SHINER -- The Shiner Comanches didn’t have to study film to understand the type of offense Granger will run at them in today’s Class 1A, Division I quarterfinal playoff game. All they had to do was look in their own playbook.
Both teams run the veer offense, giving the Comanches defense a matchup they have seen in practice all season.
"We’re going to give it all we got and we should be able to stop them," Shiner linebacker Ethan Darilek said. "We’ve seen it all year against our offense, so we know what it looks like on the field. I think we have it figured out. We need to key the quarterback and running back because they are the fastest players they have."
Darilek, who has 75 tackles on the season, will have the task of stopping a high- powered Lion team today at 7:30 p.m. at Bob Shelton Stadium in Buda. Granger (11-1) has outscored its opponents 583-147 this season, while Shiner (9-3) has outscored its opponents 435-39 in the process of its nine-game winning streak.
"We’re playing about as good as we’ve played all year right now," Shiner head coach Steven Cerny said. "We haven’t made many mistakes and we haven’t fumbled the ball away. We’ve been trying to get to this point all year and I’d say we’ve improved since midway through our district to right now. I think we are where we need to be."
Having the advantage of knowing the other team’s offense will work both ways.
"It’s going to be interesting,"Cerny said. "We haven’t played anybody where we had to stop the veer on defense. Our guys see it every day, so that should help. They may come out with a new wrinkle to stop our veer, too."
Clay Mozach leads the Lions with 1,119 yards rushing, while Bradley Sims has gained 989 yards on 113 carries for Granger. D.J. Pustka leads Shiner with 882 yards rushing, while Kyle Condel has thrown for 789 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.
The Lions, whose only loss came against Class 2A Blanco in a 38-22 game, are a team that is bigger than Shiner but may not have the quickness.
"We struggled early in the year with turnovers but we are ready to go," Three- year starting offensive lineman Julian Longoria said. "We always fire out low and as quick as we can, so their size really isn’t going to matter for us. We’re just going to have to execute and not turn the ball over."
The Shiner advantage could also come in its numbers.
"I think we’ll have to utilize our one-way players, while I think they’ll try to wear us down with their size," Cerny said. "They have eight players who play on both sides of the ball, while we only have two. We’ll have to use our quickness against their size, and hopefully we’ll be fresh throughout the game."
Wes Bloomquist is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6509, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.