WICHITA FALLS - The Stratford Elks entered Saturday's Class 1A state championship game needing to play a perfect game.
Looking for a Receiver:Stratford quarterback Josh King, left, searches for a receiver Saturday as Shiner linebacker Issac Casares (11) attempts to apply pressure. Shiner defeated the Elks in the Class 1A state championship game, 33-19. photos by Michael Lemmons, Amarillo Globe-News
Turnovers and poor kickoff return coverage torpedoed Stratford's bid for a second Class 1A state title as Shiner beat Stratford, 33-19, in front of about 7,000 fans at Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium.
Stratford finishes the season 13-3. Shiner won its first state title since 1986 and finishes the season 16-0.
Stratford fumbled twice and threw two interceptions. The Elks also allowed an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 37-yard kickoff return that set up another touchdown.
The Comanches built a 21-13 lead as Chris Baer scored three touchdowns, including an 88- yard kickoff return immediately after Stratford scored the first touchdown of the game.
Baer finished with 21 carries for 128 yards and four total touchdowns.
Josh King led Stratford with 14 completions in 33 attempts for 204 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Tony Ruiz ran for 74 yards.
Stratford struck from long distance for the first score after Shiner stuffed the Elks' first possession and pinned them to the 12-yard line with a 48-yard punt. Ruiz got loose behind the Comanche defense. Josh King hit him in stride and Ruiz outraced the defense to an 88-yard touchdown to give the Elks a 7-0 lead with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
Shiner immediately responded. Chris Baer returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards to a Comanche touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with 6:48 left in the first period. Baer broke the Elks containment and ran through Tyler Haynes' attempted tackle at the Stratford 30 and was not challenged going into the end zone.
On the Loose: Stratford's Josh Lanning works his way upfield on a first-half kickoff return Saturday in the Class 1A championship game. Shiner won the contest, 33-19, taking advantage of four Elks' turnovers.
Shiner again rode the back of Baer to a 14-7 lead late in the first period.
Baer carried four times for 70 yards in the Comanches' five-play, 71-yard touchdown drive. Baer's back-to-back 28- and 29-yard carries finished the drive and the Comanches led 14-7 with 2:55 left in the first quarter.
A 30-yard punt return by Josh Lanning set up the Elk's next score.
Stratford took over at the Shiner 49 after the 30-yard punt return by Lanning. Two personal foul penalties by Shiner helped keep the drive alive. On second and goal from the 8-yard line, King took an option keeper and cut up the middle. He broke a tackle at the 5-yard line and scored standing up. The extra point was blocked and the Elks trailed 14-13 with 7:14 left in the first half.
Shiner responded with a 7-play, 67-yard touchdown drive. The Comanches converted two third down-and-long situations. On third and six from the Shiner 36, Kenzley Wright ran 43 yards. On third down and six from the 17, Wright ran 11 yards to the 6-yard line. Baer blasted the final six yards through the Elk defense and took a 21-13 lead with 3:54 left in the first half.
Shiner controlled the first half with their running attack. The Comanches ground out 162 first-half yards, all on the ground. Baer gained 91 yards on 12 carries while Wright had 58 yards on five carries. The Comanches only attempted one pass in the first half and it went incomplete.
Stratford's offense was either feast of famine in the first half. The Elks gained 210 yards with 88 of that coming on one play. The Elks had 54 rushing yards and King completed 8-of-17 passes for 156 yards with one interception and one touchdown.
Stratford's defense set up its next touchdown. The Elks drove to the Shiner 14-yard line in the third period before Nick Evans picked off an Elks pass to give the Comanches the ball at the Shiner 14. But Martin Beltran stripped Wright and Ryan McDaniel jumped on the ball to give the Elks the ball at the 12.
Three plays later King ran the final three yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion pass failed and Shiner held a 21-19 lead with 3:37 left in the third period.
But Shiner's Chase O'Connor returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards to give the Comanches the ball at the Stratford 36. The next play Trey Curtis found Nick Evans for a 36-yard touchdown pass and Shiner held a 27-19 lead with 3:20 left in the third period.
GAME STATISTICS: Stratford Shiner First downs 19 8 Yards rushing 41-95 36-202 Yards passing 219 36 Total yards 314 238 Passing C-A-I 15-34-2 1-3-0 Punts-avg. 2-26 5-39 Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1 Penalties-yds 4-35 11-84 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing - Stratford: Tony Ruiz 15-74, Josh King 23-20, Gustavo Rosales 3-1. Shiner: Chris Baer 21-128, Kenzley Wright 7-57, Trey Curtis 6-22, Team 2-(minus 5). Passing - Stratford: King 14-33-2 204 yards, Walter Spurlock 1-1-0 15 yards. Shiner: Curtis 1-2-0 36 yards, Baer 0-1-0 0 yards. Receiving - Stratford: Tyler Haynes 6-71, Chris Ortega 5-44, Tony Ruiz 1-88, Walter Spurlock 1-26, Josh Lanning 1-(minus 3), Josh King 1-(minus 7). Shiner: Nick Evans 1-36. SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 F Stratford 7 6 6 0 -- 19 Shiner 14 7 6 6 -- 33 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter Stratford: Tony Ruiz 88 pass from Josh King (Martin Beltran kick), 7:03. Shiner: Chris Baer 88 kickoff return (Scott Shimek kick), 6:48. Shiner: Baer 28 run (Shimek kick),2:55. Second Quarter Stratford: King 8 run (kick blocked), 7:14. Shiner: Baer 6 run (Shimek kick), 3:54. Third Quarter Stratford: King 3 run (pass failed), 3:37. Shiner: Nick Evans 36 pass from Trey Curtis (kick failed), 3:20. Fourth Quarter Shiner: Baer 1 run (kick failed), 2:58.