SHINER - Shiner taught Universal City Randolph a valuable, if difficult lesson Friday night at Comanche Stadium.
Nick Evans (9) catches the two-point conversion pass from Ryan Kloesel to win the game against Randolph on Friday night. photos by Howard Esse, Crossroads Legal Video
It makes no difference how many times or how long during a game a team has the lead, or how big of a margin a team has. What ultimately matters is which team leads last.
Chris Baer scored on a 27-yard run and Ryan Kloesel threw a two-point conversion pass to Nick Evans with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter to rally the Comanches to a 32-31 homecoming victory over the Ro-Hawks.
Shiner had trailed from the 10:18 mark of the first quarter until Baer's third touchdown run and the two-point conversion pass, which came one play after Scott Shimek recovered a fumble by Randolph quarterback Brandon Ervin.
Baer took a pitch from quarterback Trey Curtis, swept around the right side, broke two tackles and ran to the end zone to pull Shiner within a point.
Shiner lined up to kick the extra point, but holder Bucky Boehm took the snap and tossed the ball to Kloesel, who had lined up on the wing. Kloesel threw a perfect strike to Evans in the corner of the end zone.
"It was early in the season and there was still time on the clock," said Shiner coach Steven Cerny of the two-point attempt. "If we didn't make it, we still could have gone for the onside kick. It was a gamble and we got lucky. It's something we work on and it went our way tonight."
The Comanches, who are ranked No. 3 in Class 1A, will take a 4-0 record into their District 31-1A opener against Falls City on Oct. 1. All four of Shiner's win have come against Class 2A teams.
"We didn't want to go into the open week with a loss," said Baer, who rushed 24 times for 163 yards, added 38 return yards and had an interception. "This win will pick us up. They were a good team and that should help us get ready for Falls City."
Randolph (3-1) gave Shiner a severe test, using its breakaway speed to force the Comanches to play from behind. The Ro-Hawks scored twice on special teams and needed only three plays for each of its offensive touchdowns.
"They've got so much speed in the open field, we couldn't match up with them," Cerny said. "Once they got a step on us, they were gone."
Randolph built a 12-0 lead in the first quarter on a 68-yard pass from Ervin to an uncovered Sean Applewhite, and a 1-yard run by Chris Woods after Randolph had recovered a fumble at the Shiner 15.
Running back Chris Baer (10) turns the corner to score Shiner's last TD to bring the Comanches within a point of Randolph with 2:21 remaining.
The Comanches cut the lead to 12-7 on a 1-yard run by Baer and the first of three extra points by Shimek, following a fumble recovery by A.J. Perez on a punt return.
But Ervin picked up a Shimek punt at the Randolph 19 and broke free to the sideline before racing 81 yards and Applewhite added the extra point to put the Ro-Hawks back up by 12. Shiner cut the lead to 19-14 when Curtis found tight end Chase O'Connor wide open in the flat and hooked up for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 1:20 left in the second quarter.
But whatever momentum the Comanches had quickly disappeared when Dominic Campano picked up the ensuing kickoff and handed the ball to Zach Collins, who outran the Shiner defenders 87 yards for a touchdown and gave Randolph a 25-14 advantage at halftime.
"That was tough," Baer admitted. "It was frustrating a little bit because it was just one thing going wrong."
Baer lifted Shiner's spirits when he found a hole on the left side of the line and ran 62 yards for a touchdown on the Comanches' first play from scrimmage in the second half.
But Shiner couldn't take advantage of recovering an onside kick, and Collins, who rushed 16 times for 130 yards, ran 66 yards for a touchdown two plays after Woods had recovered a fumble by Curtis.
Randolph elected to go for two points, but Woods was stopped short of the end zone, leaving the margin at 10 with 34 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Shiner took the ensuing kickoff and drove from its 42 to the Randolph 9, setting up a 26-yard field goal by Shimek with 6:29 left in the fourth quarter.
The Comanches forced a three-and-out on Randolph's next possession and after punting the ball back to Randolph, got the break they needed when Ervin bobbled a snap and Shimek got on top of the ball.
"The big thing was they had nine people going both ways," Baer said. "We just wore them down. They were a good, hustling team, but we just kept pounding on them in the fourth quarter."
Randolph got the ball at its 35 with 2:11 remaining after Shiner went ahead. But Kloesel tackled Ervin for a 2-yard loss on first down, Ervin threw incomplete on second down, Collins was stopped by Clayton McCorkle for a 1-yard loss on third down, and Ervin's fourth-down pass was tipped by Willie Leach.
"They had some big plays but our defense rose up in the second half," Cerny said. "They had two key stops in the fourth quarter."
Shiner senior Rachel Patek was named homecoming queen.
GAME STATISTICS: Randolph Shiner First Downs 11 14 Rushes-Yards 30-159 53-250 Passing Yards 75 20 Comp-Att-Int 2-5-1 1-5-0 Punts 3-29 4-41 Fumbles-Lost 4-2 5-3 Penalties-yds 3-15 1-5 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing: Randolph, Zach Collins 16-130; Chris Woods 7-22; Patrick McDonald 2-10; Brandon Ervin 5-(-3). Shiner, Chris Baer 24-163; Trey Curtis 18-40; Kenzley Wright 8-36; Ryan Kloesel 3-11. Passing: Randolph, Ervin 2-5-1 75. Shiner, Curtis 1-5-0 20. Receiving: Randolph, Sean Applewhite 1-68; Collins 1-7. Shiner, Chase O'Connor 1-20. SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 F Universal City Randolph 12 13 6 0 -- 31 Shiner 7 7 7 11 -- 32 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter R - Sean Applewhite 68 pass from Brandon Ervin (kick failed), 10:18 R - Chris Woods 1 run (run failed), 5:55 S - Chris Baer 1 run (Scott Shimek kick), 1:48 Second Quarter R - Ervin 81 punt return (Applewhite kick), 6:40 S - Chase O'Connor 20 pass from Trey Curtis (Shimek kick), 1:20 R - Zach Collins 87 kickoff return (pass failed), 1:05 Third Quarter S - Baer 62 run (Shimek kick), 11:41 R - Collins 66 run (run failed), :34 Fourth Quarter S - Shimek 26 FG, 6:29 S - Baer 27 run (Nick Evans pass from Ryan Kloesel), 2:21