One area football team clinched a district championship Friday night, while two more put themselves in winner-takes-all matchups for district championships this Friday.
Shiner sealed the District 15-A-Division I championship with a win at Ganado, while Luling and St. Paul both remained unbeaten in district play with wins of 46 and 40 points, respectively.
Shiner 28, Ganado 19
The Comanches kept things grounded as they gained 327 yards of total offense -- all rushing -- in a 28-19 win over rival Ganado Friday at Ganado. Evel Jones led the way for Shiner (8-1, 3-0 in 15-A-DI) with 176 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries.
"We were able to get outside with Evel on a few running plays," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "The biggest difference was our defense. (Ganado) was wearing us down, but our kids never gave up and kept fighting. It was a tough game, but we kept fighting."
Jacob Stafford started the scoring for the Comanches with a 13-yard touchdown run at the 6:28 mark of the first quarter to put his team up 7-0. Jones scored from four yards out to increase the lead to 13-0 with 9:18 left in the second quarter.
Ray Salazar hit Kameron Smith for a 29-yard touchdown pass to cut the Shiner lead to 13-7 at the 2:42 mark of the second quarter, but Jones scored on a 68-yard run and added the two-point conversion to put the Comanches up 21-7 with 1:04 left in the second quarter. Shiner led by the same score at halftime.
Ganado cut the lead to 21-13 thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run from Ken Kocian at the 5:55 mark of the third quarter. The Indians got no closer as Stafford added a 12-yard touchdown run to give the Comanches their biggest lead of the game, 28-13, with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter.
Salazar scored on a 1-yard run with 1:10 left to play, but the two-point conversion failed. Ganado did not recover the onside kick as Shiner ran out the clock from there.
"The big play was stopping that two-point conversion at the end," Cerny said. "Iím so proud of our kids for stepping up."
In addition to Jonesí 176-yard outing, Caleb Curtis ran for 53 yards on seven carries, Trevion Flowers had 50 yards on 10 touches, and Stafford gained 48 yards on eight totes. The Comanches clinched the 15-A-DI championship and a bye in the bi-district round of the Class A-DI state playoffs with the win.
Shiner hosts Yorktown at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the regular season finale for both teams.
"It would be nice to win the district title outright and run the table," Cerny said.