Lions out-roar Tigers

Dublin outmaneuvered Hico on Friday night, taking a 45-28 victory in the season opener. 

Hico and Dublin open the season together every year, usually in Stephenville, but it has been unusual in recent history for Dublin to claim the W. This season Dublin ran away with the win in Hico’s stadium. 

That’s due in large part to leadership from quarterback and linebacker junior Cy Wing, who passed for 254 yards in the game. 

Athlete of the Week Frankie Quintero, who added 66 yards receiving, also set the Lions up for the win by answering Hico’s first seven points with an 11-yard fumble return touchdown. Then Gabe Renteria kicked the first of his 4 extra points. 

“Every time we had a little adversity, the kids made something positive happen,” head coach Bob Cervetto said.

Not only did Renteria kick 100 percent on extra points, he also nailed a solid 42-yard field goal.

Cervetto said that bodes well for the rest of the season, when three points can entirely change the momentum and outcome of a game. 

Dublin’s defenders held Hico down throughout the game and they didn’t give up a single point in the second quarter. 

Cervetto called the game one of the most physically draining he’s experienced weather-wise with the heat and humidity in the walled-off Tiger stadium. But, he said that just showed how well his team has trained for the season.  

Led by senior Jared Ricks, who made seven tackles and four assists, the defense consistently zeroed in on their mission and didn’t let Hico’s deceptive flexbone offense distract them. 

Cayson Ballenger also made seven tackles and two assists. 

Cervetto singled out Trent Lopez, who recovered a fumble, Daniel Riley, Johnny Jurado, Colten Couch and Mark Ybarra for their work on defense. 

Cervetto also praised his offensive line, who kept Hico’s aggressive defense away from the ball, allowing the Lions to score 45 points in just 38 possessions. 

Jacob Stanley played a pivotal role in putting points on the board in a hurry Friday night. He caught 96 receiving yards and added 51 rushing yards. He also ran in a 2-point conversion. 

He shoved in a short touchdown in the first quarter and rushed 51 yards in the fourth for another touchdown before catching a 42-yard touchdown pass from Wing.

Blake Porter caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. 

Caysen Morton, who also caught a 14-yard pass, ran 21 yards for the final touchdown of the game. 
Hagen Huffman rushed for 46 yards on four carries. 

Cervetto credited the community turnout in Hico for inspiring the players to leave it all on the field. He said the fans, band and cheerleaders really added to the excitement and helped push the team to win.

He hopes the turnout at the home opener on Friday against Albany will be just as inspiring.

Cervetto called the win “a giant step in the right direction,” and looks forward to another chance to make progress and demonstrate his team’s hard work this Friday. 

Albany lost their first home opener since 2004 last week to Colorado City, so they will be hungry for a win. 

Cervetto says running back No. 21 Cutter Edgar and tight end and backup quarterback No. 20 Ryan Hill are the players to watch from Albany. Hill is extremely talented and the team as a whole is well coached. 

Cervetto said his players will learn a lot from playing Albany, just like they learned from Hico. 

The win over the Tigers should give them great confidence to play on Albany’s level. 

Kickoff is at Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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