Throughout the Shiner football team’s playoff run, defense and a strong running game have been the keys to success.
Those keys opened the door to more success Saturday night. The Comanches gave up just one offensive touchdown and ran for 402 yards in a 42-14 whipping of Winters Saturday at Mustang Stadium in Marble Falls in a Division I-Class A region semifinal contest.
Shiner (8-5) extended its win streak to six games with the victory. The Comanches face Mason (12-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Birklebach Stadium in Georgetown in a state quarterfinal contest.
The game is not only for the Region IV title, it also gives Shiner a chance to gain some revenge. Mason beat the Comanches, 28-21, a year ago in the region semifinals.
Winters (9-4) gave Shiner its first deficit of the postseason as Riley Ripley hit Strait Daniel for a 19-yard touchdown to give the Blizzards a 6-0 lead at the 6:23 mark of the first quarter. The Comanches struck back on the ensuing possession as Jacob Stafford hit Evel Jones for a 67-yard touchdown.
Lucian Blaschke’s extra point gave Shiner a 7-6 lead with 4:30 left in the first quarter, and the Stafford-to-Jones touchdown pass was the only pass completion for Stafford on the night as he threw just two passes. The Comanches struck again late in the first quarter as Marlon Wallace scored on a 39-yard run to increase the Shiner lead to 14-6 with 1:28 left in the period.
Winters received an early Christmas gift on the Comanches’ next possession as Andy Garcia returned a fumble 81 yards for a score. Garcia then caught the two-point conversion pass from Ripley to tie the game at 14 at the 11:43 mark of the second quarter.
Stafford gave Shiner the lead for good, 20-14, on a 1-yard score with 8:00 remaining in the second quarter. The Comanches led by the same score at halftime.
Stafford added a touchdown in the third quarter as he scored on a 13-yard run before hitting Trevian Flowers for the two-point conversion to increase the Shiner lead to 28-14 with 4:07 left in the third quarter. Caleb Curtis scored from 9 and 3 yards out, respectively, in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Wallace led all rushers with 270 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Stafford ran 11 times for 37 yards and two scores, and Curtis rushed for 47 yards and two touchdowns on five carries.
Winters was limited to 170 yards of total offense. Cristian Sandoval ran for 117 yards on 17 carries.
The Shiner-Mason winner faces either Garrison or Lovelady Dec. 1, 2 or 3 in the DI-A state semifinals.