By RUSSELL HUFFMAN and BRAD KEITH
DUBLIN (October 13, 2017) — Dublin continues to improve by the week under sixth-year head coach Bob Cervetto, but while the program has most certainly cut the gap between itself and the Ciscos of the world, the Brent West-led Lobos are still a level ahead of the Lions.
Cisco proved it again with a 31-0 run to overtake the brief 7-6 lead Dublin held midway through the first quarter Friday night. By halftime, it was 29-7 Lobos and sophomore Stanley Callahan had 228 yards and three touchdowns.
A buffet of big plays led off the scoring, and refreshed the memory of Lion fans who had forgotten over the course of back-to-back wins and a bye week what has been this team’s Achilles’ heel – turnovers.
Dublin took the opening drive and marched lately unimpeded into Cisco territory only to have a mistimed snap resulted in a fumble recovered by the Lobos.
As good teams tend to do, Cisco rode game’s first big momentum swing to a 68- yard trip straight to pay dirt on their first play from scrimmage, kicking off the big night by Callahan carrying the ball, and giving Dublin the same thing it has faced in every game this season including their two wins – an early deficit.
Dublin didn’t wait until the second half to match the early score. In fact, the Lions didn’t even wait long enough for Callahan to catch his breath.
On the first play coming back the other direction, up-and-coming dual threat quarterback Josh Hanes located his favorite target, Billy Dale Mercer, for 75-yard touchdown, the extra point giving Dublin a 7-6 lead five minutes into the game.
Hanes actually completed his first seven pass attempts and was 11-14 for 162 yards at intermission. He went on an impressive 19-27 for 283 yards and 3 TDs.
But Callahan needed only a half to do his damage, adding scoring urns of 40 yards later in the first and 30 yards in the second on his way to 228 yards on just nine first-half carries.
The Lobos completed their long run of unanswered points to move ahead 37-7 early in the third before Hanes took Dublin to the end zone passes of 33 yards to Jacob Stanley to pull within 37-14 late in the third and 13 yards to Adrian Flores to conclude the scoring in the fourth.
Dublin struggled again to get any forward surge with its run game. Keith Wright and Hanes combined for 53 yards, but a couple negative plays led to a loss of 13 on team carries. That’s just 40 rushing yards and 323 total despite Hanes having a big night passing the ball.
Cisco, meanwhile, had all the forward surge it needed and then some, amassing 527 yards on the ground. The Lobos had 574 total yards.
Dublin visits Eastland next Friday, while Cisco returns home to take on Coleman.