Shiner's Tyler Bishop drops Schulenburg's Tyler Ryba in the backfield during their Class 2A, Division 1 regional semi-finals game at Hallettsville's Brahma Memorial Stadium on Friday, November 27, 2021. all photos by Andy Tomek, special to the Victoria Advocate
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SHINER - Shiner rushed for 583 yards in its 55-14 Class 2A, Division I regional final win over Refugio.
But the Shiner defense was just as impressive, limiting a team that had not scored less than 54 points in any game this season to 212 total yards.
"It all starts in the film room," said senior linebacker Tyler Bishop. "You watch, analyze and make sure you know the tendencies and like Coach says, if you can expect what's to come, you can do a lot better to defend against it."
The Comanches (14-0) did an exceptional job defending against the pass. They did not allow Jordan Kelley, Refugio's top receiver, a single catch, and limited Antwaan Gross to two receptions for 10 yards.
Bishop's interception and 12-yard return to the Refugio 12-yard line helped set up Shiner's first touchdown. The Comanches also sacked the quarterback five times.
"We knew that we were going to have to get pressure on the quarterback," said Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker. "With their offensive line, they do a pretty good job and we knew we were going to have to send more at times and take some chances with coverage. We got lucky on some things and the kids made some really big plays and that was a big difference in the ballgame."
Dalton Brooks and Drew Wenske were responsible for covering Kelley and Gross, respectively, and they often had safety help, especially on Kelley.
"We all work together," said Wenske, who leads the Comanches with six interceptions. "Our scout team guys give us good looks and run good routes. They give us a good look all the time. We also got good pressure on the quarterback and that helped tremendously in the secondary."
Shiner gave up only one completion of more than nine yards against Refugio, and three runs of more than nine yards.
"We take a little bit to adjust to the offense in front of us," Bishop said. "We learn what they're doing and adjust to it and get in the best position to stop it."
The Comanches will face another challenge in the semifinal game against Timpson (12-0), scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Tomball ISD Stadium.
Timpson quarterback Terry Bussey has tremendous speed and has shown the ability to run and pass.
"He's definitely one of the best dual-threat guys we've seen all year," Boedeker said. "A lot of speed. We have to make sure we take really good angles and we're where we're supposed to be to avoid any cutbacks and try to get him going sideways as much as possible."
Shiner lost some key players on defense from last season's state championship team. But this year's defense has yielded an average of 7.7 points per game.
"They've gotten better every week," Boedeker said. "We knew we could put some guys in spots to be able to make plays for us. We weren't going to be as fast as we were overall speed wise. We've gotten better at playing fast. That's the key is they're trusting the reads and knowing where they fit and that's what this defense is doing a really good job of is knowing their responsibilities."
The Comanches hope to use the same formula to put them another step closer to their goal.
"There's still a lot of work to be done," Boedeker said. "You're getting towards the end of the season so we've got to make sure we take care of our bodies. We're putting a lot of time into these games because obviously the opponent is going to be very good. You just have to find a way to win."
For ticket information go to Tomball ISD ... Shiner will be the visiting team.
The winner will advance to the state championship game against the winner of Thursday's Hawley-Marlin game in Weatherford.
The Class 2A, Division 1 State Championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Class 2A, Division 1 State Semifinal
Shiner Comanches vs. Timpson Bears
When: Thursday, December 9, 2021 @ 7:00pm
Where: Tomball ISD Stadium
Radio: KYKM, 94.3 FM & KTXM, 99.9 FM
Internet Audio: txthunderradio.com
Internet Video: NFHS
Shiner's Makylin Burchell brings down a Schulenburg ball carrier.
Shiner's Angel San Martin tackles Schulenburg's Tyler Ryba.
Shiner's A.J. Patek and teammates bring down a Schulenburg ball carrier.
Shiner's Haven Stafford (79) and Tyler Bishop (12) zero in on Schulenburg quarterback Tyler Ryba.
|Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com|
Andy Tomek is a student photographer at the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him on Twitter at @Andrew.Tomek.