ROUND ROCK -- The seventh-ranked Shiner Comanches were able to contain the speed of the Mart Panthers for about one and one-third quarters before Mart busted loose and left Shiner in the dust, 42-7, in the Class 1A Division I state semifinal Friday at Round Rockís Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.
Shiner Quarterback Trevion Flowers hands off to Caleb Curtis during the Conference 1A, Division I state semifinal playoff game at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Round Rock on Friday. all photos by Mark Lube of The Gonzales Cannon
"Once a team like that with speed gets ahead of you, you have to play catch up and it gets tougher," Shiner head coach Steven Cerny said. "Our kids fought the whole time and I was proud of them."
The Comanches (12-2) trailed just 14-7 at halftime after forcing the Panthers to punt on their first two possessions.
"The first half, I thought we played great football," Cerny said. "Two big plays was all we gave up."
Shiner took the opening kickoff and drove 50 yards in 10 plays for almost half the quarter until they were forced to punt. The teams traded punts for a little while and the Comanches later had a drive start at their 45.
Quarterback Trevion Flowers had a 4-yard rush to the 49 and Shiner was awarded the Mart 36 on a facemask call. Flowers carried for 1 yard and fullback Caleb Curtis had a 2-yard rush to the 33.
The Comanches tried some trickery -- Flowers handed off to Curtis who then handed the ball off to running back Jacob Stafford. Stafford, the starting quarterback from last season, dropped back and threw a little pass to Flowers who gained 14 yards to the 19. Evel Jones gained 1 yard on the toss play and took another pitch and dropped back to pass before deciding to take the run option and get a 6-yard carry to the 12. Curtis gained 1 yard to the 11. Flowers hit Jones for a 9-yard gain on fourth down from the 11.
Flowers scored on a sneak on the next play and Kris Patek added the point after for a 7-0 Shiner lead.
Shiner running back Jacob Stafford is led by blockers Evel Jones, Trevion Flowers and Cole Strauss on a nice rushing play by the Comanches.
Mart responded with a four-play, 63-yard drive. Quarterback DíNerian Thomas had back- to-back runs of 6 yards to move the Panthers to the close to the 50. DíMarcus Cosby took a handoff and gained 2 to the Shiner 49. Wide receiver Quentin Bryant lined up as a running back, took the handoff and sped 49 yards to the end zone to help tie the game.
The teams traded punts and Shiner ended up with the ball at its 41. Flowers gained 8 to the Shiner 49 and launched a pass on the next play that Stafford came down with but Mart managed to get possession and the officials ruled the play an interception.
Thomas went to Bryant for 14 yards to the Panther 42 and several plays later, Thomas scrambled for a 32-yard score with half a minute remaining.
Mart took the second half kickoff to its 44 and needed just two plays to score -- a 6-yard run by Thomas to midfield and then a 50-yard Thomas run for a 21-7 Mart lead.
Flowers returned the kickoff but suffered an injury on the play and Brady Cejka took over at quarterback, leading Shiner from its 40 to the Mart 43. The Comanches ended the drive with a punt, and the Panthers marched 80 yards in 11 plays with Thomas doing the damage on the ground. He capped the drive with a 12-yard run on fourth down to put Mart ahead 28-7.
Mart scored twice in the fourth quarter as Thomas scored on defense as he picked off Cejka at his own 15, after the Comanches moved into Mart territory, and went for the pick six.
Thomasís 38-yard run capped scoring with 5:43 left in the ball game.
In addition to Flowers, Shiner had to deal with an injury to Jones earlier in the game.
"Evelís injury took him out of his game slightly and that hurt us a little," Cerny said. "Trevionís came later in the game but I was proud of him for trying to gut out a few more plays."
Cerny said the Comanches had a good season with a 12-2 final record, 4-0 district mark and the district title, area round, regional and state quarterfinal champions and state semifinalists.
"There are a lot of other teams that would love to be in our shoes right now," he said. "We knew Mart was exceptional and they played a great game to be in the state title game. But I could not be more proud of this group of Shiner players. They practiced hard every day and gave it everything they got. They are true champions in my book."
Mart will play fourth-ranked Stamford at 4 p.m. next Friday in the 1A Division I title game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Fridayís semifinals was the last football game as a Comanche for seniors Flowers, Jones, Cejka, Curtis, Patek, Isidor Cerny, Cole Strauss, Jonathan Albrecht, Max Huth, Zach Arnold, Jaace Chumchal and Austin Remmers.
"We knew this senior class would be special when they were younger. We had the speed and some good linemen in the junior class," Cerny said. "With the combination, we knew we would have the opportunity to do some good things."
The 2013 seniors were 35-17 and had four playoff appearances in their four years in the program.
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GAME SUMMARY: Shiner 7, Mart 42 Class 1A Division I state semifinal Round Rock ISD Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex TEAM STATISTICS: Shiner Mart First downs 12 13 Rushes-yards 42-123 35-315 Passing 6-14-2 3-5-0 Passing yards 86 38 Punts-yards 5-174 3-117 Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0 Penalties-yards 3-11 5-44 SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 -- Final Shiner 0 7 0 0 -- 7 Mart 0 14 14 14 -- 42 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter no score Second Quarter S - Trevion Flowers 3 run (Kris Patek kick), 9:26 2Q M - Quentin Bryant 49 run (Bryson Nail kick), 8:12 2Q M - DíNerian Thomas 32 run (Nail kick), 0:36 2Q Third Quarter M - Thomas 50 run (Nail kick), 11:09 3Q M - Thomas 12 run (Nail kick), 1:39 3Q Fourth Quarter M - Thomas 85 interception return (Nail kick), 9:47 4Q M - Thomas 38 run (Nail kick), 5:43 4Q INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Shiner: Jacob Stafford 9-34, Evel Jones 8-32, Caleb Curtis 10-28, Trevion Flowers 9-26, Brady Cejka 4-5, Chad Neubauer 1-2, Tyler Patek 1-(-4). Mart: DíNerian Thomas 17-234, Quinton Bryant 4-50, DíMarcus Cosby 7-31, BruníTae Parr 2-9, Demetrius Reed 1-2, Lane Cobbs 1-(-2), Austin Rauls 3-(-10). Passing Shiner: Cejka 3-9-1-18, Flowers 2-4-1-45, Stafford 1-1-0-14. Mart: Thomas 3-5-0-38. Receiving Shiner:Jones 3-27, Justin Stovall 2-45, Flowers 1-14. Mart:Bryant 2-21, Cosby 1-17.