For the 11th time in 13 years, the Dublin High School Varsity Football team kept possession of the Shelale after claiming an impressive 35-0 road victory over their rival Dougherty Valley.
The Gaels were locked into a defensive slugfest throughout most of the first half, and it appeared the game would remain scoreless heading into the break. However, after Dublin got a pivotal third down stop with Dougherty Valley pinned inside of their 10-yard line in the final minute, Gary Cabida proceeded to return the punt inside the 30-yard line with 0:28 remaining. After a penalty and a completion allowed Dublin to advance to the 6-yard line, quarterback Everett Sundstrom completed a pass to Justin Lynch who lunged toward the pylon with 0:07 left to give the Gaels a 7-0 advantage headed into the break.
The late first-half touchdown gave the Gaels some much-needed momentum at the start of the 3rd quarter, and Dublin quickly broke the game open. Cabida continued to make make big plays running the ball and on special teams, Jayden Petrus began picking up yards in big chunks against a Wildcats defense that begun to wear down, and Sundstrom had some key completions that helped open up the offense. Brandon Burns also returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown to seal the victory. Yet the story throughout the night was a dominating performance on defense, as the Gaels dominated the line of scrimmage with Branden Mendenhall and Jake Cooney creating havoc up front while recording multiple tackles for loss.
With the victory, the Gaels finished the pandemic-delayed and shortened season with an overall mark of 2-3. Looking ahead, the team will return up to 25 players who gained valuable experience this season (including some who will have two years of Varsity football under their belt). Considering that the veteran squad will have at least 7 and possibly as many as 8 home games in the fall of 2021, there is a bright future in store for the program. In addition, the new state-of-the-art weight room will be in place by mid-May so the team can become fully engaged in more robust strength and conditioning than ever to get ready for the upcoming season
For those interested in playing football in the fall of 2021, Spring practice begins on Monday, May 3rd. Contact Coach Black at firstname.lastname@example.org is you have any questions and/or wish to participate.