On a first-and-10 play from the Damonte Ranch 22, with nine seconds showing on the game clock, Fralick scrambled and tried to find the end zone but came up just short.
Damonte Ranch scored its go-ahead touchdown with 39 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter after trailing for a majority of the game. It came on a 9-yard touchdown run by Grant Cooper and wrapped up an 80-yard Mustangs drive that started with two and a half minutes to go in the contest.
"Damonte Ranch beat us all over the place," Spanish Springs coach Scott Hare said. "I can't think of one area where we beat them. Even if we'd pulled that out, the postgame speech was going to be the same. Damonte outworked us in every phase. We made a couple plays but Damonte was better.
"We'd better wake up. Our seniors played poorly. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call. We were very timid and we let fatigue control us."
Spanish Springs forged ahead 27-25 at the 5:34 mark of the fourth. Fralick found Jacob White in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown reception. Spanish Springs converted four fourth downs on that key drive.
The Spanish Springs defense held on the Mustangs' ensuing possession. The Cougars sniffed out a Damonte Ranch fake punt play on fourth down and took over at the Mustangs' 28. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they did not get a first down or score, giving Damonte Ranch its last possession, which proved costly.
"Tonight, what I'll take away is that we need to practice harder," Hare said. "We need to redefine what we want from our season. We can't let being tired dictate what we do."
Down 14-12 at the break, Damonte scored first in the second half, on its second drive of the third quarter. Mustangs quarterback Kyle Daugherty connected with Sean Pinching for a 29-yard scoring pass midway through the quarter and the south Reno school took its first lead of the night, 19-14.
Spanish Springs regained the lead when it scored on the first play of the fourth quarter. Cougars receiver Gehrig Parks caught a slant pattern and got across the goal line from eight yards out, leaving the SSHS hosts clinging to a 21-19 lead.
Parks caught six balls in the gridiron clash for 107 yards.
Still, Damonte had an answer. The Mustangs needed just 1:18 to grab the lead back, Daugherty and Pinching again provided the scoring combination, this time on a 27-yard scoring reception at the 10:38 mark of the fourth.
Spanish Springs never trailed in the first half en route to earning its 14-12 advantage at the break.
The Cougars opened the scoring when Fralick gave Spanish Springs a 7-0 lead after he scampered into the end zone from three yards out, capping the Cougars' first drive of the game.
The key play on the opening drive was a 35-yard pass from Fralick to Parks that set the hosts up at the 3.
"We knew it was a long game and we knew Spanish Springs was a good football team," Damonte Ranch coach Shawn Dupris said. "We got down early, but our kids never stopped coming back to fight."
Fralick finished 15-of-35 for 239 yards with two passing TDs and a third running. He racked up 100 yards rushing on 13 carries, many of those on broken plays.
"Our receivers have to work to get open," Hare said. "Obviously, they had us covered. But I know our concepts work. I've seen them work before. Our guys need to realize they have to work harder to get open.
"We never got anything going. We had no running game, no push forward ... For as disappointed as we were that we didn't get to play last week, we didn't look very disappointed when we got tired tonight."
Damonte trimmed the lead to 7-6 on a 30-yard TD run by Cooper less than a minute into the second quarter.
Spanish Springs pushed its lead to 14-6 with 7:34 to go before halftime. That touchdown came on a 6-yard scoring run on a fourth-and-3 play by Jeff Jurgensmeier, who in the end was limited to 54 rushing yards on 18 carries.
That score was short-lived. Damonte (2-0) answered with a touchdown less than two minutes later when Daughtery found a seam and outran the Cougars' defense to the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown bolt. A pass was knocked down on the south Reno school's two-point conversion try, accounting for the 14-12 score.
The two teams traded scoreless possessions in the last five minutes of the half.
Next, Spanish Springs (0-1), which finished the defeat with 411 yards of total offense, travels to the South Bay Area to play Scotts Valley, Calif. Sept. 14.