Head coach Bob Cervetto shouldnít have to look far to motivate his Dublin Lions Friday night. Itís homecoming, itís a chance to avenge a loss from last year and itís an opportunity to start a season 3-1 under Cervetto for the first time.
The Lions host Valley Mills (0-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in an effort to get their third straight win, while the Eagles are simply hoping to soar close to something that feels like a victory after three lopsided losses.
Dublin rolled up 315 yards and 35 points - its most under Cervetto - in last weekís win at previously unbeaten Santo. Dirk DeVries had his best game as a Lion with three touchdowns and more than 200 all-purpose yards, and he would have made it four touchdowns if not for a holding penalty across the field from an 89-yard kickoff return.
Brady Holleman also had his finest performance, completing 19 of 29 passes for 222 yards and three scores. His other TD pass went to Travis Blazi.
And all the Lion defense did was intercept five of Santoís 10 pass attempts, beginning with Tyler Stoneís 75-yard pick six. Stone stole away another pass in the second half, and Zoey Kendall, Abel Aguilar and Hayden Jurado also had interceptions.
Valley Mills upended the Lions 14-12 in its homecoming contest last year. Dublin missed an extra point after one touchdown and failed to convert a two-point conversion after the other.
But this Eagle team has gotten off to a rugged start to say the least, having been outscored 172-25 in its first three games. Those losses did come to more than formidable competition - state powers Crawford, Jarrell and Rosebud-Lott, who are a combined 9-0.
Hoping to continue the Eaglesí offensive woes - they average 8.3 points - is a Dublin defense that surrendered only 29 total yards in a shutout of Millsap, then held Tolar to half its scoring average while forcing eight turnovers.
Dublin defeated Valley Mills in its homecoming game two years ago, the Lionsí first win under Cervetto, who is searching for his first three-game win streak.