SHINER The fans at Comanche Stadium witnessed a little bit of everything Friday night and a lot of the Schulenburg Shorthorns.
Schulenburg took advantage of some early good fortune, withstood a 1-hour and 16-minute lightning delay in the second quarter and rolled to a 32-12 season-opening victory over No. 3 Class 1A Shiner.
The Shorthorns had a 9-0 lead before the game was 4 minutes old and kept the pressure on through three quarters as Tommy Bludau enjoyed a successful debut as Schulenburg head coach.
"The biggest thing is the experience we have," Bludau said. "The kids picked up the system real quick. I was very pleased with the way we executed tonight."
Schulenburg quarterback Clayton Besetzny picked up where he left off last season. Besetzny passed for 116 yards and one touchdown in the first half and rushed for 57 of his 69 yards and scored two touchdowns in the second half.
"I thought we might be a little shaky coming in," Besetzny said. "We have a young offensive line. But those guys played well. Our defense played well and I thought our new offense did all right."
Schulenburg opened the game by kicking off to Shiner but still scored points when return man Adam Kalich was ruled to have caught the ball in play and stepped back into the end zone before downing it for a safety.
The Shorthorns took further advantage of the miscue when Dylan Langhamer returned the free kick 42 yards and after an illegal procedure penalty, Besetzny threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Shane Mayberry.
"The start of the game was big no doubt about it," Bludau said. "To jump out like we did really helped us."
The Shorthorns added to their lead after the lightning delay when Langhamer, who carried 11 times for 68 yards and caught three passes for 46 yards, scored on a four-yard run. Schulenburg extended its lead to 19-0 when Carlos Lara kicked a 40-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
The Shorthorns put the game away by driving 61 and 53 yards on their first two possessions of the third quarter, leading to a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by Langhamer.
"We talked about setting the tone at halftime," Bludau said. "I thought that was a championship drive right there at the start of the third quarter."
Shiner had only five first downs through three quarters and lost quarterback Kyle Condel to apparent concussion in the fourth quarter.
The Comanches scored on a 1 yard run by Kalich that was set up by Condel's 12-yard run. Shiner added a 1-yard run by reserve quarterback Matthew Hibbs with 29 seconds left in the game.
"We got off to a bad start," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "We couldn't get any offensive rhythm and our defense really couldn't stop them."
GAME STATISTICS: Schulenburg Shiner First Downs 19 15 Yards Rushing 38-146 41-203 Yards Passing 116 1 Passes 6-11-0 1-7-1 Punts 4-39 4-32.3 Fumbles-lost 3-0 3-1 Penalties-yards 6-40 5-40 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing - Schulenburg, Clayton Besetzny 18-69; Dylan Langhamer 11-68; Josh Shelby 4-13; Christian Redd 28; Bryce Sander 1-0; Team 1-0; Cody Vecera 1-(-12). Shiner, D.J. Pustka 12-73: Matthew Hibbs 6-51; Kyle Condel 1348; Lance Otto 4-16; Adam Kalich 6-15. Passing - Schulenburg, Besetzny 6-11-0116; Shiner, Hibbs 1-2-01; Condel 0-4-0 0; Pustka 0-1-10. Receiving - Schulenburg, Langhamer 3-46: Martin SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 F Schulenburg 9 10 13 0 -- 32 Shiner 0 0 0 12 -- 12 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter SC - Safety. Shiner Adam Kalich kneel kickoff in end zone, 11:55 SC - Shane Mayberry 22 pass from Clayton Besetzny (Carlos Lara kick), 11:39 Second Quarter SC - Dylan Langhamer 4 run (Lara kick), 5:35 SC - Lara 40 field goal, :00 Third Quarter SC - Besetzny 1 run (fumbled snap), 7:30 SC - Besetzny 1 run (Lara kick), 4:13 Fourth Quarter S - Adam Kalich 1 run (run failed), 7:55 S - Matthew Hibbs 1 run (kick failed), :29
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at email@example.com.