SANTO - In arguably its most complete performance under third-year head coach Bob Cervetto, Dublin (2-1) led Santo (2-1) the whole way en rout to a 35-25 victory at W.A. Lewis Field Friday.
It's the Lions' most points under Cervetto. He picked up his fifth win as head coach, and has back-to-back victories for the second time.
"It always feels good to get a win," said Cervetto. "The kids work extremely hard, so it's nice to see the fruits of their labor. We don't ever want to take that for granted."
Dirk DeVries hauled in six passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 47 yards and a score. He had an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown called back, but still totaled more than 200 all-purpose yards.
"Dirk is just the all-around, unselfish type of player you need to be successful," said Cervetto. "He plays offense and defense, he returns punts and kicks, he can even play quarterback if we need him to."
Brady Holleman was 19-29 passing for 222 yards and three TDs. His scoring passes to DeVries covered 28 and 30 yards, and he hit Travis Blazi for a 7-yard TD to make it 35-19 early in the fourth.
"Brady was more relaxed in the pocket and threw the ball well for the most part," said Cervetto. "He had time to throw the ball because our offensive line did a great job, and he made the most of it. It was a good game for him."
The Dublin defense had another big night with five interceptions against 10 Santo pass attempts. Tyler Stone started the takeaway party when he picked off the first Santo pass of the night and began the scoring with a 75-yard return. Stone had another interception in the second half, and Zoey Kendall, Abel Aguilar and Hayden Jurado also picked off passes.
"Our defense is doing a great job, and is really making good head's up plays," said Cervetto. "We knew if we could get them in passing situations we would have the advantage, and it worked that way."
Besides Stone's long return, Jurado's interception may have been the biggest. It gave Dublin the ball with a two-possession lead and less than three minutes remaining.
Kendall also had five receptions for 54 yards before suffering what appeared to be an ankle injury. He finished the game on the sideline with an ice pack wrapped around his right ankle.
"He's going to be just fine," said Cervetto, who added that the ice was only precautionary. "I think he just tweaked it."
Quarterback Kyle Moore had a tough night through the air, but kept Santo in the game with his feet. He kept the ball on an option play late in the third quarter and sprinted 85 yards for a touchdown. But Santo, which had missed earlier on an extra point kick, went for two and the run failed, leaving Dublin with a 28-19 lead entering the fourth.
After Dublin extended its advantage to 35-19, Moore finished the scoring with a six-yard TD run midway through the fourth. Another conversion run failed, and Santo remained two possessions behind.
Santo rushed for 294 of its 297 total yards.
The Wildcats lost two fumbles to go with the five picks, and had an eighth turnover on a four-down stand by the Dublin defense. Dublin limited Santo to half its average of 51 points, and one Wildcat scoring drive covered just two yards after a Dublin fumble.
The Lions also lost a fumble at the Santo nine when it appeared they were on their way to the end zone. Dublin turned it over twice on downs as the teams combined for 12 giveaways.
Homecoming is next for Dublin. Valley Mills visits Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.