GANADO -- The Shiner players didn’t need a pep talk to know they could perform better than they did in the first half against Ganado, but coach Steven Cerny wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.
Ganado’s Kevin Smith breaks away from the Shiner defense in the first half of Friday’s game. The Indians dominated the first half, but the Comanches stormed back in the second half to take a 42-21 win. Photo Credit: Roni Gendler/Advocate Staff Photographer
"Coach gave one heck of a pep talk and just got everybody turned around," Shiner nose guard Justin Weise said. "The boys knew they weren’t playing as well as they have in the past. Right in the middle of halftime we were sitting in the locker room and getting talked to and feeling down for ourselves. Coach gave us that pep talk and got our spirits up."
No. 7 Shiner carried Cerny’s message onto the field and erased a 14-point deficit before rolling to a 42-21 District 27-1A win over the Indians on Friday night.
"They stepped up to the challenge," Cerny said of his team, which improved to 6-0 and 2-0 in district. "We knew going in to halftime (down 21-7) that we were having trouble, but we were able to get them refocused. I give credit to coach (Billy) Turek too, he made adjustments and came up with some big plays stopping those guys."
Shiner scored on all six of its second half possessions, while shutting out the Indians (4-2, 1-1). The Comanches gained 243 of their 320 yards in the second half and limited Ganado to 93, after the Indians have piled up 237 in the first two quarters.
"Their front caused problems for us and we were blowing our assignments," Cerny said. "The coaches upstairs did a good job of clarifying where they were and what we needed to do and we found a few plays that we thought would work and we stuck with them. I give all the credit to these guys, they stepped up."
Josh Greathouse ran over, around and through the Ganado defense in the second half, rushing for 161 of his game-high 223 yards, while scoring on runs of 1, 44 and 35 yards in the third quarter.
"I wore them down, I was running pretty hard and the coaches called the right plays," said Grethouse, who had 14 of his 27 carries and had five of his six runs of over 10 yards in the second half. "Our linemen started blocking real well and there were some open holes."
Ganado quarterback Donovan Foster and running back Kevin Smith were finding holes in the Shiner defense in the first half. Smith, who carried 20 times for 156 yards, started the scoring with a 31-yard run on the Indians’ first possession. Foster scored on an 83-yard run and added a 47-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Foster’s second touchdown came two plays after Shiner was penalized for roughing the punter.
"The first half we played real well," Ganado coach Mike Rabe said. "Our defense tackled real well and in the second half we didn’t tackle as well. They started running the ball a little harder in the second half than they did in the first half and it just wasn’t a good combination for us."
Foster carried five times for 141 yards in the first half, but was tackled for a loss on six of his nine second half carries to finish with a net of 103 yards.
"We’re a football team that hasn’t been in this kind of game in a while," Rabe said. "We went through some growing pains tonight. We’re going to get a lot better and learn from this one."
Greathouse capped Shiner drives of eight, three and two plays with his touchdown runs to put the Comanches ahead to stay. Quarterback Matthew Hibbs gave Shiner some breathing room when he completed an 80-yard drive that was kept alive by a roughing the passer penalty with a 6-yard touchdown run. Running back Lance Otto iced the win with a 4-yard touchdown run.
"Coach Cerny gave us that little pep talk at halftime," Greathouse said. "That’s all we needed."
GAME STATISTICS: Ganado Shiner First Downs 11 19 Yards Rushing 40-272 55-315 Yards Passing 58 5 Comp-Att-Int 2-8-0 2-6-0 Punts-Avg 4-27.3 3-39.7 Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-0 Penalties-yards 3-35 6-55 Individual Statistics Rushing - Shiner, Josh Greathouse 27-223; Matthew Hibbs 16-34; Lance Otto 6-34; Curtis Shields 1-15; Adam Kalich 5-9. Ganado, Kevin Smith 20-156; Donovan Foster 14-103; Joey Arriaga 4-7; Josh Labay 2-6. Passing - Shiner, Hibbs 2-6-0 5. Ganado, Foster. 2-8-0 48. Receiving - Shiner, Drew Stafford 1-6; Kalich 1-(-1). Ganado, Arraiga 1-42; Tim Bridges 1-16. SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 F Shiner 0 7 21 14 -- 42 Ganado 14 7 0 0 -- 21 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter G - Kevin Smith 31 run (Julio Ramos kick), 10:05 G - Donovan Foster 83 run (Ramos kick), 3:22 Second Quarter S - Matthew Hibbs 1 run (Drew Stafford kick), 8:58 G - Foster 48 run (Ramos kick), 0:38 Third Quarter S - Josh Greathouse 1 run (Stafford kick)8:40 S - Greathouse 44 run (kick failed), 5:14 S - Greathouse 35 run (Hibbs run), 2:31 Fourth Quarter S - Hibbs 6 run (Stafford kick), 3:46 S - Lance Otto 4 run (Stafford kick), 1:00