MARBLE FALLS -- Very little went wrong for the Shiner football team on Friday.
In turn, very little went right for Ozona. The Comanches ran almost at will against the Lions thanks to rushing for 403 yards collectively with a 194-yard, 2-touchdown performance from Evel Jones in a 62-13 victory Friday at Mustang Stadium in Marble Falls in the area round of the Class A-Division I state playoffs.
With the win, Shiner (10-1) advanced to the region semifinal round of the A-DI state playoffs where it will face Weimar (7-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Matador Stadium in Seguin. The Comanches and Wildcats -- who beat Ganado, 34-21, on Friday -- played once this season with Shiner edging Weimar, 33-32, Oct. 5 in Shiner.
"My blocking made all the difference," Jones said.
Jones also did more damage than just rushing for Shiner. He also had an interception return 74 yards for a score and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first half.
"We had a lot more speed and we were able to hit the edge quickly," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "We were able to hit them with the sweep then pop back with the veer. I thought (Ozona) might bring another look, but they stayed true to the 4-3."
The Comanches also were able to accomplish their rout in spite of one key injury. Quarterback/defensive back Trevion Flowers left the game with a minor knee sprain, but is probable for Shiner’s region semifinal contest against Weimar.
"Hats off to Brady Cejka for stepping in at quarterback and Justin Stovall for coming in to play cornerback," Cerny said. "They both did a great job of going both ways."
Things looked good for Ozona (9-3) on the opening drive as Jayton Rodriguez hit Alex Borrego for 51 yards to the Shiner 25-yard line. But three consecutive tackles for losses by the Comanches drove the Lions back to a fourth-and-18 from the 33, and Rodriguez’s 10-yard pass to Saul Vargas was shy of the first down as Shiner took over on downs at its own 23.
The Comanches responded quickly as they scored in four plays with Jacob Stafford’s 21-yard run capping the drive to give his team a 7-0 lead at the 6:45 mark of the first quarter. Jones had carries of 14, 38 and 4 yards to set up Stafford’s score.
An errant shotgun snap resulted in a 33-yard loss for Ozona on its next drive as the Lions had to punt against the wind from their own endzone. The punt was downed at the Ozona 31, and Jones needed just one play to cover the distance as he took a pitch down the right sideline for the score to increase the Shiner lead to 14-0 with 4:!3 left in the opening quarter.
Another three-and-out for the Lions led to another short punt as the Comanches took over at the Ozona 41 on its next drive. Once again, Jones scored on the first play of the drive to give Shiner a 21-0 lead with 2:16 remaining in the first quarter.
The Lions drove to the Shiner 29 thanks to an 18-yard pass play from Rodriguez to Tyler Galindo. But Jones stepped in front of a Rodriguez pass and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-0 at the 9:07 mark of the second quarter.
Galindo returned the ensuing kickoff to the Shiner 13 to give Ozona prime field position. But disaster struck on the next play as Daniel Gonzalez lost a fumble at the 1, which was recovered in the endzone by Chad Neubauer to give the Comanches the ball at their own 20.
Shiner went on its longest drive of the first half -- nine plays, 80 yards -- on the ensuing drive as Cejka, Jones, Stafford and Caleb Curtis all had carries. During the drive, Cejka had an 8-yard carry, Jones had two for 47 yards, Curtis had two for 7, and Stafford had four for 19, including the drive-capping 4-yard touchdown to put the Comanches up 35-0 with 3:23 left in the second quarter.
The Lions were hit by the turnover bug again as Cole Strauss recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Ozona 12. Curtis had a three-yard run before Stafford reeled off runs of 8 and 1 yards, respectively, with the latter of his carries giving him his third touchdown of the night and the Comanches a 42-0 lead at the 2:03 mark of the second quarter.
"I didn’t expect us to come out as quickly as we did coming off of the bye," Strauss said. "But we came out of the gates and overwhelmed them with our speed. We also played well on defense."
Ozona didn’t give up though as the Lions marched 54 yards in seven plays with Rodriguez scoring from two yards out to make it 42-7 in favor of Shiner with 28 seconds remaining before halftime. Rodriguez hit Jerrod duBois for 22 yards and Gonzalez for 24 to set up his score.
But the Comanches weren’t done. Jones had a 12-yard run and Cejka hit Stovall for 19 yards to the Ozona 25 before Cejka’s pass to Jones was caught for a 25-yard touchdown after a pair of deflections on the play to give Shiner a 49-7 lead at the half.
"I was hit before the ball got to me, but I found it in the air and caught it," Jones said.
The Comanches didn’t throw a pass again as they went back to running the football on the opening drive of the third quarter. Shiner drove 60 yards in eight plays with Curtis scoring on a 21-yard run to make it 55-7 at the 7:24 mark of the third.
The Comanches put in reserves following their opening drive of the third quarter, but even the second-team offense found its way into the endzone. Shiner’s final scoring drive of the night went 56 yards in 10 plays, and was capped by a 5-yard run from quarterback Tyler Patek to give the Comanches their biggest lead of the contest, 62-7, with 6:37 left to play in the fourth quarter.
Ozona finished its season with pride, however, on the following drive. The Lions drove 80 yards in five plays with Rodriguez scoring on a 20-yard run with 4:06 left in the contest.
In addition to Jones’ 194-yards rushing, Cejka completed both of his passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Stafford ran 10 times for 63 yards and three cores, while Curtis had seven carries for 41 yards and a touchdown, and Patek ran six times for 41 yards and a score.
"I know the offense and knew I could lead it after Trevion went down," Cejka said. "We ran whatever play Coach Cerny called and we were determined to win the game."
Shiner also limited Ozona to 264 yards of total offense -- 139 rushing and 125 passing.
"We knew they were going to pass or run the sweep so we just went out there and stopped them," Cejka said.