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(October 23, 2015) — For the first time in more than 50 years, Dublin will make back-to-back trips to the state playoffs.
The Lions secured a playoff berth with two weeks to spare when they built a 31-7 lead and cruised to a 38-21 win over Rogers at Memorial Stadium Friday night. Dublin, which reached the area round of the playoffs last season, will make its first consecutive trips to the post season since 1963 and ’64.
“I’m so excited for the kids and for the community,” said fifth-year Dublin head coach Bob Cervetto. “This was a huge win for our kids. This is just what we needed, and now we’re still in the race for the district title.”
He’s right. The Lions host current outright 10-3A Division II leader Jarrell next week, and a win would keep alive the possibility of sharing – at the very least – a district title with Jarrell, Marlin or both. Of course, doing so would also mean beating Clifton on the road the last week of the regular season.
All that lies ahead, but on Friday night, Dublin celebrated not just a crucial win, but a convincing one.
The Lions grabbed an early 7-0 lead, then stretched it to 10-0 on a 40-yard field goal – through a rainstorm on wet grass none the less – by Christian Hernandez.
Then Dublin really seized control.
One play after having a touchdown called back for a holding penalty, quarterback Brady Moore, in his first game back from a foot injury suffered at Albany on September 4, went over the top of the defense for a 30-yard touchdown strike to Bryson Fowler, opening up a 17-0 lead.
Rogers made the Lions sweat a little, going deep for a 49-yard TD, pulling within 10 points 50 seconds before the intermission.
But it was more Dublin after halftime.
Isidro Bahena and Cade Hill joined the parade of Lions into the end zone, and Gabe Coronado returned an interception for a touchdown, building a 25-point lead before Rogers concluded the scoring to save face.
“We were rolling tonight. It was easily our best game of the year. Easily,” said Cervetto. “The kids worked hard all week and they came out with confidence and played four quarters of pretty dang good football.”
The playoff spot is locked because Dublin holds a two-game lead over Rogers and Bruceville-Eddy and also owns the head-to-head tiebreaker against each with just two games remaining in the season.
“We’ve taken care of our first goal – that was to get in the playoffs,” Cervetto said. “Now we get Jarrell at home, and I think it will be a great game.”
Perhaps one worthy of deciding a district championship.