FALLS CITY - Shiner coach Steve Cerny knew what was in store for the Comanches when they traveled to Beaver Stadium for their District 31-1A opener.
Shiner had lost two district games since becoming a Class 1A team and they both came against Falls City.
"Look how hard they play," Cerny said of the Beavers. "They're big, they're physical, and they know us forwards and backwards."
Falls City was everything Cerny feared, but the Comanches proved to be just a little bit better and escaped with a 20-14 win on Saturday night.
Shiner overcame deficits of 8-0 and 14-12 as it improved to 3-2 on the season. Falls City dropped to 3-3 and 1-0.
"I thought we started out a little flat," Cerny said. "But once we got into the flow, we were a totally different team, especially in the second half."
The Comanches overcame 132 yards of passing by Falls City quarterback Cameron Wright with some big running plays and a number of Falls City mistakes.
Falls City drove 58 yards on its first possession before Wright ran 10 yards for a touchdown and completed a two-point conversion pass to Scott Kotara with 5:37 left in the first quarter.
After the teams traded turnovers, Shiner answered with a 14-play, 85-yard drive that was capped on a 1-yard touchdown run by Dexter Mayberry. But the Comanches missed the two-point conversion and trailed 8-6 with 6:30 left in the second quarter.
Falls City misssed an opportunity to extend its lead just before halftime after Wright had hooked up with Kotara for 29 yards to the Shiner 1. But Wright was tackled for no gain on first down and a bad exchange from center was fumbled by Wright and recovered by Shiner's Kyle Condel at the 3.
Shiner took its first lead when quarterback Trey Curtis scored on a 1-yard run to complete a 65-yard drive that was keyed by Dustin Mayberry's 47-yard run.
Falls City went back on top 14-12 when Corey Stone scored on a 1-yard run, one play after Wright had thrown a 34-yard pass to an uncovered Trey Malone.
But Shiner got a 48-yard return on the ensuing kickoff by Dustsin Mayberry and was the beneficiary of a roughing the passer penalty before sophomore D.J. Pustka scored on a 2-yard run with 7:14 left in the fourth quarter.
Pustka, who carried six times for 39 yards, was making his first varsity start in place of Ryan Kloesel, who has a severely sprained ankle.
Shiner added to its lead when Dylan Hagens sacked Wright in the end zone for a safety with 5:40 remaining.
But Falls City had two more chances to score thanks to a Shiner muff recovered by Andrew Liska on the free kick and the Comanches failure to convert a fourth-and-two at the Falls City 39.
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at email@example.com.GAME STATISTICS: Shiner Falls City First Downs 15 13 Rushes-Yards 47-187 33-89 Passing Yards 36 132 Comp-Att-Int 2-4-0 9-19-0 Punts 2-28 2-33.5 Fumbles-Lost 3-1 4-2 Penalties-yards 4-20 8-65 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing - Shiner, Dustin Mayberry 16-82; Trey Curtis 13-43; D.J. Pustka 6-39; Dexter Mayberry 6-24; Team 1-(-1). Falls City, Corey Stone 16-55; Cameron Wright 13-22; Trey Malone 2-9; Elliott Dziuk 1-2; Johnathon Herber 1-1. Passing - Shiner, Curtis 2-4-0 36. Falls City, Wright 9-19-0 132. Receiving - Shiner, Kyle Condel 1-20; Josh Nance 1-16. Falls City, Malone 2-52; Herber 3-45; Scott Kotara 1-29; Kyle Perna 1-14; Stone 1-(-4); Tyler Beam 1-(-4). SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 F Shiner 0 6 6 8 -- 20 Falls City 8 0 0 6 -- 14 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter FC - Cameron Wright 10 run (Scott Kotara pass from Wright), 5:37 Second Quarter S - Dexter Mayberry 1 run (run failed), 6:30 Third Quarter S - Trey Curtis 1 run (pass failed), 2:08 Fourth Quarter FC - Corey Stone 1 run (kick failed), 11:35 S - D.J. Pustka 2 run (pass failed), 7:14 S - Safety. Dylan Hagens tackled Wright in end zone, 3:40