TOMBALL - Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker knew a second consecutive trip to the Class 2A, Division I state final was in the hands of his defense.
Dalton Brooks runs away from a defender in Shiner's Class 2A, Division I semifinal game against Timpson at Tomball ISD Stadium on Thursday, December 9, 2021. all photos by Howard Esse, special to the Advocate
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Boedeker didn't hesitate to put the burden squarely on the shoulders of his defenders after Timpson recovered a fumble by Doug Brooks at its 23-yard line with 2:45 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"I told them we have to step up," Boedeker said. "It's one of the things if something happens to the offense, the defense has to step up. The defense has to take care of it and that's the message we relayed to them and they responded."
Dalton Brooks intercepted a pass with 58 seconds left to secure the Comanches' 35-28 semifinal win over Timpson on Thursday night at the Tomball ISD Stadium.
Shiner improved to 15-0 and moved into the championship game against Hawley, a 19-12 winner over Marlin on Thursday night.
The Comanches will go for their fourth state title at 7 p.m. Wednesday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
"Coach tells us when you get to those moments, you've got to do it and you've to be ready," Dalton Brooks said. "You've got to want to win and you've got to come out with the win."
Shiner won by grounding out 410 yards on the ground and getting some key completions from quarterback Drew Wenske.
Wenske was 4-of-4 for 55 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Bishop to complete a 15-play, 79-yard drive on Shiner's first possession.
"It's always mixed in our game plan," Wenske said. "It was great right at the beginning of the game. We were getting a little slow, but came back with that passing touchdown."
The Comanches ran 60 plays to 45 for Timpson (12-1) and racked up 22 of their 26 first downs via the run.
Dalton Brooks carried 34 times for 243 yards and one touchdown, and Doug Brooks added 18 attempts for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
"I realized I wasn't going to have that many big runs after the first quarter," said Dalton Brooks, who had nine runs over 10 yards. "I knew it wasn't going to be like last week when I had those long touchdown runs. I broke a few and I had a few opportunities and I missed them, but we came out with the win."
Shiner's Doug Brooks runs through a hole created by Shiner's offensive line during Thursday's state semifinal game in Tomball, Texas.
The Comanches took a 21-7 lead into halftime, thanks to an interception by Jace Moeller in the end zone with 1:08 remaining in the second quarter.
But Timpson made sure there would be no repeat of its 49-7 semifinal loss to Shiner last season.
Timpson quarterback Terry Bussey ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, passed for 129 yards and a touchdown, and returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
"Just seeing them on film this year compared to last year with a lot of those guys back, moving No. 10 to quarterback gave them a totally different dimension in their offense and very explosive there to go along with their running back," Boedeker said. "We knew we were going to have our hands full."
Doug Brooks ran for touchdowns of 7, 32 and 1 yards, and the Comanches seemed to be on the verge of putting the game out of reach when he fumbled after picking up first-down yardage.
Bussey connected with Vosky Howard, who had eight catches for 118 yards and a touchdown, to move the ball to midfield.
But two plays later under heavy pressure, Bussey scrambled to his left and attempted to throw back across the middle where Dalton Brooks was waiting.
"You know the film," Dalton Brooks said. "Film is what did it. At the end, we knew when he rolls out he throws it back over the middle so we set up that way and the play happened."
The Comanches persevered in the first game this season where they hadn't won by at least two touchdowns.
"When you do it the round before state, you can't help but feel love for the team," Bishop said. "To come through the adversity that we didn't get all season and to face it in the game before state, it's just congratulations to the team itself."
Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com Howard Esse is a guest photographer for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-772-6020 or Howard Esse @ LinkedIn.
GAME STATISTICSsource: Victoria Advocate Game Statistics, December 10, 2021 Shiner 35, Timpson 28 2A-DI State Semifinal Playoff Game Thursday, December 9, 2021, 7:00 p.m. Tomball ISD Stadium, Tomball SCORING SUMMARY 1 2 3 4 F Shiner 7 14 7 7 -- 35 Timpson 7 0 7 14 -- 28 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter S - Tyler Bishop 10 pass from Drew Wenske (Ryan Peterson kick), 4:36 T - Vosky Howard 14 pass from Terry Bussey (Geovanni Bryant kick), 1:25 Second Quarter S - Doug Brooks 7 run (Peterson kick), 8:31 S - Doug Brooks 32 run (Peterson kick), 5:53 Third Quarter S - Dalton Brooks 2 run (Peterson kick), 6:20 T - Terry Bussey 99 kickoff return (Bryant kick), 6:02 Fourth Quarter T - Braden Courtney 1 run (Bryant kick), 9:08 S - Doug Brooks 1 run (Peterson kick), 6:58 T - Bussey 40 run (Bryant kick), 6:32 TEAM STATISTICS: Shiner Timpson First downs 26 16 Yards rushing 56-410 30-170 Yards passing 55 129 Passes 4-4-1-0 10-15-1-2 Punts -- 23 Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0 Penalty-yards 3-15 2-15 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing Shiner: Dalton Brooks 34-243 TD, Doug Brooks 18-123 3 TDs, Drew Wenske 3-46, Team 1-(-2). Timpson: Terry Bussey 12-105 TD, Braden Courtney 18-65 TD. Passing Shiner: Wenske 4-4-0 55 TD. Timpson: Bussey 10-15-2 129 TD. Receiving Shiner: Tyler Bishop 3-35 TD, Eli Fric 1-20. Timpson: Vosky Howard 8-118 TD, Amare Bruton 2-11.