SAN ANTONIO -- For the D'Hanis Cowboys, the 2003 regular season was an awesome accomplishment: the first district championship in 11 years with a perfect 6-0 record. The ending, however, was total demolition at the hands of the highly ranked Shiner Comanches. The Cowboys couldn't manage to circle the wagons, scoring only on a lone first quarter safety in a 48-2 bi-district loss at East Central Stadium.
Running back Mitchell Rothe is brought down by Comanche defenders during the D'Hanis Cowboys bi-district loss to Shiner Saturday at East Central. (all photos by Sue Lynn Buckley)
The Comanches scalped the Cowboys in every way possible: 313 yards on the ground, 85 in the air. The Cowboys managed 85 yards on the ground and 40 in the air. While the Cowboys spent most of the night punting (eight times), the Comanches spent most of their time kicking off after TDs (seven times).
Shiner scored on five of its seven first half possessions and its first two in the third quarter, before getting the reserves in for the final quarter.
The Comanches hit paydirt seven plays into the game. Quarterback Garet Pustka accounted for 21 yards; Chris Baer had 22, and Quenten Wright added another 20, including the seven-yard romp for the first Shiner score. With just over four minutes gone, Shiner had a 7-0 lead after Scott Shimek added the PAT.
Three minutes and four plays later, Shiner tallied its second score after the Cowboys fumbled at the 25. Wright scored a second time on a four-yard run. Shimek added the PAT and Shiner led 14-0 with 4:58 remaining in the first quarter.
D'Hanis defender Ryan Santos tackles Shiner running back Quentin Wright in Saturday's playoff game at East Central.
The Cowboys got a break when the Comanches were called for a face mask infraction after the kickoff. Meliton Borrego carried twice to a first down across midfield. But the drive stalled and D'Hanis had to punt.
The Comanches were penalized on the punt return and had to start at their 3. On second down, Borrego broke through, sacking Pustka in the endzone and giving the Cowboys their only score, with 47 seconds left in the first quarter.
After the free kick, Arnold Gomez tossed a 12-yard pass to Ryan Santos, but moments later, on 3rd-and-long, a pass to Santos was ruled incomplete, forcing a punt.
A short kick gave Shiner a start from its 43. After Wright got the first nine, Pustka carried five straight times for 25 yards. From there, Baer took a pitch 22 yards for a TD with 8:16 left in the half, making it 21-2.
Things went from bad to worse as Borregošs next punt was blocked, putting Shiner at the 29.
Pustka passed to Casey Coleman at the 4. Wright took it the remaining distance for his third score, extending the Shiner lead to 28-2 with 6:12 still remaining in the half.
Borrego returned the kickoff to the Cowboy 31, then gained 15 yards on two carries. On second down, Gomez passed to Borrego 23 yards to the Shiner 34. Gomez went to the air again, only to have Coleman pull it down for the interception, returning it to the D'Hanis 37.
D'Hanis' only points came courtesy of Meliton Borrego's first quarter sack of Shiner's quarterback Garet Pustka in the endzone for a safety.
The Comanches drove inside the 10, but soon faced a 4th-and-goal at the 12. Pustka went to the air, hitting Wright for his fourth score. Shimek had been injured earlier, so Ryan Kloesel tried the placekick, which bounced off the upright, leaving the score at 34-2 with 1:04 left.
The Cowboys went three-and-out, but D'Hanis' Javier Peņa sacked Pustka to end the half.
To open the second half, Shiner converted its first two possession into scores. The first drive took three snaps, with Baer going the final 11 yards for the score. Kloesel's kick made the score 41-2.
On its second possession, Shiner appeared to be stopped, An incompletion forced Shiner's first punting situation. The snap went over Steven Evans' head and he was brought down for a 15-yard loss, but again, the snake-bit Cowboys were called for a face mask penalty, giving the Comanches an automatic first down. Pustka took the snap and raced 52 yards to the endzone. Kloesel's kick finished the scoring at 48-2, with 5:11 left in the third quarter.
C.J. Gauna got a quick first down for the Cowboys, just across midfield and two more Borrego carries produced another first down. But two losses and an incompletion forced another Cowboy punt.
After the punt, Mitchell Rothe broke up a Pustka pass, but backup running back Kenzley Wright broke away for a 46-yard gain to the 35. As the fourth quarter began, the Comanches turned the ball over on downs.
D'Hanis drove for two first downs, but a fourth down gamble fell incomplete, turning the ball back over to Shiner.
From that point, the Cowboys and the Indians exchanged possessions four more times, each time going three-and- out. Shiner took a knee the final two snaps to end the match at 48-2.
Shiner (10-1) now advances to play Ben Bolt (9-1) this Friday in Pleasanton.
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