SHINER – Shiner worked hard on special teams leading up to last week’s game at Goliad.
Shiner's Donyai Taylor tries to throw while being pressured by Goliad's Hayden Reitz during Shiner's 21-20 victory on Friday ( September 28, 2018 ) at Tiger Stadium in Goliad. photo by Kayla Renie, Victoria Advocate photojournalist
[ click photo to enlarge ]
Donyai Taylor made it pay off when he blocked an extra point that proved to be the difference in the Comanches’ 21-20 win.
“We had practiced that,” Taylor said. “Collin Bujnoch, he like rushed the inside gap, and I went around the outside and got to it.”
The extra point block was not the only play Taylor made to help Shiner, which was ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A state poll, defeat Goliad, which was ranked No. 2 in the Class 3A state poll.
Taylor rushed 14 times for 187 yards and two touchdowns, had a 64-yard touchdown reception, had eight tackles, including seven solo tackles, and recovered a fumble when Goliad was on the Shiner 2-yard line and returned it 32 yards.
Taylor’s performance led to his selection as the Built Ford Tough Class 2A Texas High School Football Player of the Week.
“We knew we were playing a very good team,” Taylor said. “We just wanted to stop being the underdogs in games like that. We came to practice and practiced really hard.”
The first person Taylor called when he learned he had won the award was his older brother, Dadrian, who played at Shiner and now plays for UTSA.
“It means a lot to me,” Donyai Taylor said. “My brother and I used to work for moments like these. He just told me to stay humble and just keep doing me and just keep buying into the team.”
Shiner coach Steven Cerny has been impressed by Taylor’s improvement this season.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior broke his ankle as a freshman, but started at safety last season.
“He’s been a big factor on both sides of the ball this season,” Cerny said. “He’s always been a hitter. Last year, we had him at strong safety, and he came in as a backup in the backfield. I told him this year we needed him both sides so he’s got himself into shape.”
Taylor has rushed for 529 yards this season and is averaging 11 yards per carry while scoring eight touchdowns.
He’s recovered three fumbles and returned two for touchdowns.
“He’s very talented,” Cerny said. “He runs a 4.48 (seconds 40-yard dash) and he doesn’t look like he’s that fast, but he’s moving. He’s a difference-maker when he gets the ball.”
Taylor becomes the first Shiner player to win the Ford Tough award.
“To do it against Goliad is quite an honor,” Cerny said. “It’s not just to Donyai, but it goes to his teammates as well. I think we’re all going to feel that.”
Taylor has already turned his attention to Friday’s game at Lexington, which is ranked No. 10 in Class 3A.
“That’s really what we wanted this year,” he said. “We wanted to have a tough schedule because it motivates us to do the best we can.”
Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kayla Renie is a photojournalist with the Victoria Advocate.
Contact her at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com
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