Shiner coach Steven Cerny has been too worried about what Chilton has to be grateful for what it lost.
Shiner running back Chris Baer (10) rushed for 246 yards and two touchdowns in last year's 47-39 Class 1A state semifinal playoff win over Chilton. Kerri Besio, Advocate Photographer
No. 1 Shiner (12-0) and No. 3 Chilton (11-1) collide for a second straight season when they meet in a Class 1A regional playoff game today at 7 p.m. at Dragon Stadium in Round Rock.
The game is a rematch of Shiner’s 47-39 win in last year’s semifinal contest played at the Round Rock ISD Stadium.
The Comanches won despite an outstanding performance by Chilton quarterback Jamar Green, who rushed for 229 yards and four touchdowns, returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Corey Potts.
While Green no longer plays for the Pirates, they do have Potts, running back Travis Landrum and quarterback Justin McCormick back from last season.
"They don’t have Jamar Green, but they return just about everybody else," Cerny said. "They have some exceptional athletes and they’ve still got speed. I’m sure they remember what happened in last year’s game. They want to get to the state game as bad as everybody else."
The Comanches were able to overcome Green’s performance due in a large part to the running of Chris Baer, who rushed for 246 yards and two touchdowns.
Baer has rushed for 1,533 yards and 32 touchdowns, while scoring an area-leading 196 points this season.
But Shiner has not relied solely on Baer. Quarterback Trey Curtis has added 617 yards and five rushing touchdowns and while he hasn’t thrown a lot, he has passed for nine touchdowns.
"I’m going to call to what I see is open," Cerny said. "But Trey has really thrown the ball well. He’s given us some big plays when we’ve needed them."
Chilton, which is coached by Lucky Gamble, is also a big-play team and runs the veer like Shiner. But the Pirates are not carbon copies of the Comanches.
"They do run the veer, but they don’t read it," Cerny said. "They’re not as diehard as we are. They’ll do stuff like lineup in a double tight end shotgun. We’re going to have to play assignment football and we’ve got to attack. It will be important for us to control the line of scrimmage."
Chilton’s only loss this season was a 31-14 setback to Class 2A Italy. The Pirates captured a 28-13 bi-district win over Bartlett and claimed a 28-10 area win over Harper.
Shiner rolled to a 44-0 bi-district win over Benavides and took a 37-7 area win over Charlotte.
Shiner’s strength in the postseason has been the same as it was during the regular season -- the play of its defense. The Comanches have yielded a total of 74 points and have recorded six shutouts.
Shiner limited Charlotte to 17 yards rushing and 141 total yards, and defensive back Kevin Berger had two interceptions.
"We have been consistent and steady on defense all season," Cerny said.
"The defense has been giving the offense good field position. That’s the whole key to us winning a championship. We need our defense to keep setting up our offense."
The Shiner-Chilton winner will play the winner of Friday afternoon’s Axtell-Brackett game in the quarterfinals [Note: Brackett won 28-6].
The Shiner-Chilton game will be broadcast on KYKM, 92.5 FM.