Dublin's home opener also gives the Lions the chance at their first win of 2013.
After falling to Hico last week, Dublin welcomes Millsap to Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Bulldogs are coming off a 31-7 home loss to Alvord in their opener, and lost 23-0 to the Lions last year.
"They're trying to change some things over there, and really change the culture surrounding their athletics program, a lot like what we've been doing here," said Dublin head coach Bob Cervetto. "They have a new defensive coordinator, and they've added coaches to their staff so they have more people to work with the kids."
The changes didn't immediately pay off last week for the Bulldogs, who trailed 28-7 by halftime against Alvord, a 1A team that went just 3-7 last year.
"They have gone to a slot-T that is very similar to the wing-T that Hico ran and that Venus ran against us in a scrimmage," said Cervetto. "De Leon runs it, Santo runs it; it's become a popular offense around here. We'll see another look from Valley Mills and a gain from Comanche in district."
Cervetto agrees with other area coaches who say they learned a lot about their teams in last week's season openers.
"You find out so much when you're in game situations, especially against a playoff-caliber football team like Hico," Cervetto said. "I don't know that the score was real indicative of how we played because we did a lot of things right. There were a lot of plays where we were just a step away, or one man away. We would get 10 guys doing it right and one guy making a mistake that cost us."
The third-year head coach expects a good crowd for the home opener.
"We need a game, period. But it's always exciting when that game's at home, especially when it's your first one at home," Cervetto said. "I'm excited to see us have another great crowd. Last week's crowd was tremendous. I couldn't ask more from this community because they really support these kids. I hope they all come out Friday and we can treat them to a win."
The Lions will be back on the road next week to take on Santo.