DUBLIN - A strong defensive effort by Dublin was too much for Godley here Friday, as the Lions improved to 2-0 with a 16-9 win.

Godley racked up over 400 yards and four touchdowns against Grandview in the Wildcats’ season-opener, but was held to just over 200 by the Lions.

“The defense played well again,” Dublin Head Coach Dwayne Ross said. “Our linebackers did an especially good job fulfilling their assignments (against the option).”

Ross cited DJ Sani, Colten Dipple, Wesley Leyendekker and AJ Parent for stepping up to lead the defense.

The Lions shut out the Godley offense in the first half, but still trailed at the break thanks to a safety in the Dublin end zone. Ross and staff felt it was a questionable call, believing that Dublin running back Sami Lopez should have been marked down at the one-yard-line with forward progress. The officials didn’t agree, however, and Godley scored first to lead 2-0.

“We didn’t play well in the first half. Our focus wasn’t there when we started the game,” Ross said.

The Dublin offense stymied itself as much as the Godley defense did in the first half. A dropped pass by a wide open receiver prevented one big gain, and a slightly overthrown ball from quarterback DeWayne Keith was tipped by the intended receiver before being picked off. Ross said one short completion could have been turned into a big play if the receiver had stayed outside instead of cutting toward the middle of the field.

“At halftime, I got on them about the mistakes we made, and we came out with a lot of intensity in the second half,” Ross said.

The message in the locker room must have worked, because the Lions responded with a pair of third quarter scores.

The first was Dublin’s biggest play of the night, as Keith hit Mike Gonzales for a 66-yard touchdown pass.

Godley responded with a scoring drive of its own, capped off by a 12-yard sprint to pay dirt.

“They pinned us inside and bounced out on an off-tackle play,” Ross said of the Godley touchdown.

The Lions wasted no time coming up with an answer, as Keith found Derek Reeder with a pass 20-yard pass for the final touchdown of the evening.

Dublin added its last two points on a fourth quarter safety. Luis Zavala and Dipple tackled a Godley ball carrier in the end zone, making the final 16-9.

Despite the good start to the season for DHS, Ross knows there is still a lot of work to be done.

“This was a game where we made plays when we needed to,” he said. “Now we have to work on getting better each week. At times I thought we did some things a lot better than we did (in the opener against Clifton). We want to be better next week than we were (Friday).”

Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune.

He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at brad.keith@empiretribune.com.