By BRAD KEITH
DUBLIN (October 9, 2015) — Dublin (3-3, 1-0) used a gritty defensive effort that included a pair of interceptions, a fumble recovery in its end zone and a fumble return for a touchdown to throw its first shutout of the season in a 23-0 district-opening win over Bruceville-Eddy (3-3, 0-1) at Memorial Stadium Friday night.
The Lions put the game away with a four-down stop inside its own 10 midway through the fourth quarter followed almost immediately by a 67-yard Chuy Chacon touchdown burst. Chacon also began the scoring with a field goal in the first quarter and intercepted a Bruceville-Eddy pass in the third.
Jacob Riley made arguably the biggest defensive play of the night, though, with a fumble recovery and 45 yard return to give Dublin a 16-0 lead early in the fourth.
The other defensive highlight for consideration would be Ryan Gaitan reaching in and stabbing the ball loose just as a Bruceville-Eddy running back tried to lean over the goal line way back in the first quarter.
Gabe Coronado also picked off a pass for the Lions, who forced four Bruceville turnovers on takeaways and also made two four-down stands.
Quarterback Isidro Bahena kept the ball and scored from six yards out on the first play following the Coronado interception, opening up a 10-0 lead.
Dublin took a 3-0 lead when its initial drive of the game stalled and Chacon nailed a 26-yard field goal.
Dublin overcame a rash of penalties, especially personal fouls both ways. The Bruceville-Eddy drive that ended with a fumble into the end zone was aided by four defensive penalties – three personal fouls and a pass interference – as well as a roughing the punter penalty – Dublin earned that one for sure – on the Lion special teams. There were even two personal fouls on one play, the second of which was marched off half the distance to the goal to the Dublin 10.
It wasn’t as if they weren’t being called both ways, with at least 14 personal fouls combined.
Dublin also fell victim to a block in the back call that wiped out a 67-yard TD run by Manny Ramirez, part of the Lions’ dominating fourth quarter performance. They ultimately punted on the that drive, but the ensuing Bruceville-Eddy possession lasted all of one snap and ended with Riley in the end zone and Dublin celebrating any way.
It’s the second time Dublin has scored on defense this season, the first since Dalton Zinc returned a fumble 30 yards in a season-opening win over Hico.
When it was still 10-0 early in the fourth, Bruceville-Eddy benefited from a Dublin pass interference call on a third-down incompletion in the end zone, setting up the Eagles at the Lion 2-yard line. But a false start backed them up to the seven before linebacker Tyler Stone blitzed untouched through the middle of the line for an easy sack.
Bruceville-Eddy eventually fired an incomplete pass on fourth down and Dublin took over, moving the ball to the 33 before Chacon beat everyone around the left side and raced down the Dublin sideline to clinch a 1-0 start in 10-3A Division II.
The Lions hit the road next week for another league battle at Marlin, which escaped Dublin with a triple-overtime win last season.
Hear fifth-year Dublin head coach Bob Cervetto in a post game interview with KWBY Cowboy Capital radio play-by-play talent Jimmy Holleman: