ROUND ROCK ó For the first two Mart drives, it seemed nothing went right for the Shiner defense.
Jacob Stafford follows his offensive line towards the end zone. Stafford had five rushing touchdowns and threw for a score. all photos by Mark Lube of The Gonzales Cannon
After that, it seemed nothing went right for the Mart offense.
The Comanches found themselves down by seven after Mart moved quickly to score on its first two possession and Shiner settled down, holding Mart to just one score afterwards in a 49-22 win in the state semifinals at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Round Rock.
Shiner got a little payback against the Panthers, having lost to Mart last year in the semifinals, 42-7, also played at Reeves Athletic Complex.
"I am so proud of these guys," Shiner head coach Steven Cerny said. "They really stepped up. We got down early again and Mart looked faster than us."
Shiner completely dominated on offense with 500 total yards of offense and scored every time they had the ball, not counting the possessions where Shiner had the ball when the half ended.
Shiner LB Brian Kloesel (49) gets ready to tomahawk chop Mart QB DeíNerian Thomas.
"Our offense answered every time," Cerny said. "They did not hold us (out of the end zone) once and our offensive line did a heck of a job."
Quarterback Jacob Stafford had another monstrous offensive game with 205 yards on 31 carries and five touchdowns. He completed both passes he threw for another 56 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Marcus Coleman added 117 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown while Chad Neubauer ran 20 times for 128 yards.
All three backs benefited from the stout play of the Shiner offensive line, who was so crisp that Shiner had just one rush for negative yards.
"We are all brothers," Coleman said. "We play like brothers and we live like brothers. I love my team for all of my brothers alike."
"We owe our rushing yards to our offensive line. They were good blockers for us tonight. They did the job."
Shiner was very successful running on the inside against Mart.
Shiner RB Marcus Coleman (1) follows Chad Neubauer's (33) block on a sweep run left.
"We knew that Mart was small inside and that no one they played that just went straight at them. Their opponents were just spread teams," Cerny said. "We had a good practice run at Thorndale and took the same game plan into this game."
Mart used its speed to score on its first two drives, in the first quarter. The Panthers drove 70 yards in just two plays, getting a 52-yard run by running back DíMarcus Cosby and used a five-play, 91-yard march, capping it with a 25-yard run by quarterback DíNerian Thomas.
After those scores, Thomas and Co. found themselves with considerably less room to run.
They had two turnovers on downs, the gameís lone punt and had two turnovers, losing a fumble and throwing an interception late in the game.
"Instead of being aggressive, we had to slow play things and string them out," Cerny said. "You attack Mart and they find a seam, and hurt you. We made an adjustment to play technique and stay on the line of scrimmage. It helped us."
Shiner cheerleaders and players celebrate the victory over Mart.
"Mart has not seen a defense like us this year."
Instead of scoring in a hurry, Shiner drove the field on its first drive, 74 yards in 11 plays and six minutes. The Comanches ate up the turf a few yards at a time and Stafford completed a 29-yard strike to Tyler Patek on fourth down to tie the game at 7-7
Shiner forced the 14-14 score after 10-play, 67-yard march. Chad Neubauer had an 11-yard rush to the Panther 34 about halfway through the drive, Coleman had a 21- yard gain and Stafford capped the drive with a 1-yard sneak.
Thomas had a 49-yard run from his 28 to the Shiner 23 on the first place of the next drive. Mart was slowed down and Thomas was dropped for an 11-yard loss to the 30 on third down. His pass fellow incomplete on fourth down and 17.
Shiner then copied Mart and drove 70 yards in five plays. Neubauer had a 24-yard run on the second play to get into Mart territory and Stafford later finished things with a 38-yard run.
After forcing Mart to punt, Shiner went 70 yards again but took more time. Coleman had a 15 yard run late in the drive to set up the Stafford 2-yard touchdown run to give Shiner a 28-14 halftime lead.
Shiner players in high spirits after routing Mart 49-22 to return to the state title came for the first time since 2004.
To open the third quarter, Shiner drove 72 yards for another touchdown. Stafford had an inside run of 47 yards that nearly went for a touchdown. He scored on a 1- yard run.
The Panthers looked poised to score on their next drive. Thomas ran 28 yards from his 45 to the Shiner 27 and then had a gain down to the 2. Thomas got near to the goal line when he fumbled into the end zone and Shiner recovered.
The Comanches then added 80 more yards to their total. Stafford had a 4-yard run on fourth and 1 to keep things going. He hit Caleb Kalich for a 27-yard pass to set up another touchdown run.
Mart finally got some points on a 55-yard drive that saw Thomas have to throw some passes.
Crosby had a 6-yard touchdown run called back on holding. Thomas went to Austin Rawls for a 10-yard pass and Shiner was called for a personal foul to move the ball closer to the end zone, at the 4. Thomas scored on the next play and Crosby got the two-point run ro bring Mart within 42-22with 10:29 left in the game.
The Comanches got the onsides attempt by the Panthers at the Panthers 49.
Shiner coach Steve Cerny addresses the team after the game.
Coleman had a 37-yard run to finish the drive and cap scoring in the contest.
Patek later picked off Thomas at the Shiner 3 and the Comanches ran out the last four minutes.
Shiner will play either Hico or Stamford at 10 a.m. Thursday morning at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 1A Division I title game.
Shiner was last in the state game in 2004, where they took home the crown. They were runners up in 2003.
Shiner will need to rest fast and soon as the state game will be on a Thursday.
The Comanches have been playing in the elements all season, whether ir heat, rain, wind or Artic-like cold.
They have not played in a covered stadium this season.
statistics source: http://www.gonzalescannon.com/node/12158
GAME SUMMARY: Shiner 49, Mart 22 Class 1A Division I State Semifinal Round Rock ISD Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex TEAM STATISTICS: Mart Shiner First downs 18 27 Rushes-yards 27-325 67-450 Passing yards 94 56 Passes 8-15-1 2-2 Penalties-yards 3-25 5-24 Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0 Punts-average 1-33.0 0-0.0 SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 -- Final Mart 14 0 0 8 -- 22 Shiner 14 14 14 7 -- 49 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter M - DíMarcus Crosby 52 run (Bryson Nail kick) S - Tyler Patek 29 pass from Jacob Stafford (Hunter Mraz kick) M - DeíNerian Thomas 25 run (Nail kick) S - Stafford 1 run (Mraz kick) Second Quarter S - Stafford 38 run (Mraz kick) S - Stafford 2 run (Mraz kick) Third Quarter S - Stafford 1 run (Mraz kick) S - Stafford 1 run (Mraz kick) Fourth Quarter M - Thomas 4 run (Crosby run) S - Marcus Coleman 37 run (Mraz kick) INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Mart: DeíNerian Thomas 19-207, Walker Love 5-62, DíMarcus Crosby 3-56. Shiner: Jacob Stafford 31-205, Chad Neubauer 20-128, Marcus Coleman 16-117. Passing Mart: Thomas 8-15-94-1. Shiner: Stafford 2-2-56-0. Receiving Mart: Austin Rawls 4-49, Love 3-34, Bryan Scott 1-11. Shiner: Tyler Patek 1-29, Caleb Kalich 1-27.