SHINER -- It’s funny how history repeats itself.
Shiner running back Caleb Curtis (22) will try to run the Comanches to their first district win tonight when they visit Yorktown. photo by Howard Esse
A year ago, the Shiner football team went into its contest against Yorktown having lost its Division I-District 15-A opener to Ganado, while the Wildcats came in off of a victory over Flatonia. This year is no different as the Comanches will try once again to rebound from a loss to Ganado when they travel to Yorktown (3-3, 1-0 in DI-15-A) for a crucial district contest, which is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. today.
"This is a must-win for us," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "We need this one to put ourselves in a good place in the playoff hunt."
Last season, Shiner (2-5, 0-1 in DI-15-A) outlasted Yorktown, 42-33, in what ended up being the first of five consecutive wins for the Comanches during their run to the region semifinals. Just like a year ago, Cerny expects to have his hands full with the Wildcats.
"They have a new coach and they base out of the I formation," he said. "They run midline, lead inside and toss sweep outside."
Yorktown’s offense revolves around tailback Jayden Barefield. A wide receiver a year ago, Barefield is a threat whenever he touches the football as he has run for nearly 700 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.
"We have to get Barefield before he gets going," Cerny said. "He can get to the outside on the toss sweep and he can motion out of the backfield and go deep for a pass. We have to have good coverage on him."
The Wildcats don’t throw much, but when they do, Derek Franke can wing it. He has thrown for nearly 200 yards, but most of the fullback-turned-quarterback’s damage is done when running the football as he has more than 200 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
"Franke can throw and when he runs, he runs like a fullback," Cerny said.
Defensively, Yorktown operates out of the split. Cerny expects to see an eight-man front tonight with a cover-3 look.
"We’ve seen a lot of eight-man fronts," he said. "We spent a lot of time practicing against eight-man fronts during two-a-days."
While neither team has an overall winning record, both teams are coming into tonight’s contest with close losses on their records.
Yorktown is 13 seconds away from being 5-1 overall, while Shiner has lost three games by seven points or less.
Prior to last week’s 33-19 win over Flatonia, the Wildcats were snake-bit in their previous two contests. Falls City used a touchdown pass with seven seconds left to beat Yorktown, 40-37, on Sept. 16, and Kenedy edged the Wildcats, 33-31, on Sept. 23 thanks to a touchdown pass with six tics remaining.
Shiner has a trio of losses by a combined 13 points against quality competition. The Comanches lost to Weimar (19-14), Schulenburg (21-14) and Ganado (22-21).
"Anyone can beat anyone in this district," Cerny said. "We have to come ready to play every night. We have to stay in control of our own destiny."