The Shiner Comanches were hoping to make up for regional losses the past two years but the Thorndale Bulldogs (11-1) ended those hopes with a 47-27 win Friday at Rebel Field in Buda.
Shiner head coach Steven Cerny, center, prepares to send in a play with quarterback Garet Pustka during Friday's playoff game against Thorndale. Despite a valiant effort, the Comanches came up short in a 47-27 contest. Also pictured above are Shiner coaching staff members (from left) David Goetz, Reggie Morgan, and John Hoelter. (all photos by Bobby Tomek)
Playing the top team in the State means you have to eliminate mistakes. But, as opposed to last week’s near-perfect game, the Comanches handed the Bulldogs golden opportunities with six turnovers.
Cory Schneider, Aubrey White and the Bulldogs took advantage of those mistakes and ran away with the Class 1A regional contest.
Schneider and White combined for 423 yards and scored all seven touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
White had 21 carries for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while Schneider rushed 15 times for 211 yards and three touchdowns. The other score came on a White to Schneider pass.
The Comanches were led by Eric Murphy with 115 yards on 16 carries. Quentin Wright carried nine times for 95 yards and Garet Pustka had 62 yards on 12 carries.
Quentin Wright breaks through Thorndale defenders en route to a first down run during Friday's playoff game at Hays Consolidated. The Bulldogs struck early and often and handed the Comanches a season-ending 47-27 loss.
Pustka was 5-15 with one interception for 117 yards. Steven Evans was on the receiving end of one touchdown. Wright caught three tosses for 111 yards and Todd Wenske and Eric Murphy had one catch each.
Shiner got first possession on their 33-yard line. The Comanches fumbled on the fifth play but recovered on the 41, only to lose the ball on the next play on another fumble.
Thorndale then drove 53 yards, capping the drive with a 29-yard run by Schneider. The PAT was no good. Shiner fumbled the kick off and the Bulldogs recovered on their 39.
Quentin Wright picked off a pass but fumbled it right hack on the tackle. Schneider then sprinted 55 yards to give the Bulldogs a 12-0 lead with 7:15 left in the first quarter.
The Comanchcs got right back into the ball game with a 65-yard, 6-play drive with Wright scoring on a 33-yard run. R.J. Lester’s PAT kick was good.
The Bulldogs attempted a field goal as the quarter ended but were unsuccessful.
After an exchange of punts, the Comanches set up at midfield but lost a fumble on the first play.
Thorndale's Coy Schneider (4) is wrestled down for no gain by Shiner lineman Robbie Pavelka. Coming in to assist is Clayton McCorkle (73).
The Shiner defense again held on the 11-yard line and Shiner took over on downs. Eric Murphy carried four times to the Thorndale 34. Evans then hit Wright with a 34-yard scoring strike and Shiner took a 13-12 lead with just :46 left in the half.
Schneider struck right back with an 82-yard kick off return and Thorndale took an 18-13 lead into the locker room.
Thorndale’s momentum carried over to the third period as Aubrey White raced 80 yards for a touchdown with 10:20 left in the period. Wade Gilchrist added the PAT for a 25-13 score.
Another fumble following the kick off gave Thorndale the ball on the Shiner 26. White then hit Schneider on the first play for the score. The PAT made it 32-13.
Shiner senior Joshua Burchell spends a few moments in sought solitude on the sideline as time ticked away during Thorndale's 47-27 victory over the Comanches.
The Comanches overcame two penalties on their next drive and cut the lead to 32-19 with a 64-yard drive to score with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
Eric Murphy, who had three carries in the drive, scored on a 7-yard run. Evans had a 21-yard run and Todd Wenske caught a pass for 27 yards on key plays.
Following another good Comanche defensive effort, Shiner took over on downs on their 41. Yet another fumble stopped a scoring opportunity. Although Shiner recovered the fumble, they were forced to punt.
Evans booted the ball to Thorndale’s 10, but on first down Schneider raced the length of the field for his fifth touchdown of the night. Schneider then tacked on the 2-point conversion and the Bulldogs increased their lead to 40-19 with 1:45 left in the third period.
Quentin Wright drives Thorndale quarterback Aubrey White backwards during first half action Friday. Coming in to assist on the play are Josh Burchell (center) and Ryan Spann.
Thorndale sealed the win midway in the final period on a 21-yard run by White and Gilchrist’s PAT. Shiner drove to the Thorndale 1-yard line but a motion penalty pushed them back to the six. The Comanches failed on a 4-and-6 and had to turn the ball over.
The Comanches then scored a safety for two points and ended the game on a 3-yard scoring run by Pustka to make the final 47-27.
The final drive was highlighted by a 45-yard pass from Pustka to Wright.
Shiner made more first downs, 21-16, and the total yards were just about even, but it was the mistakes and Thorndale’s big plays that ended Shiner’s hopes and season.
The Comanches finish a fine season with a 10-1 record.
GAME STATISTICS Shiner Thorndale First Downs 21 16 Yards Rushing 45-307 38-441 Yards Passing 151 26 Passes 6-15-1 1-6-1 Punts 2-42 2-30.5 Fumbles-Lost 7-5 3-0 Penalties-Yards 8-41 7-60 Shiner 7 6 6 8 -- 27 Thorndale 12 6 22 7 -- 47 SCORING DETAILS First Quarter T - Cory Schneider 29 run (kick faled), 7:52 T - Schneider 55 run (run failed), 7:15 S - Quentin Wright 33 run (R.J. Lester kick), 4:32 Second Quarter S - Wright 34 pass from Steven Evans (run failed), 0:46 T - Schneider 82 kickoff return (Jonathan Pritchard run failed), 0:34 Third Quarter T - Aubrey White 80 run (Gilcrest kick), 10:20 T - Schneider 26 pass from White (Gilcrest kick), 9:53 S - Eric Murphy 7 run (run failed), 7:17 T - Schneider 80 run (Schneider run), 1:45 Fourth Quarter T - White 21 run (Gilcrest kick), 5:49 S - Safety, 1:57 S - Garet Pustka 3 run (kick failed), 1:04