The Dublin High Varsity Football Team fell short in its East Bay Athletic League battle at Livermore 17-16 on October 29th.
Livermore jumped out early 7-0 before the Gaels got on the board at the start of the second quarter on an 8-yard touchdown run by Jayden Petrus to even the score at 7-7. Dublin took the lead shortly thereafter on a touchdown pass from Anthony Armendariz to T.J. Costello to take their first lead of the game 13-7, but the conversion attempt failed. The Cowboys got a field goal just before halftime to cut Dublin’s lead to 13-10 at the break.
Dublin took the second half kickoff and drove all the way down to the Cowboys’ 2-yard line before multiple penalties pushed Dublin back to its 21-yard line. The Gaels had to settle for a 38-yard field goal by Jonathan Thalblum, which pushed Dublin’s lead to 16-10 with 5:21 left in the 3rd quarter but also opened the door for Livermore by keeping them within one score. Livermore’s next drive converted on multiple 3rd downs and went deep into Dublin territory before they turned it over on the Gaels’ 6-yard line.
Despite the turnover, the Cowboys swung field possession and the game’s momentum in their favor. Livermore’s defense stiffened and forced a 3-and-out, and after Dublin was forced to punt the Cowboys began their next possession on the Dublin 45-yard line. The Cowboys were then able to quickly get down the field and scored a touchdown with 7:25 remaining in the game. Dublin proceeded to have two drives into Cowboys territory in the game’s final minutes, but turned it over on downs with 3:03 left and missed a 41-yard field goal with 0:24 remaining.
The loss drops Dublin’s record to 5-4 overall and 1-2 in the EBAL Valley Division. Dublin concludes its season at home on Friday, November 5th with the Battle for the Shelale against Dougherty Valley. Senior Night recognitions will begin immediately following the Junior Varsity game, with kickoff slated for 7:00. Even with two consecutive losses, given Dublin’s strength of schedule and quality wins, a victory over the Wildcats in the season finale will still likely earn the Gaels an at-large bid into the North Coast Section Division II playoffs.
In JV action, the Gaels scored a touchdown with a little over 3:00 remaining in the game to force a 21-21 tie. This was the team’s second tie of the season, and they are now 4-3-2 overall and 1-1-1 in league play. A victory over Dougherty Valley will guarantee the Gaels a winning overall and EBAL record, which would be a noteworthy feat and a huge turnaround considering that the team finished the recent COVID-shortened season 0-5 just six months ago in April of 2021. Kickoff in the team’s season and home finale is on Friday, November 5th at 4:30.