SHINER -- Drew Stafford was running a 102-degree fever on Friday afternoon. The Shiner quarterback made the Ganado defense feel ill on Friday night at Comanche Stadium.
Quarterback Drew Stafford launches a pass against Ganado. He led the Comanches to their sixth straight win. photos by t.c. Baker, Victoria Advocate
Stafford rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns to lead Shiner to a 44-14 District 27-1A win over the Indians.
"My head was a little hot," Stafford said. "But you've just got to block all that out when it comes down to it."
Stafford had a pair of 56-yard runs and scored all his touchdowns during a 23-point third quarter that allowed the Comanches to break open a game that was tied at 14 at halftime.
"A big game like this, we had a bunch of people with injuries and they pushed through it," Stafford said. "I think fighting through our illnesses and stuff, and fighting through the game punched up for a good win."
Shiner won for the sixth straight time and improved to 6-1 and 2-0 in district. The Comanches rushed for 367 yards and made 21 of their 22 first downs on the ground.
"I was reading the veer and they were coming down a lot and hitting on Josh (Greathouse) and coach (Steven) Cerny said go ahead and pull it, and I did and it was wide open every time," said Stafford, who rushed for 160 yards in the second half. "If their defense keeps making the same mistakes, we're going to take advantage and we did."
Cerny was unaware that Stafford was sick until the quarterback's father told him just before the game started. But the Shiner coach had no problem letting Stafford carry the ball.
"He never said anything during athletics," Cerny said. "You couldn't tell that. He may by struggling a little bit tomorrow, but he definitely played well tonight."
Shiner played its best defensive game of the season limiting Ganado (4-3, 1-1) to a net of 9 yards rushing and sacking quarterback Donovan Foster five times.
"Once again, it's a credit to coach (Billy) Turek," Cerny said. "He put something else in this week that we hadn't been doing all year and it really came up big. Our kids really played well and we pursued to the ball well."
Shiner's defense even produced points as linebacker Brady Beal pried an errant snap away from Foster at the Ganado 2 and ran into the end zone for a second-quarter touchdown, and cornerback Trent Rabke tackled Foster in the end zone for a safety in the third quarter.
"Coach Turek put in a new defense for this game," Beal said. "He backs the linebackers up more so we can see the playing field and get a better look at stuff and go to the ball better."
Ganado had a net of 8 yards rushing in the first half, but went to the locker room tied as the result of touchdown passes of 33 and 57 yards from Foster to running back Josh Labay.
"We really felt like we could come out and control the line of scrimmage, but it was non-existent," Ganado coach Mike Rabe said. "We weren't able to run the ball at all in the second half and that hurt us."
Shiner scored on all three of its possessions in the third quarter when had 153 yards to Ganado's 10. Stafford had 138 of those yards, including touchdown runs of 2, 2 and 18 yards.
"They were big up front, but it was something we looked at on film and thought we could go to it," Cerny said.
Greathouse added 113 yards and two touchdowns for Shiner, which limited Ganado to seven first downs and only two in the second half.
"We were playing a good game and we just needed to keep our head up and keep our composure," Beal said. "We went out there and played our best game."
EASY KICKS - Stafford kicked a 46-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to beat Louise last week, but his kicking was limited to six extra points. With the wind at his back, one of Stafford's kicks went out of the end zone ... TOUGH NIGHT - Foster touched the ball 10 times in the second half and was tackled for a loss nine times ... MORE RETURNS - Ganado's Kevin Smith rushed seven times for 24 yards and had three kickoff returns for 77 yards.
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GAME STATISTICS: Shiner Ganado First Downs 22 7 Yards Rushing 49-367 9-36 Yards Passing 21 114 Passes 2-8-0 4-7-0 Punts 1-29 6-160 Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-1 Penalties-yards 1-10 4-34 SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 F Ganado 7 7 0 0 -- 14 Shiner 7 7 23 7 -- 44 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter G - Josh Labay 33 pass from Donovan Foster (Brian Bubela kick),9:27. S - Josh Greathouse 14 run (Drew Stafford kick),0:13. Second Quarter S - Brady Beal 2 fumble return (Stafford kick), 2:00. G - Labay 57 pass from Foster (Bubela kick),0:51. Third Quarter S - Stafford 2 run (Stafford kick), 9:45. S - Stafford 2 run (Stafford kick), 5:22. S - Stafford 18 run (Stafford kick),1:00. S - Safety. Ganado QB Foster tackled in end zone, 0:14. Fourth Quarter S - Greathouse 4 run (Stafford kick), 6:29. INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Shiner - J. Greathouse 17-113, D. Stafford 16-201, C. Shields 12-48, J. Gamez 1-7, W. Patek 1-3. Ganado - D. Foster 15-(-29), J. Labay 11-28, K. Smith 7-24, W. Demicelli 2-8. Passing Shiner - D. Stafford 2-8-21-0. Ganado - D. Foster 4-7-114-0. Receiving Shiner - C. Shields 1-16, B. Beal 1-5. Ganado - J. Labay 2-90, J. Benavides 1-12, T. Thedford 1-12.