The 2016 Dublin Lions have put together two outstanding halves of football, but have two losses to show for it.
Coach Bob Cervetto’s Lions outscored the highly ranked Albany Lions 8-7 in the second half of their season home opener Friday night, but Dublin ended up on the short end of a 39-8 final score.
In the season opener the previous Friday, Dublin grabbed a 22-7 halftime lead over rival Hico, but gave up three second-half scores in a 28-22 loss.
Against Class 2A, Division II standout Albany, Jacob Riley scored Dublin’s only touchdown, on a 15-yard run with 4:10 left in the fourth quarter. Jose Villalobos ran for a 2-point conversion to account for the final scoring.
Albany led Dublin 32-0 at halftime, and went up 39-0 by the 6:09 mark in the final quarter.
“Albany is a class act, and (Albany coach Denney Faith) is a good friend,” said Cervetto, whose team is 0-2 going into Friday’s 7:30 p.m. non-district contest versus Teague, to be played at Mary Hardin-Baylor University in Belton. “They are technique-driven, and fundamentally sound.”
Cervetto noted that his players may have gone into the game “so tight” because they were wanting so much to win.
“At times we had five sophomores out there. They have to grow up and they’ve got to learn.
“I was pleased with our kids’ effort in the second half. They buckled up and did a great job. I’m really excited about how we played in the second half. We had a bunch of young guys making plays. That was encouraging. That Lion fight never dies, and that was evident tonight.”
Albany is 2-0, having beaten Colorado City 34-12 in its season opener.
Albany's coach Faith said, “It was a pretty sloppy game — way too many mistakes. We’ve got to clean that up. They are well-coached. They have quality kids and a quality program.”
Dublin’s Gabriel Garcia gave Cervetto’s Lions some hope early, intercepting an Albany pass with close to 10:30 left in the first quarter.
Unfortunately Dublin’s offense couldn’t take advantage of the turnover, and Albany scored the first of its six touchdowns on a 1-yard TD run late in the opening quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, with Albany leading 19-0, the visitors recovered an onside kick and drove 45 yards, extending the lead to 26-0 on a 12-yard TD pass.
An 18-yard TD pass completed with no time on the clock in the second quarter gave Albany its 32-0 halftime edge.
Class 3A, Division I Teague is 1-1 after its 41-26 loss to Mexia Friday.