SHINER -- Hallettsville quarterback Nate Kowalik and receiver Trenton McGee had a well-rehearsed understanding Friday night.
The offensive duo collaborated on eight pass plays for 259 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Hallettsville Brahmas to a 49-28 win over Shiner at Comanche Stadium.
McGee had touchdown catches of 46, 49, 9 and 35 yards in the first half from Kowalik.
The pair teamed up again in the second half with a 72-yard strike.
McGee said part of the strong connection was practice and the coaching of coaches Dusty Keller and Darius Wilson.
"They have been working a lot with us," he said. "We do drills every single day."
"He had a real good night," head coach Tommy Psencik said. "Trenton is a special receiver."
Kowalik hit 17-of-27 passes for 386 yard, six touchdowns and also ran for 44 yards.
Being a quarterback runs in the family a little.
"Nate’s father was a quarterback and he is the principal at Hallettsville High School so he has been around the sport his whole life," Psencik revealed. "We expect a lot out of Nate. He carries the team a lot on his shoulders."
"I think Nate is very mature this year," McGee said. "It is easy to get open because Nate will put it right there for us."
The Brahmas (2-0) did not just sail the ball in the air the whole night. The running game clicked with 254 yards on 37 carries, paced by 148 yards on 14 attempts and one touchdown by running back Tedrick Smith.
"Running game was much improved," Psencik said. "We pretty much had a balanced attack. I am pleased with what we did. We still have a long ways to go."
Hallettsville’s defense limited the Comanches’ veer-running attack to just 124 yards although the Brahmas made a couple of errors in defending the veer.
"Their veer is what makes them go," Psencik said. "If you can find a way to disrupt it, you slow them down. We did have some problems with it tonight. They have so many different ways they run it. Shiner has the speed and we had some breakdowns here and there. If you have breakdowns against this offense, they will make you pay for it."
Shiner head coach Steven Cerny credited the Brahmas for making the plays.
"Hallettsville played well and Kowalik did a great job," he said. "He put the ball on the money and the receivers ran good routes and made good catches."
The game showed the Comanches how far they have come in two games and what they need to work on to reach their potential.
And those improvements will have to start with the defense.
"We have to do a better job of tackling. We were there and made hits but did not wrap up," Cerny said. "On offense, there were times we did make the big play. We just have to be consistent."
Cerny is happy with how the Comanches fought in the game.
"They gave great effort. I thought Hallettsville had more size and speed," he said. "We never quit. You make one stop, have the chance to go down (for a touchdown) and get an onside kick. We had the opportunity until about the fourth quarter."
Both teams punted on their first offensive drives. The first Shiner punt pinned Hallettsville inside of its 10 and Shiner got good field position for its second possession: at the Brahmas 40. Two carries by quarterback Trevion Flowers moved the ball inside the 15. Fullback Caleb Curtis got 3 yards on two rushes and Flowers then optioned 12 yards for the 7-0 Shiner lead.
On the kickoff, a holding call on Hallettsville put them on their 18. Kowalik provided McGee with his first catch, 12 yards to the 30. Tim Sheppard raced 70 yards on a jet sweep for an apparent touchdown but a chop block negated the score.Kowalik had two scrambles for 25 yards to the Comanche 46 and he lofted a deep pass to McGee for 46 yards and the 7-7 tie.
Shiner went three and out on the next drive, and the Brahmas needed five plays to go 60 yards. McGee hauled in the 49-yard strike and faked the field goal as holder Carson Schindler hit running back Smith for the two-point play and 15-7 lead.
Hallettsville started its next drive at its 20 after Shiner had a punt from its 38 into the Brahma end zone. Smith raced 70 yards down the left and two plays later, Kowalik had a shorter 9-yard strike to McGee.
Shiner came within 21-14 after a three-play, 70-yard drive. Flowers kept the ball on the read option and used his speed for a 60-yard run with 8:24 to play in the second quarter.
Hallettsville answered with a six-play, 75-yard march. Sheppard caught a 30- yard ball from Kowalik and several plays later,Kowalik --to-McGee for 35 yards and the fourth combo play between the two in the half for a 28-14 Hallettsville lead.
Hallettsville’s defense got a turnover as Regan McAda picked off Flowers. The Brahmas had to start at their 8 after a holding call on the return.
A few plays later, Shiner returned the favor as Jacob Stafford intercepted Kowalik and another flag on Hallettsville set up theComanches at the 11 where a few players later, Flowers optioned to Stafford for a 6-yard touchdown run. The point after was no good and Hallettsvile held a 28-20 lead.
Flowers picked off Kowalik on the next drive and Shiner ran out the clock.
Halletville opened the second half with an 82-yard drive in five plays. Kowalik completed passes to Dalton Herrington and Schindler before finding his favorite target for a 72-yard strike with 10:14 left in the period.
The Brahmas next drive was set up by a Comanche facemask call. McGee hauled in a 21-yard pass to the Shiner 22 and Smith had a 3-yard gain to the 19. Kowalik threw a short pass that EvelJones stepped in front of at the 15 and went the distance with blazing speed to cut Hallettsvile’s lead to 35-28. Flowers threw a two-point pass to Brady Cejka.
Mixing up the run and pass, Hallettsville drove 66 yards andKowalik had a 17- yard toss to Schindler.
The Brahmas leaned more toward the run for on offense for therest of the game and Smith scored from 14 yards out with 3:52 left in the game for the final margin of 49-28.
The win over Shiner will boost the energy and enthusiasm levels of the Brahmas as Shiner was a ranked 1A team and now, Hallettsville has opened the season with two straight wins.
"This win will give us excitement and lets us know we can do it (win important games)," McGee said.
Hallettsville will travel to Yoakum for a 7:30 p.m. game tomorrow. The Bulldogs are 2-0 after beating Sinton 34-20.
Shiner will host Schulenburg.
statistics source: http://www.gonzalescannon.com/node/10840
TEAM STATISTICS: Hallettsville Shiner First downs 27 5 Rushes-yards 37-254 26-115 Passing 17-27-3 3-12-1 Passing yards 386 9 Total offense 74-640 38-124 Punts-average 2-37 6-46.3 Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-0 Penalties-yards 8-74 3-35 SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 -- Final Hallettsville 15 13 13 8 -- 49 Shiner 7 13 8 0 -- 28 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter S - Trevion Flowers 12 run (Rigo Baray kick) H - Trenton McGee 46 pass from Nate Kowalik (Sam Barrerra kick) H - McGee 49 pass from Kowalik (Teidrick Smith pass from Carson Schindler) Second Quarter H - McGee 9 pass from Kowalik (run failed) S - Flowers 60 run (Baray kick) H - McGee 35 pass from Kowalik (Barrerra kick) S - Jacob Stafford 9 run (kick failed) Third Quarter H - McGee 72 pass from Kowalik (Barrerra kick) S - Evel Jones 85 interception return (Brady Cejka pass from Flowers) H - Schindler 17 pass from Kowalika (run failed) Fourth Quarter H - Smith 14 run (Tim Sheppard pass from Kowalik) INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Hallettsville: Tedrick Smith 14-148, Nate Kowalik13-44, Tim Sheppard 7-43, Drew Haas 3-16, Dalton Herrington 2-3, Justin Reeves 1-0. Shiner: Trevion Flowers 14-93, Caleb Curtis 10-16, Jacob Stafford 2-8, Evel Jones 1-(-2) Passing Hallettsville: Kowalik 17-27-3-386. Shiner: Flowers 3-10-1-9, Stafford 0-2-0-0. Receiving Hallettsville: Trenton McGee 8-259, Carson Schindler 4-63, Herrington 3-23, Sheppard 1-30, Jimario Grounds 1-11. Shiner: Tyler Patek 1-10, Stafford 1-4, Jones 1-(-5). Caleb Kalich 1-24. Records -- Hallettsville 2-0, Shiner 1-1