BUDA — The Shiner Comanches probably didn’t make any friends among District 13-A, Division I football teams this season.
Thorndale defensive back Riley Schaefer, left, tackles Shiner's Jacob Stafford in the second quarter on Friday night at Shelton Stadium in Buda. Shiner won the Class A, Division I state quarterfinal by a 14-10 score. photos by Jay Janner, Austin American-Statesman
On Friday night, Jacob Stafford and Chad Neubauer each rushed for more than 100 yards to lead Shiner to a 14-10 state quarterfinal victory over Thorndale at Shelton Stadium. The win, Shiner’s fourth over a team from District 13-A, Division I this season, advanced the Comanches (10-3) into a state semifinal showdown against Mart.
Thorndale finished with a 9-3 record.
"We battled and battled this whole game against an amazing Shiner team," Thorndale senior quarterback Riley Schaefer said. "They were a very physical team, and they had momentum pretty much the whole game. We tried to chip away, and we could never really get anything going."
Thorndale jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter as Colton Austin dominated the scoring.
Coming out of an early timeout, Austin took a screen pass from Schaefer and went 49 yards for a touchdown with 9:54 to go in the opening quarter. Austin kicked the extra point to give Thorndale a 7-0 lead, and he later booted a 22-yard field goal in the quarter’s closing minutes.
Thorndale quarterback Riley Schaefer passes as Shiner defensive end Caleb Kalich closes in on him Friday night.
But Shiner stormed back in the second quarter, when the Comanches got 5- and 2-yard touchdown runs from Stafford and Marcus Coleman, respectively.
Shiner failed on fourth-down attempts from the Thorndale 14- and 8-yard lines in the first half, but Coleman’s touchdown, which occurred with 52 seconds left in the second quarter, came after a bad snap on a punt attempt set Shiner up at the Thorndale 7.
Thorndale struggled with its run defense in the first half, and Shiner stayed on the ground for all 35 of its snaps. The Comanches ran for 192 yards over the first two quarters.
"I think our guys, they weren’t too down," Thorndale coach Brent Brevard said of his team’s mood at halftime. "They were ready; they were hungry; they wanted to come out and get it done. But we just didn’t get it done."
Thorndale kept Shiner from scoring in the second half, but the Bulldogs were unable to thaw out their offense.
Shiner running back Marcus Coleman runs against Thorndale in the second quarter at Shelton Stadium on Friday December 6, 2013.
The Bulldogs’ offense was on the field for only seven plays in the third quarter, but Thorndale had two promising drives in the final quarter. One drive that reached the Shiner 10 was thwarted by Neubauer’s goal-line interception, and Thorndale’s final possession ended with an incomplete pass near midfield with 1:39 to play.
"We just had a couple of mental breakdowns," Schaefer said. "We tried and we tried, and we would get a couple yards here and there, but really, it came down to the mental, and we just couldn’t hack it."
Stafford, Shiner’s quarterback, rushed for 173 yards, and Neubauer added 114 on the ground. The Comanches had 68 rushing attempts, and Stafford’s only pass attempt was negated by a penalty.
Schaefer threw for 147 yards and had a Thorndale-best 45 rushing yards.
Chad Neubauer of Shiner leaps past Thorndale's Rowdy McCoy, on ground, and Karl Woelfel, left, in the first quarter at Shelton Stadium on Friday December 6, 2013.