BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
It took Dublin roughly 25.5 minutes to get rolling but when they did it was all over for the Brady Bulldogs as the Lions scored 20 unanswered points for a 20-7 road win Thursday.
A two-hour road trip and playing on a Thursday might have led to the Lions coming out flat offensively. It might have been the fact Dublin has already been in three highly-charged wins including two victories against ranked opponents.
None of those wins mattered as much as the one against the Bulldogs, and it had nothing to do about rankings, but instead about character and the team’s ability to rise to the occasion.
The Lions forced a three-and-out situation only to turn the ball over on an interception to end their first-half offensive efforts.
Cervetto and his coaching staff must have thrown the Lions up on a lift-rack in the locker room because when Dublin came out for the second half they were running like a fine-tuned racecar.
On their first possession of the third quarter, Wing converted a third-and-long play when he pulled own the ball and used his feet to get the first down. A pass into the end zone targeting Jacob Stanley was knocked down, but Brady was called for pass interference on the play.
Johnny Jurado capped the drive from six yards out, and the Lions were on the hunt trailing 7-6 after a failed extra point kick.
The Lions’ defense was equally fired up and after having been confused in the first half by Brady’s misdirection offense forced a quick three-and-out from the Bulldogs. A shanked punt had the Lions sitting pretty at the Lions’ 39-yard line.
Wing found Stanley for a big gain to inside the ten-yard line and when the Lions began shuffling personnel Brady’s defense smelled another pass Wing took advantage and slipped into the end zone on a run and a 13-7 lead.
The two teams exchanged punts and with under three minutes to play Brady was desperate to get on the scoreboard again, but a loose ball and a fumble recovery by Tyler Morrow was a death blow for their chances.
Morrow returned the ball roughly 40 yards and appeared to score before a blocking in the back penalty ended the celebration and left the ball at the Brady 21-yard line.
Dublin slowed down the pace but not their offensive threat as Wing found Stanly for a 15-yard gain and then did the damage himself on the next play for the final 20-7 tally.
“These guys played their hearts out,” Cervetto said. “They kept their cool and came together as a team. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids or my coaching staff.”