April 22, 2018

First Financial Bank First Flash – Admit it: Dublin, Hico, Lingleville are all better than you thought

Dubin is reaching out for the likes of Cisco, but has not quite grasped that level as of yet. The Lions are getting closer though, as in closer than you have probably ever thought. || The Flash Today / Russell Huffman

By BRAD KEITH
TheFlashToday.com

DUBLIN (October 13, 2017) — Dublin did a lot of things really well Friday night. But  against the likes of Cisco, you can’t just be good, you have to be center spotlight ready, so to speak, and the Lions are closer than they have been before in six years under head coach Bob Cervetto, but there’s still more topography to cross on that journey.

Hico slugs it out with Hamilton, the Cardinals may have had some feathers clipped but survived the flight out of Walnut Springs with a hard-earned W and the Faith Knights played a 40-minute football game. Yes, FAITH fans, they have those in six-man action, you just aren’t used to seeing them! Knights still win and are undefeated.

How did it all go down? What does it mean?

Our first thoughts are below in the First Financial Bank First Flash.

Brad Keith has covered Erath County sports through journalism or radio since 2000. His periodical columns have been a part of daily sports coverage since 2014 on TheFlashToday.com.

CISCO 43, DUBLIN 21 (Final)
Okay, so the team who had been there before knew what to do, when to do it and how to win just such a game by a nice margin. The team that’s up and coming but still finding its way landed some effective body punches early but wasn’t ready to get over the top.

The Lions are closer to their ship having been officially “turned around” under Bob Cervetto than most people realize.

They answer blow with blow, seeing their nice opening drive end in a mistimed snap causing a fumble recovered by the Lobos after Dublin had reached the red zone on the opening play of the game.

It took the Lobos one play and one play only for Cisco to score on an 83-yard run, and jut like that ball game, right?

No, even after the downtrodden luck at the start, Dublin just put the ball in the hands of talented quarterback Josh Hanes and went over the top of the Lobo defense, hitting Billy Mercer for a 75-yard TD.

Right then I knew why Cervetto kept saying they have a chance – because of what they snowed right there – ignore the scoreboard, focus on executing the very next Play. The Lions did it later, too, as it wasn’t nearly the bludgeoning Cisco has been known to lay on Dublin through the years.

I know at half-time Hanes was 11-14 passing after hitting his first seven including the long TD.

Dublin has a junior quarterback who is one of the best-kept secrets in the region, and the Lions are getting close to making the main cast and being ready of the spotlight. Just not quite yet. Doesn’t mean they won’t make the playoffs, doesn’t mean they won’t win once they are there. It just means they were much improved but still a bit short on Friday night in Dublin.

First thought following the games! Each Friday and Saturday this football season, brought to you by FIRST FINANCIAL BANK.

HICO 21, HAMILTON 6
I applaud the Hamilton Bulldogs for being vastly improved. You don’t play Hico and Crawford back-to-backs close as they have without being pretty good,” said one retired coach of the Bulldogs. “They have a big, physical team, and that’s ofttimes the difference But Hico is playing great defense.

But I also must applaud Hico, as the Tigers have managed to field a very Keith Wood-like team (that’s a compliment considering there were five district titles won and a run to the state semifinals enjoyed during the last 10 years under Wood.

The Tigers are different, I don’t mean to say Randy Thornton has to copy Wood. I assure you, defense has been a central theme on all his good Santo teams, so nobody is surprised. I think what surprises everyone is that this isn’t three touchdowns and extra point kicks to reach 21-6 but came with two fourth-quarter field goals. Someone in Hico do me a favor – where is Hico News—Review publisher Jerry McAdams when you need him? – tell me when the Tigers last hit two field goals in the same quarter.

Exciting times for the Tigers, who are even better than 4-2 suggests.

Lingleville 66, Walnut Springs 62
I must say, to go from 6-9 players in two-a-days and me wondering if they would even complete the season, the fact Lingleville has 14 names on its roster and two wins with one coming down to a fourth-down stop in the final seconds, says quite a bit about Coach Ken Davis and  James Doyle and the job they are doing. This win was pure guts – the opponent has it on your side of midfield,4th and 2, here we go and NO! You say no! You stalemate, you drive back, you be the tougher team and you got to fly home winners. Great job, Lingleville. Good times will come to this program, just watch and see.

Stephenville FAITH70, Arlington St. Paul’s Prep 51
It wasn’t always pretty, but the FAITH Knights got to play the full 40 minutes, and why are they still undefeated? They are so much faster than their competition, and not just foot speed but execution speed. It’s habit. It’s winning. It’s FAITH.

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