SHINER -- It’s been a year since the Shiner football team suffered a season-ending 28-21 loss to Mason.
The Punchers eliminated the Comanches in the region semifinal round of the 2010 Division I-Class A state playoffs behind a 290-yard performance from David Mora. A rematch between the teams takes place at 7:30 p.m. today at Birklebach Stadium in Georgetown in the state quarterfinal round of the DI-A state playoffs.
While there are some differences between last year’s matchup and this year’s, there is still one similarity -- Mora is still the leading rusher for Mason (12-0). He ran for more than 3,500 yards a year ago, but has a little less than 2,000 this year.
"Mason is a good team," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "They’re more than just Mora. Their quarterback (Austin Tripp) can run and throw, and their offensive line is big, physical and athletic. Mora has all the tools of a great back, including great vision."
The Punchers won the District 13-A-DI championship in commanding fashion.
They won every game by 22 points or more in the regular season.
Mason averages more than 50 points a game. The Punchers are coming off of a 7-0 victory over then-No. 1 Ganado.
"They were very physical with Ganado," Cerny said. "Their offense moved downfield like a machine on that first drive, and their defense kept Ganado out of the endzone."
Mason is not only a scoring juggernaut, but also stingy on defense. The Punchers have surrendered just 101 points on the year.
"They operate out of a split, but they’ll change things up to try and take away what you do," Cerny said. "They also rotate three players in and out at a time."
While Mason’s offense revolves primarily around one back, Shiner (8-5) has a balanced rushing attack. The Comanches have four players who have rushed for 700 yards or more -- Caleb Curtis (774 yards), Marlon Wallace (761), Evel Jones (706) and Jacob Stafford (700).
After a 2-5 start, which included four losses by 13 points or less, Shiner has won six in a row. The hallmark of this success has been defense as the Comanches have surrendered just 32 points in the last six contests.
"At this time of year, you have to take advantage of opportunities when you have them," Cerny said. "You have to make stops on defense and big plays on offense."
The winner of tonight’s game will win the Region IV championship and advance to the state semifinal round. That team will face the Garrison-Lovelady winner at a time, date and site to be determined.