ROUND ROCK -- Defense wins championships and Shiner’s defense has won them the Class 1A Division I state quarterfinals championship.
Shiner (12-1) shut down the Mason Puncher offense Friday night at Round Rock’s Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex as the Comanches came away with a 21-3 win.
"We knew it was going to be a physical game," Comanches head coach Steven Cerny said. "Our defense really stepped up."
Mason (12-1) was limited to 219 total yards of offense and could only muster a field goal in the game, and was held to just two trips inside the red zone.
Defensive end Caleb Kalich said the Shiner defense just keeps getting better and better.
"We took another step forward this week," he said. "Holding Mason to just three points is unprecedented. They have not been held to near that number all season. We came out and we stopped them. The goal line, wherever we needed to stop them."
"I have to give credit to all of my defensive teammates. We had one heck of a game," safety Brady Cejka said. "The coaches told us we had to come out and play aggressive, and bring the punch to them. We let Mason know we were ready to play"
At times, the Shiner defense bent a little bit, allowing a handful of significant gains by the Punchers.
"We talked about bending but not breaking," Cerny said. "We were scared of the passing game because the quarterback (Elliot Bibb) does a great job and we had our secondary really read their keys there."
"The linebacker and defensive line stepped up well tonight. Because of the illness of one of the defensive line starters, the whole line had to be shuffled around."
The Comanches defense had to deal with fatigue in most of the third quarter as Mason took the ball with 9:25 left in the quarter and capped a 24-play drive with a field goal with under 11 minutes to play.
"Our offensive and defensive lines are, for the most part, one-way starters," Cerny said. "It was our linebackers and secondary that go both ways and the pounding was taking place at those positions."
Running back-linebacker Jacob Stafford was one of the players who had to pull double duty.
"Especially in this game, it was pretty treacherous," he said. "You are on the field constantly and go all four quarters. The game is not over until that last second ticks off the clock. It feels good to win."
The long, third/fourth quarter drive followed a defensive lapse in which Shiner was set to return a punt after holding Mason to a three-and-out.
The Comanches were whistled for illegal substitution on fourth down-and-5, giving Mason a first down at their own 18.
"Holding them to a field goal after that drive was big," Cerny said. "We got a couple of breaks because we really did not do that well on offense."
The first half went scoreless as both teams punted and were stopped on fourth down at the opposing 10 on back-to-back possessions.
There was also interceptions on consecutive plays.
Shiner quarterback Trevion was picked off by Mason defensive back Bibb, setting up Mason at the Shiner 44 late in the second quarter
On the next play, Cejka intercepted Bibb to put Shiner right back in business.
The Comanches broke the scoreless tie with a four-play, 88-yard drive. Flowers gained 5 on option keeper to the Shiner 17 and then flipped a shovel pass to Jacob Stafdford who gained 7 yards and first down to the 24. Flowers picked up a few to the 26 and with just seconds left, Evel Jones took a handoff, slipped through the defense and turned on the afterburners for a a 74-yard score and the 7-0 Shiner lead.
"We saw Mason getting into a prevent look and knowing we would get the ball to start the second half, We did want to give them the chance to get the ball back so we went consertative and it turned out to be a big play," Cerny said. "The veer offense can pop a big one quick."
After the Punchers kicked the field goal, Shiner was held to a three-and-out.
Mason moved the ball from its 32 to close to midfield. On fourth down, a Bibb pass fell incomplete.
It took Shiner three plays to go ahead 14-3 -- Jones gained 1 yard and next, Flowers was knocked for a 3-yard loss to the Mason 46.
On third down, Flowers rolled out to the left, was under a little pressure but got a pass off to an open Jones for the touchdown.
On the next drive , at the Puncher 16, Bibb found Luis Castillo for a 7-yard gain and on the next play, Bibb was under heat. He got the pass off but it was tipped by the Comanches and intercepted by Justin Stovall, who returned it to the Mason 20. Flowers picked up 6 to the 14 and Stafford had an 8-yard run to the 6 for first-and-goal. Flowers then had a 3-yard run and Stafford had a 1-yard run. Flowers capped the drive with a 3-yard snake with 1:23 left to play and a 21-3 Shiner lead.
Mason got the opening kickoff and the teams combined for three straight punts.
With 6:12 left in the first quarter, Shiner had the ball at the Mason 32; three plays and 18 yards later, the ball was at the 18. Stafford was held to no gain and Flowers was dropped back at the 24. Flowers then hit Tyler Patek for 14 yards to the 10 to set up fourth-and-2.
Flowers kept on the option but got just a yard and the ball went over to the Punchers.
Mason took 13 plays to drive from their 9 to the Shiner 10, where they also faced fourth- and-2.
Running back Rio Schimdt was limited to 1 yards and the ball went back to Shiner.
Shiner received the opening kickoff of the second half but started out bad as toss-play exchange between Flowers and Jones turned into a fumble. Jones recovered for a 12-yard loss back to the Shiner 24. Flowers ran for 7 yards on the next play and Jones gained 4 yards but Shiner eventually had to punt.
Starting at their own 9, Mason ran three plays for 5 yards and was in punt formation at the 13 when the officials flagged Shiner for a substation infraction. The result of the penalty was a first down for Mason at the 18 and they marched 44 yards in another 19 plays for their only points of the game.
Shiner is set to take on Mart at 7:30 p.m. Friday back at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. Mart defeated Alto, 62-42, in one of the other state quarterfinalists.
statistics source: http://www.gonzalescannon.com/node/12099
GAME SUMMARY: Shiner 21, Mason 3 Class 1A Division I state quarterfinals Round Rock ISD Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex TEAM STATISTICS: Shiner Mason First downs 7 12 Rushes-yards 32-131 40-112 Passing 4-5-1 7-17-2 Passing yards 71 107 Punts-yards 4-173 3-129 Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0 Penalties-yards 4-30 6-39 SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 -- Final Shiner 0 7 0 14 -- 21 Mason 0 0 0 3 -- 3 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter no score Second Quarter S - Evel Jones 74 run (Kris Patek kick), 0:38 second quarter Third Quarter no score Fourth Quarter M - Rio Schmidt 28 FG , 10:28 fourth quarter S - Jones 46 pass from Trevion Flowers (Patek kick), 3:43 fourth quarter S - Flowers 3 run (Patek kick) (1:23 fourth quarter INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Shiner: Evel Jones 10-84, Trevion Flowers 18-57, Jacob Stafford 4-9. Mason: Rio Schmidt 21-69, Luis Castillo 8-33, Elliot Bibb 7-12, Raul Silguero 4-(-2). Passing Shiner: Flowers 4-5-1-71. Mason: Bibb 7-17-2-107. Receiving Shiner: Stafford 2-11, Jones 1-46, Tyler Patek 1-14. Mason: Castillo 4-42, Schimdt 2-32, Cody Wood 1-33.