Fourth quarter turnovers led to the end of Hico's playoff dream Friday night, as Hamilton pulled away to take a 34-21 victory in the Hamilton County Championship.
With the win and a Crawford loss to Moody, Hamilton reaches the 2A state playoffs.
Tied 21-21 going into the fourth quarter, Hico threw an interception and lost a fumble on fourth-and-one which turned the tide in Hamilton's favor.
Hico was able to keep pace with the larger Hamilton team throughout most of the contest, holding a 21-14 lead halfway through the third, but in the end the size of the Bulldogs won out.
"We played very physical,â€e said Hico head coach Keith Wood. "But they had a tight end that was about 6-2, 295, and when they lay 300 pounds on our 185, it wears you down in the fourth.â€e
Dylan Turner led the way on the ground for the Tigers with 96 yards and a touchdown on 12 trips, while Corey Needham scored through the air with two receptions of 25 and 15 yards.
Alfonso Zuniga led the defense with 18 tackles.
With this loss, Hico's season comes to a close with a 5-5 record, including a 2-3 mark in District 16-2A.
"These guys have done everything we've asked them to do,â€e said Wood of his team. "This off-season weÃ-re basically going to look to get stronger. We have a really good strength program, but it's only been in place since April. So hopefully, we'll get stronger this off-season.â€e
Hico is losing some key players, such as Cade Sklar, Zuniga and Jeremy Barnette, but will return some key members of the squad, including Turner, the Tigers' leading rusher.