SHINER - Shiner offensive lineman A.J. Patek has a number of memories from the Comanches' 24-13 Class 2A, Division I regional final win over Refugio last season.
Shiner's Doug Brooks breaks an attempted arm tackle by Schulenburg's NuNu Anthony during a Class 2A, Division I regional semi-finals game at Hallettsville's Brahma Memorial Stadium ( on Friday November 26, 2021 ). photos by Andy Tomek, special to the Victoria Advocate
[ click on any photo to enlarge ]
But what stands out to Patek was Shiner's game-opening drive, in which it went 81 yards in 16 plays that took 7 minutes and 29 seconds off the clock and resulted in a 3-yard touchdown run by Zane Rhodes.
"You have to try and keep their offense off the field as much as possible," said Patek, a senior. "Last year, we had the 7-minute opening drive and that really helped us out in the long run."
The win over Refugio propelled the Comanches to their first state championship since 2004.
Shiner (13-0) hopes to repeat the formula when it takes on Refugio (13-0) in the regional final at 7 p.m. Thursday at Victoria's Memorial Stadium.
"Our freshman and sophomore year we got taken down by Refugio," said senior running back/defensive lineman Doug Brooks. "To get over that and win was great. It's a whole new year, a whole new season and a whole new team."
Brooks, who has offers from Houston, UTSA, Army and Colorado State, looks forward to playing Refugio, which won the state championship after defeating Shiner in 2019.
"It's the atmosphere of the game," he said. "Every play is a big play and whoever makes the most big plays usually wins. I like the atmosphere of the game."
Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker admits last year's win over Refugio was a confidence booster for his team, which had never defeated the Bobcats in the playoffs.
Shiner's A.J. Patek and teammates bring down a Schulenburg ball carrier during a Class 2A, Division I regional semi-finals game at Hallettsville's Brahma Memorial Stadium ( on Friday November 26, 2021 ).
"That was a big step for us," Boedeker said. "Our kids played really well. They knew what it was going to take to go into that ballgame and give ourselves a chance. That's kind of carried over to this year. We know what to expect from them. They're very talented and we're going to have to play well."
Shiner had to replace 24 seniors from its state championship team, including the entire offensive line except for Patek.
But the Comanches have rarely missed a beat. Shiner has trailed in only one game this season - against San Antonio Davenport - and has outscored its opponents by a combined 627-94.
"We've taken very big steps throughout the year," Patek said. "Looking back at the Schulenburg game, that was one of the most physical games we've played all year."
"We started off a little slow," Brooks added, "but once we got going we have not turned back."
This year's regional final takes on even more meaning for Brooks and Patek, who know their high school careers will be coming to an end.
"Every game, especially in the playoffs, because you never know when it could be your last," Patek said. "You want the last game to be in the state championship."
NOTES: Shiner will be the visiting team...all ticket sales will be online...The winner will advance to the semifinals against the winner of Friday's Timpson-Centerville game.
Class 2A, Division I Region 4 Final
Shiner Comanches vs. Refugio Bobcats
When: Thursday, December 2, 2021 @ 7:00pm
Where: Victoria Memorial Stadium
Radio: KYKM, 94.3 FM & KTXM, 99.9 FM
Internet: txthunderradio.com & refugiosports.net
Twitter: @mikeforman21 & @PLScamardo2
|Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
Andy Tomek is a student photographer at the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him on Twitter at @Andrew.Tomek.