ROUND ROCK - An extended halftime gave Shiner coaches and players extra time to plan how to jump start its offense against playoff rival Mason during Friday's Class 2A, Division 1 area playoff game.
Trailing 7-0, Shiner (10-2) was trying to regroup after only gaining 66 yards and 2 first downs in the first half. Lightning around Dragon Stadium in Round Rock caused a one hour and 17 minute delay between halves.
When play resumed, Mason dominated both sides of the ball, racking up a 44-20 victory.
"We fought hard during the first half. They are a lot bigger and stronger than us," Shiner coach Steven Cerny said. "One big play is the only thing they got in the first half. The long break, I can't say if it helped us or hurt us."
Shiner got the ball first to begin the second half. A false start penalty backed them up five yards, and then quarterback Blake Michalec was sacked for a loss of four. Shiner gained 15 of the needed 19 yards on the next two plays, but still had to punt on fourth down.
"We thought we had a good scheme to come out with," Cerny said. "We got a quick penalty and before you know it, we were punting against the wind. They seized it. Once they seized momentum, there was no stopping it."
Seth Hudson scored the second of his four touchdowns on the ensuing drive and Mason (11-0) was off to the races. The Punchers built a 28-0 lead before the teams traded scores in the fourth quarter.
Mason's win avenged playoff losses to Shiner the previous two season. In fact, it was the fifth straight season the teams have met in the playoffs. Mason has now won 3-of-5.
The Punchers size on the offensive and defensive lines were a concern for Shiner coaches coming into the game. Mason was able to run for 269 yards and prevented Shiner's running game from getting on track during the first three quarters.
"We had to play low," Cerny said. "No one else has dealt with their size either this year. We beat them twice the last two years, and we're about the only team that has done that. Tonight wasn't our night, but I'm proud of the effort our team gave."
The first half featured eight combined first downs and seven punts. Neither team had success sustaining its offense. There were only two plays that went for double-digit gains.
After a short punt, Shiner's second possession began on the Mason 49. After three runs gained nine yards, Cerny decided to go for it. Michalec kept the ball on a sneak and picked up just enough for the first down. On the next play. Michalec threw a deep pass that was picked off to halt the drive.
Mason quarterback Miguel Castillo temporarily gave his team a spark with a 83-yard run to start the second quarter. The play, however, was negated by a holding call on Mason.
The Punchers gradually won the field position battle in the second quarter, largely because of the wind. When Mason punted, it traveled 32 and 55 yards. Both Shiner punts were 22 yards against the wind.
Mason eventually took advantage on its final drive of the half. Starting at the Shiner 45, Castillo gained 13 yards on three runs. On a third and 11, Castillo hit Hudson for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 57 seconds left in the half.
This was the first loss for Shiner in the last five area playoff rounds. Despite the outcome, Cerny was pleased with his team's accomplishment this season, including finishing runner-up in the rugged District 15-2A.
"It was a great season" Cerny said. "We had eight guys going both ways. We had a small senior and junior class, but this was one of the hardest working bunches that I've had at Shiner."
GAME STATISTICS (from the Victoria Advocate Digital Edition)GAME SUMMARY: Class 2A, Division I, Second Round (Area) Playoff Mason 44, Shiner 20 Round Rock Dragon Stadium SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 -- Final Mason 0 7 14 23 -- 44 Shiner 0 0 0 20 -- 20 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter no score Second Quarter M: Seth Hudson 32 pass from Miguel Castillo (Go Chanriang kick) 00:57 Third Quarter M: Hudson 3 run (Chanriang kick) 5:51 M: Castillo 30 run (Chanriang kick) 3:39 Fourth Quarter M: Luis Castillo 42 run (Chanriang kick) 11:12 S: Tyler Patek 47 run (pass failed) 10:40 M: Hudson 10 run (Chanriang kick) 7:21 S: Patek 26 (Garrett Bibb intercepted pass and returned for conversion) 6:43 M: Hudson 45 run (Chanriang kick) 6:32 S: Justin Stovall 10 pass from Blake Michalec (Murrile pass from Michalec) TEAM STATISTICS: Mason Shiner First Downs 15 13 Yards Rushing 44-269 21-161 Yards Passing 42 106 Passes 8-2-1-0 18-10-1-1 Punts 34.5 22.7 Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1 Penalties-yards 3-25 6-40 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Mason: Luis Castillo 7-70, Miguel Castillo 18-79, Seth Hudson 19-120. Shiner: Blake Michalec 12-28, Chad Neubauer 9-10, Dadrian Taylor 2-15, Justin Stovall 1-4, Tyler Patek 8-104. Passing Mason: Miguel Castillo 8-2-104-0 Shiner: Blake Michalec 18-10-106-1 Receiving Mason: Luis Castillo 1-10, Seth Hudson 1-32. Shiner: Chad Neubauer 1-16, Dadrian Taylor 3-32, Justin Stovall 6-68.