Echoes of last year's, "Wait until next year," faded quickly last Saturday at
Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls as the Shiner Comanches completed a perfect
16-0 season and won the Class 1A State Championship.
2004 - The Year of the Comanche
The Shiner Comanches went to Wichita Falls undefeated last Saturday and they came home
the Class 1A State Champions with a 16-0 record. The Comanches defeated the Stratford Elks
by a score of 33-19 to with the title. The last time Shiner won a state title was in 1986
also with a 16-0 record.
all photos by Shiner Gazette
It was the culmination of a 12-month dream, especially for the seniors, who came
into the game with confidence and determination to bring the championship trophy
Four touchdowns by Chris Baer and a stalwart defense carried the Comanches to a
33-19 victory over the Stratford Elks in the title game.
Baer, who rushed for 130 yards on 21 carries, was all smiles as he said, "It's a
great feeling and a great ending. It's great to be the undisputed top Class 1A
team in the state."
The Comanches had been rated No. 1 from the beginning of the season but there
were teams, especially in the playoffs, that could have knocked them off the
chart. The win over Stratford made their No. 1 rating final and permanent.
Baer scored on three rushing touchdowns and a kick off return and the Shiner
defense came up with at least seven sacks, two fumble recoveries and two
Chris Baer gets the ball across the goal line to score his fourth touchdown
of the night and his 40th rushing touchdown of the year.
Stratford ran 73 plays to Shiner's 40 and led in every statistical category
except the one that counted, the score..The Elks led in first downs, 19-10;
total yardage 327-245; return yards, 172-156; and time of possession.
"Stats don't always mean much, sometimes it's like the old Rocky movies -- who
would get up and stay up last," said Coach Steven Cerny about the numbers.
"We're perfect at 16-0 and a lot of credit goes to the kids for stepping up each
and every Friday or Saturday during the season," he said.
"Special thanks has to go to our coaches. They have done a tremendous job, each
one of them.
"There is no doubt Stratford had a solid ball club. Our kids just put out an
incredible effort. I think this was their best effort -- a total team effort.
Through pain, sweat and hurts, they just made some great plays."
"They are a real good passing team said defensive coach, Billy Turek. Josh King
is an outstanding quarterback and was hard to tackle. But except for one good
play we held them pretty good.
Tyler Haynes (23) gets smothered by Scott Shimek and Dylan Hagens after taking
the handoff from Josh King (11). Tony Ruiz (22) comes in to help but all three
are no match for the Shiner duo.
"Against a team like this you have to contain them. You give them a little at a
time but nothing big."
Turek said the key was to keep the pressure on King. "When we gave him time he
was on target. We knew we had to get to him quick."
Turek's strategy worked to perfection on Stratford's final possession when three
consecutive blitzes resulted in three sacks of King to end the Elks' efforts for
The Shiner defense allowed only three yards per carry and held King to less than
50 percent completions.
Chase O'Connor and Nick Evans each had an interception and Willie Leach and
Kevin Berger recovered fumbles which were caused by Dustin Pohler and Ryan
Cerny said it was hard to single out particular players as they all contributed
to the effort, but he did commend Pohler, who had 3 1/2 sacks and Baer, who had
two or three and also blocked an extra point. "Everybody was there doing their
job making some incredible plays," he said.
Kevin Berger tackles Tony Ruiz as Isaac Casares comes in on the play.
Stratford took the lead on their second possession when King connected with Tony
Ruiz who beat the defense and rambled for an 88-yard touchdown. Martin Beltran
added the PAT and the Elks led 7-0 with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
Baer answered with an 88-yard kick off return for a touchdown and Scott Shimek's
PAT tied it at 7-7.
"They made some good plays on us but we made good plays right back," said Baer.
"On the kick off return, the front line gave me a 10-yard wide hole and I saw
daylight and beat the last man."
Baer scored on Shiner's next possession on a 28-yard scamper to give the
Comanches a 14-7 lead with 2:55 left in the first quarter. :
Baer started to the right behind three blockers, cut up the middle and ran for
the end zone. The Elks' last defender hit him inside the 5-yard line but Baer
stumbled into the end zone for the score.
"You will remember this championship the
rest of your lives. I will always remember
this day and Shiner will always remember."
-- Coach Steven Cerny
Shimek was again good on the PAT.
The Comanches held the Elks on downs on their next possession as the quarter
ended but were forced to punt when they failed to convert.
The Elks took over on the Shiner 49 yard line and with the aid of two major
Comanche penalties, marched downfield and scored on an 8-yard run by King. Baer
blocked the extra point kick and Shiner held on to a 14-13 lead with 7:14 left
in the half.
Shiner upped the lead to 21-13 on a 67-yard, 7-play drive highlighted by a
43-yard run by Kenzley Wright to the Elks 21. Baer carried for no gain and
Wright carried twice to the 6-yard line. Baer then bulled his way over for the
score and with 3:54 left in the half, Shiner led 21-13.
Following the kick off, Stratford started their drive from their 22. The Elks
ran one play for two yards and with the clock running down, they went to the
air. King completed three of six throws to the Shiner 43-yard line. With two
minutes left Walter Spurlock caught a tipped pass on the 31.
King again went to the air to Spurlock but this time it was Chase O'Connor who
caught a tipped pass for the interception and Shiner took an 8-point lead
into the locker room.
Kenzley Wright carries for 43 yards down the sideline before being stopped on the 14.
Stratford's first drive of the second half started on their 41. Runs by Ruiz and
King and pass completions to Tyler Haynes and Chris Ortega carried the Elks to
the Shiner 16.
Baer, who had a sack earlier in the drive, tipped King's pass in the backfield.
The ball was caught by an Elk in the backfield but it was a 7-yard loss back to
A Comanche holding penalty added 10 yards to the 13, Scott Shimek brought down
King for a one yard loss on first down. Then came a big rush on second down and
Nick Evans intercepted King's pass on the three and ran it back to the 14.
But good fortune didn't last long as a Curtis to Wright hand off went awry and
the Elks recovered on the 12.
Three plays later King scored on an 8-yard run. King's throw to Josh Lanning for
the 2-point conversion was no good as O'Connor spoiled the attempt.
"I knew they were going to him. I played behind him, not going for the
interception but for the hit as the ball came to him." O'Connor's hit slammed
Lanning into the turf and jarred the ball loose for an incompletion. But the
score was now narrowed to 21-19 with 5:37 left in the third quarter.
O'Connor had dogged Lanning all night, defending against the pass along the
sideline and with the pressure on King, Lanning had only one reception on the
On the kick off O'Connor gave Shiner good field position with a 39-yard return
to the Elks 36. On the next play, Curtis completed his only pass of the game
with a toss to Evans for the touchdown.
Chris Baer follows Trey Curtis to pick up good yardage on a Comanche touchdown drive.
The PAT kick was no good and Shiner led by eight, 27-19, with 3:20 left in the
Stratford used a fake punt on fourth down and a pass completion to Chris Ortega
to keep their next drive alive on the Shiner 32. Three plays gained 13 yards
to the 19 but a penalty took the ball back to the 34. Following a 5-yard step
off against Shiner, Stratford faced a first-and-fifteen. Ruiz carried to the
9-yard line but another holding penalty against the Elks sent them back
to the 34.
A big rush, with Pohler getting the sack, caused a fumble which Willie Leach
recovered on the Stratford 45.
Another good defensive stand stopped the Elks on their next drive, leaving 6:44
on the game clock.
Shiner had to punt right back but Shimek hit a boomer to the Stratford 10-yard
After a 12-yard completion to Landan Luna, Pohler got one more sack, dropping
King for a 3-yard loss. Ruiz ran the next play and was met at the line of
scrimmage by a host of Comanches, causing a fumble, which was recovered by
Kevin Berger on the Stratford 15.
Baer carried four times, scoring on a 1-yard run to up the score to 33-19 with
2:58 left to play.
Tyler Haynes returned the short kick off to the Elk 43. After an incomplete
pass, King had running room but a shoestring tackle by Baer gave up only three
yards. A pass to Haynes picked up a first down on the Shiner 40 with 2:15 left.
With Stratford's passing capabilities, the Elks still had a chance, even though
small, to score twice. So after an incomplete pass on first down, Turek sent
his troops in. On second down, Baer sacked King for a 5-yard loss. A third down
sack by Leach and Baer lost another five yards. On fourth down, the Comanches
came again and Pohler, along with others stopped King, assuring the Comanches
of their first state title since 1986.
Nick Evans intercepts a pass on the Shiner 3-yard line to stop the Elks drive.
O'Connor had the same feeling as the rest of the Comanches about the win, but
he added a sentiment that is probably true for all his teammates. "It feels
great," he said. "It takes the bad taste from last year's loss. Winning it for
the seniors and for Jared Boedeker, who missed most of the season with an
injury, is a good feeling," he added.
Boedeker was overcome with emotion, saying it was an awesome win. "I'm sorry I
couldn't play but they won it for me," he said. Boedeker was the sideline
cheerleader for the team during the latter part of the season and during the
playoffs. He had the honor of acting as captain for the second half meeting at
midfield in the championship game
Following the game, Coach Cerny gathered his players and repeated what his
players already knew. "You will remember this championship the rest of your
lives. I will always remember this day and Shiner will always remember."
The final stats included 130 yards on 21 carries for Baer, 59 yards on six
carries by Wright and 20 for Curtis on five carries. Nick Evans had a touchdown
reception and one interception. O'Connor had one interception and Willie Leach
and Kevin Berger each had a fumble recovery.
Stratford's quarterback. Josh King had 21 carries for 37 yards, Tony Ruiz had
15 carries for 75 yards and Gustavo Resales had two carries for no yards.
King was 14-of-32 in the passing department with two interceptions, while
Walter Spurlock had one completion for 13 yards.
First downs 19 10
Yards rushing 38-112 32-209
Yards passing 215 36
Total yards 327 245
Passing C-A-I 15-33-2 1-3-0
Punts-avg. 2-26 5-39.4
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yds 4-35 10-73
Rushing - Stratford: Tony Ruiz 15-74, Josh King 23-20, Gustavo Rosales 3-1.
Shiner: Chris Baer 21-128, Kenzley Wright 7-57, Trey Curtis 6-22,
Team 2-(minus 5).
Passing - Stratford: King 14-33-2 204 yards, Walter Spurlock 1-1-0 15 yards.
Shiner: Curtis 1-2-0 36 yards, Baer 0-1-0 0 yards.
Receiving - Stratford: Tyler Haynes 6-71, Chris Ortega 5-44, Tony Ruiz 1-88,
Walter Spurlock 1-26, Josh Lanning 1-(minus 3), Josh King 1-(minus 7).
Shiner: Nick Evans 1-36.
1 2 3 4 F
Stratford 7 6 6 0 -- 19
Shiner 14 7 6 6 -- 33
Stratford: Tony Ruiz 88 pass from Josh King (Martin Beltran kick), 7:03.
Shiner: Chris Baer 88 kickoff return (Scott Shimek kick), 6:48.
Shiner: Baer 28 run (Shimek kick), 2:55.
Stratford: King 8 run (kick blocked), 7:14.
Shiner: Baer 6 run (Shimek kick), 3:54.
Stratford: King 3 run (pass failed), 3:37.
Shiner: Nick Evans 36 pass from Trey Curtis (kick failed), 3:20.
Shiner: Baer 1 run (kick failed), 2:58.