SEGUIN -- The Shiner Comanches' defense hit the field so fired up you would have to wonder if they drank three of those energy drinks apiece on the drive from Shiner to Seguin’s Matador Stadium.
Shiner defenders close in around a Johnson City runner, including Coy Boedeker (7), Jacob Stafford (9), Ky Sandelovic (51) and Sabino Rodriguez (71). Photos by Dave Mundy
Then again, the Comanches have been playing with a lot of confidence in the last couple of weeks.
Shiner won the area round football championship by pounding Johnson City 55-13 Friday night at Matador Stadium.
The Comanche defense was solid early, forcing the Eagles to punt five times in the first half, registering some big hits and giving the Comanche offense short fields on several first-half drives, allowing Shiner to take a halftime lead of 48-7, with the Eagles' lone score on an 82-yard kickoff return by Laramie Blackwell.
The defense played so well that the Eagles' initial first down was on a penalty in the third quarter and afterwards, Johnson City managed just two more first downs on offense.
"We just played with so much energy because our confidence continues to rise," Shiner head coach Steven Cerny said. "We had so many things go wrong early (in the season) and so many tough games and now we are starting to see success."
The Eagles were also limited to just 18 yards of total offense and gave up short fields on an interception and two bad punt plays. Punter Jacob Sisson had a snap go over his head and threw a pass that resulted in an eight-yard loss, and on another bad snap Sisson's knee was ruled down when he handled the low pass from center, losing 12 yards.
Comanche blockers Shawn Jones (74) and Joey Gamez (33) open up a big hole for running back Marlon Wallace (8) on the way to a big gainer.
Near the end, the Shiner defense returned another interception for a touchdown.
"The defense set the tone," Cerny said.
The Comanches ran the ball 50 times for a total of 274 with halfback Joey Gamez leading with 143 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown while fullback Marlon Wallace had 16 carries for 91 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
"We decided to go one-dimensional with our offense," Cerny said. "We gave some other people a chance (to carry the football) and it helped us out."
Shiner kicked to start the game but forced the Eagles to punt after three plays. At the Johnson City 44, Shiner ran three plays for nine yards rushing and Wallace broke through for a 35-yard run on fourth down.
A few minutes later, the Comanches were in a similar situation – a short field and fourth down, after picking up one first down in the drive. Quarterback Wesley Patek found tight end Brady Beal for a 34-yard score on a fourth down.
Later, it was another touchown for the Comanches. After a punt return to the Eagle 34, Gamez got 20 on a toss play and later, had a 4-yard run to the 8 where Patek later scored on a keeper for a 21-0 lead with 1:51 to play in the first quarter.
Before the end of the opening frame, Shiner got the ball at midfield but a run by Wallace, an incomplete pass and a pass for no gain to Gamez forced the Comanches into their first punt.
The Eagles soon threw an interception that was returned to the 1 but it took three plays for Shiner to score -- a 1-yard run by Wallace.
On the next drive, the Eagles had a 53-yard punt to the 20. Gamez squeezed through the first couple of waves and nearly broke free except he was brought down at the Eagle 11. He rushed twice more for nine yards and it was Wallace from the 2 for a 34-0 lead as the extra point was no good.
Johnson City got a spark as Laramie Blackwell fielded the kickoff at the 18 and went the distance to cut Shiner's lead to 34-7.
Shiner was forced to punt again and the Eagles gained 0 yards on the drive. Sisson had the snap over his head and had to throw a pass, hitting Aaron Humphrey for an 8-yard setback and the Comanches got the ball at the 7 where Gamez punched it in for a 41-7 advantage.
Another miscue on special teams for the Eagles as Sisson was called down after taking the snap and lost 12 yards to give Shiner the ball at the 9. Beal scored on the end-around and it was a 48-7 Shiner lead at the break.
Shiner had a short punt to start the third quarter and it was worse when Johnson City accepted a 10-yard penalty to move the ball close to midfield.
It was made worse when the Comanches were called for roughing the kicker on the punt, providing the Eagles with their first movement of the chains in the game.
The teams traded punts for a while, and later Shiner had some bad luck on special teams as Beal had to deal with a bad snap and lost 20 yards to the Comanche 17. Cody Smith completed his second pass for the Eagles, a 19-yard gain to Humphrey and made it two in a row when he went to Dusty Harvy for the touchdown.
Shiner then had a seven-minute drive but turned the ball over on downs.
And that did not help the Eagles as Smith was picked off by Lucian Blaschke for a 50-yard return and the final touchdown.
Shiner will play the winner of Mason-Ben Bolt next Friday or Saturday in the regional round.
"We are getting better and it is showing," Cerny said.
Photos by Dave Mundy, Gonzales Cannon
see also game highlight video by Howard Esse
GAME STATISTICS:Shiner Johnson City First Downs 12 3 Yards Rushing 50-274 22-(-5) Yards Passing 34 23 Passes 2-6-0 4-20-2 Punts-Avg 4-36 7-35 Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0 Penalties-yards 6-55 5-45 SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 -- Final Shiner 21 27 0 7 -- 55 Johnson City 0 7 0 6 -- 13 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter S - Marlon Wallace 35 run (Lucian Blaschke kick), 8:28 S - Brady Beal 34 pass from Wesley Patek (Blaschke kick), 5:13. S - Patek 8 run (Blaschke kick), 1:51. Second Quarter S - Wallace 1 run (Blaschke kick), 9:35. S - Wallace 2 run (Blaschke kick failed), 6:21 JC - Laramie Blackwell 83 kickoff return (Carlos Robles kick), 6:07 S - Joey Gamez 7 run (Blaschke kick), 3:00 S - Brady Beal 9 run (Blaschke kick), 1:09 Third Quarter no score Fourth Quarter JC - Dusty Harvey 3 pass from Cody Smith (kick blocked), 7:59. S - Blaschke 50 interception return (Cuatro Rankin kick), 0:20. INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Shiner - Joey Gamez 13-143, Marlon Wallace 16-91, Caleb Curtis 7-21, Zach Lawrence 5-19, Wesley Patek 5-10, Jacob Stafford 1-4, Leo Baray 1-(-3), Brady Beal 2-(-11). Passing Shiner - Patek 2-6-0 34. Johnson City - Smith 3-19-2 31, Jacob Sisson 1-1-0 -8. Receiving Shiner - Beal 1-34, Gamez 1-0. Johnson City-Aaron Humphrey 3-20, Dusty Harvy 1-3.