Just Keep Winning
D ublin came back to defeat Tolar on Friday night, 28-27, at home.
Everyone played an essential part in the victory, particularly Gabriel Renteria, who was 4-4 on extra points and made several excellent punts.
“It was a great team win against a quality opponent,” Cervetto said. “That was by far the best game Tolar has played all year. ... It was a real satisfying win.”
The Lions drew first blood early in the game, with a touchdown following big rushes by Cy Wing and Hagen Huffman.
Huffman rushed for 124 of Dublin’s 218 total rushing yards and Wing added 91 rushing yards.
Nearly halfway through the first quarter, Tolar responded, tying the game.
By the quarter’s end, Tolar was up, 14-7.
Dublin came close to the endzone again at the start of the second quarter, but a penalty called back the touchdown catch by Blake Porter.
Wing caught an interception during Tolar’s next possession and the Lions were able to turn that into another 7 points to retie the game.
Tolar used a short field twice in the third quarter and added 13 points to the board.
“We gave them a short field a couple of times, which made it a lot easier for them to score and a lot of that is on me,” Cervetto said.
Dublin took risks that didn’t pay off, but the team was able to overcome in the end.
When Renteria punted to Tolar’s one-yard line, Dublin’s defense closed ranks and shut down the Rattlers, leading to a short field for Dublin, which they quickly turned into 7 points.
Determined to take the lead, Wing and Huffman scrapped their way back to the end zone and Renteria’s consistency gave them the lead.
Tolar had time to make a last stand, but the Dublin defenders would have none of it. With a big tackle by Jared Ricks, who made eight solo tackles and three assists, the Lions sealed the Rattler’s fate.
The team is 6-0 for the season and 1-0 in District after the win. It’s the first time the Lions have been 6-0 since 1979.
“It’s a great win for the kids and the program,” Cervetto said.
Cervetto said the fans and students, especially the band, really set the tone for the win and kept the players motivated to leave it all on the field.
“When you see your band, they’re lined up on one end of the field, then you change the quarter and you look up and they’re all sprinting to the other end of the field — that’s enthusiasm,” Cervetto said. “Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. It’s contagious.”
The victory puts them on the road to achieving their goal of making playoffs this season.
In the preseason, Tolar was picked at No. 3 behind Jacksboro and Comanche. Dublin was picked at No. 5 behind Millsap but ahead of Rio Vista, next week’s opponent.
“We’ve got to take care of Rio Vista or this game was for naught,” Cervetto said. “... You can’t count anybody out.”
Dublin’s focus this season is less on the quality of their opponent and more on how they’re improving as a team.
That said, Cervetto is expecting to see more from Rio Vista on Friday than they’ve shown so far this season, and Dublin has been surprised Rio Vista before. In 2015, they won Dublin’s homecoming 26-7.
“Rio’s got some good size kids,” Cervetto said, adding that he expects to see them run out of the I formation.
Rio Vista’s defense is more of a mystery because film shows them experimenting with different fronts.
“I think they’ll come with an odd-man front,” Cervetto said because he doesn’t think they can defend against Dublin any other way.
Cervetto said the Lions are hoping to start strong and set the tone right off the bat.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Rio Vista.