Flash Staff Report
(November 3, 2017) — There will be no playoff trip for Dublin, after all.
Quarterback Denton Allen rushed for all four Coleman touchdowns, leading the Bluecats into the state playoffs with a 28-20 win over Dublin at Memorial Stadium Friday.
Twice Allen stretched the Coleman lead to two possessions and only once did Dublin come back.
Allen scored in each quarter on runs of 37, 14, 1 then 12 yards, the latter two opening up a 28-13 lead after Dubin had climbed out of a 12-0 first-half hole to lead by one.
Allen went down early in the fourth quarter, apparently suffering from cramps. The Bluecat offense continued churning, however, and within minutes he was back on the field scampering in with the score that appeared to put Dublin away with 6:28 remaining.
Head coach Bob Cervetto’s Lions would not go away so quietly, however, mounting a final charge that began with a big return of the ensuing kickoff and was aided by a late hit on the play. They started in Coleman territory and moments later Josh Hanes reminded everyone there were two quarterbacks in this game, not just one, capable of getting the job done with their feet. Hanes scored on an 11-yard keeper and the extra point brought Dublin within 28-20 with 5:02 still on the clock.
It was to no avail, however, as the Lions couldn’t get another good crack at it with the Bluecats running down the clock and running into the state playoffs.
The top four teams from 4-A Division I will represent the district in the playoffs. Almost as if it were pre-scripted, Eastland and Cisco have a showdown for first and second, Tolar and Coleman meet to determine third and fourth, and in the back of those playoff-bound teams, Dublin will be a heavy favorite over Bangs as they settle up fifth and sixth.
So close was Dublin to flipping the script. After playing even throughout a battle with Tolar just one week prior, the Lions lost 30-28 on a final-minute safety scored as the result of a long snap that got away. This time, against Coleman, the Lions made the play they needed but had it called back only to watch it ultimately turn into a second touchdown by the Bluecats.
Trailing 6-0 late in the first, Jacob Stanley raced away for a 50-yard touchdown that was negated by holding penalty. Moments later Hanes threw an interception, and Coleman capitalized with Allen making t 12-0 why 9:03 remaining in the first half.
Dublin was desperate for some kind of momentum going into the locker room, and at the last moment, Keith Wright provided the boost the Lions needed. Hanes hit Wright with a 24-yard touchdown pass with no time remaining. The extra-point missed and it was 12-6 at intermission. Coleman also missed a PAT and failed on a two-point try.
That momentum carried over when the teams returned to the field with two big plays by Stanley setting up Hanes for an eight-yard TD burst out of the wildcard set, easily disguised by Dublin because they don’t switch quarterbacks to do it. This time the extra point by Nabor Calderon was true and the Lions had their only lead.
For Dublin there was time for one comeback, but not two. And now time has run out on their pursuit of a playoff berth, as well.
The Lions have exceeded last season’s win total and even on the road will have an opportunity to finish with a third victory to take some momentum into the offseason. Bangs has lost 15 straight contests, starting 0-9 this season after dropping their last six games in 2016.
-Reported by Russell Huffman, written by Brad Keith, both of The Flash Today