The Shiner Comanches, like any other football team, do not focus a lot on the past.
Shiner running back Marlon Wallace (8) looks for running room behind a fine block by Caleb Curtis (22) in last Saturday's playoff game vs. Winters in Marble Falls. photo by Mark Lube, Gonzales Cannon
The Comanches will play the Mason Punchers at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Georgetown in the Class 1A Division I state quarterfinals. This is the second straight year in which Shiner and Mason have faced each other in the playoffs. The Punchers knocked down Shiner in the regional final last year 28-21.
Shiner head coach Steven Cerny said last year’s game has not been talked about or discussed among the team, with attention soly on Friday’s game.
"We are focused on this year’s game and this year’s version of Mason," he said. "We have to go out and play better football than Mason."
"We have been playing good football this year and have had good practices this week."
Mason is 12-0 and advanced into the state quarterfinal game with a modest 7-0 win against Ganado, who is in the Comanche’s district.
This year’s team has a new head coach but returns most of the players from last year’s team.
The Punchers are a multiple offense that favors running the football
Mason on the year has 2,052 yards of offense on the year and averages around 171 yards a game.
Behind their offensive line, the Punchers have 1,694 rushing yards.
The ground game is led by running back David Mora who has 13 touchdowns on 42 carries and 691 yards. Quarterback Austin Tripp has 274 yards on 17 carries. Running back Rio Schmidt had four touchdowns on 14 carries with 181 yards.
Tripp has completed 8-of-12 for 208 of Mason’s 358 passing yards with five touchdowns.
His primary target has been receiver Chance Stockbridge who had three touchdowns on four receptions for 122 yards.
"Mora and Tripp are outstanding players," Cerny said.
The Shiner defense will need to control the line of scrimmage, as the Punchers’ offensive line is their main offensive strength, he said.
On defense, Mason runs a split and will shift into a five-man front or the 3-4 alignment.
"Mason will mix it up on defense and we will not know exactly what they will run until the game," Cerny said. "Our offense will not do anything different. We just need to do what we do best and be prepared for multiple looks from their defense."
Stockbridge leads the team with two interceptions.