Tigers won 23-20 on a last-second field goal. Both teams don’t see many parallels between that showdown in August, and this one in December.
“Week one to Week 14, that’s two different seasons,” said Galen Zimmerman, Dripping Springs head coach. “Playing each other, we both kind of now know each other. The kids have grown up, they know each other a little bit.”
“Unfortunately, they were able to make one more play than us at the end,” said Vandegrift head coach Drew Sanders about the Week 1 matchup. “We learned from that. We needed to grow and that was definitely a growing experience for us as a team.”
This is the Tigers’ longest postseason run since back in 2016. Now as they eye a spot in the state semifinals, they are set to do so with an even healthier roster than they had in the Week 1 battle with Vandegrift.
“Just going through the offseason, we saw the talent that we had,” said Austin Novosad, Dripping Springs senior quarterback. “I think we kind of mixed that talent with a lot of preparation, hard work. Just getting stronger.”
Dripping Springs and Vandegrift will kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday at Gupton Stadium in Cedar Park.