The good news for Shiner is it doesn't have to play Burkeville. The bad news for the Comanches is they will have to play the team that beat Burkeville.
Shiner (11-1) will meet Thorndale (10-1) in a Class 1A regional playoff game today at 7:30 p.m. at Rebel Field on the campus of Hays Consolidated in Buda.
The winner will meet the winner of Saturday's Flatonia-West Sabine game in the quarterfinal round.
Burkeville knocked Shiner out of the playoffs the last two seasons, and went on to win the state championship last season.
But any relief the Comanches may have felt was erased when the Bulldogs ran away with a 55-33 area playoff win over Burkeville.
"I think we were ready either way," said Shiner coach Steve Cerny. "When a team beats you, you always want to get back at them. But we know Thorndale is a good team."
Thorndale dropped from Class 2A to 1A in this year's realignment. The change has been as beneficial for the Bulldogs as it has for Shiner, which dropped from 2A to 1A in the 2000 realignment.
"They were a small 2A and now they're a big 1A," Cerny said. "They were stuck in the mode we were in. It's tough competing as a 2A school with the numbers we have."
Neither Thorndale nor Shiner has had trouble competing in Class 1A. Shiner is averaging over 378 yards and 33 points per game. Thorndale is averaging 412 yards and almost 42 points per game.
"They're a lot like us," Cerny said. "They have good size and good speed. They run some shotgun and rely a lot on the quarterback (Aubrey White) and the running back (Coy Schneider). They throw quite a bit, but their big plays usually come from the run." The 6-foot-2, 180-pound White has passed for 1,021 yards and 15 touchdowns, but has also thrown 12 interceptions. He has rushed for 1,255 yards and 23 touchdowns, including four against Burkeville. Schneider has rushed for 1,274 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Shiner played one of its best games in its 48-13 area playoff win over Woodsboro, rolling up 427 yards of offense.
"We didn't have any turnovers," Cerny said. "It seemed like every time we ran a play, we executed it well."
Cerny is hoping for a repeat of last week against Thorndale, rather than a rerun of the last two years.
"You have your ups and downs during the year," Cerny said. "But our players know this is the game that has gotten us in the past. We've always met a good team in this round. We've got to be at our best for this one."