By BRAD KEITH
DUBLIN (October 22, 2015) — For Dublin (3-4, 1-1) and Rogers (1-6, 0-2), the stakes are equal and as big as the rain storm expected to drench Erath County this weekend.
Dublin is 1-1 in 10-3A Division II with Rogers at 0-2. Of course, Rogers has played Clifton and Marlin, losing by single digits each time against two teams expected to make the playoffs. Dublin has a win over Bruceville-Eddy, which is unlikely to win a district contest, and a loss to aforementioned Marlin.
Kickoff in the district contest is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Jarrell and Marlin are 2-0 in district, Dublin and Clifton are each 1-1 and Rogers and Bruceville-Eddy are 0-2. Its easy to see where the head-to-head tiebreaker between Dublin and Rogers could determine seeding, possibly even which team makes the playoffs at all.
“It’s a big game, of course they’re all big now,” said Cervetto. “We just want the kids to be ready to execute and play our brand of football.”
Junior quarterback Brady Moore has been activated for Dublin, though Cervetto is not sure yet to what extent he will be used. Moore suffered a foot injury at Albany on September 4 and has not played since.
“He’s going to get some snaps. I won’t really know how much he can go until we see how he is on Friday,” Cervetto said. “And then it could be a situational thing, too. He’s going to play, but how much isn’t something we’ve determined yet.”
Moore helped Dublin to a 13-12 season opening win over Hico on August 28. Dublin is 2-4 without him in the lineup.
The Lions went to Trask Brown when Moore left in the third quarter at Albany. Isidro Bahena has started in recent weeks, allowing Brown to return to receiver. Bahena adds another running threat to the Dublin backfield, but Moore is the best passer. All three competed for the starting job right up until the week of the season opener.
“We developed some depth at that position and it helped us,” Cervetto explained. “We’ve been fortunate to win a couple games after losing a quarterback, and one of them was a district win.”
Traditionally, Rogers is among the who’s who of Texas high school football the last decade, but he Eagles have struggled this season. They opened district with a 17-14 loss to Marlin, which knocked off Dublin last week, 20-7. The Eagles met Clifton last week and were defeated 27-18.
“They’ve had some close ball games, but our game with Marlin was close until the end, too,” said Cervetto.
Defense has been the strength for Dublin in district. The Lions shut out Bruceville-Eddy, 23-0, and Marlin needed a late touchdown to reach 20 on the Lions.
“We feel pretty good about how we’re playing defensively right now,” Cervetto said. “And that has to continue because there are good defenses all around our league. Points are hard to come by.”
Indeed. Through six district games over the last two weeks, only one has had a team score more than 30 points, and that was league favorite Jarrell beating last-place Bruceville-Eddy 41-14 last Friday.
There isn’t a team that would be a prohibitive favorite over Dublin and there isn’t one the Lions would be heavily favored against, either.
“It’s wide open,” Cervetto said. “There are five teams battling for four spots and any of those five teams could beat each other on any given Friday.”