The Windthorst side of Waco ISD Stadium let out a collective sigh of disbelief. The dream of a second state title was fading away. With 32 seconds left to play, Shiner quarterback Garet Putska scored on a 3-yard touchdown to cut a 28-21 Windthorst lead to 28-27.
Kevin Hoff leaves Shiner's Quentin Wright on his knees enroute to a long run during the Class A state championship in Waco. Photo by Jason Palmer, Times Record News
Now, all the Comanches had to do was kick a routine extra point to send the contest into overtime, where the Trojans would have to dig down deep to pull out this thriller.
But as Ryan Kloesel’s extra-point kick went up in the air, Windthorst coach Bill Green knew his Trojans had a chance. "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," Green said. "We’re gonna win it."
Kloesel’s fourth-quarter extra-point attempt sailed wide left on Saturday in the Class A state championship, as Windthorst completed a dream season with a 28-27 victory over the Shiner Comanches.
Saturday’s win granted the Trojans their second state title since 1996.
"The only way we lost a game this year was on a bad extra point," coach Green said. "That’s the way it goes sometimes."
Windthorst quarterback Chad Green passed for 262 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while rushing for two more to lead the Trojans to victory. Defensively, he finished with 13 tackles.
"I was thinking he might get 300 (yards passing)," coach Green said. "We went into the game thinking we could throw the ball, because they weren’t prepared for it.
"Our best players are guys who can catch, and we have a guy that can throw it. So that’s what we decided to do."
Chad Green passed for two touchdowns and completed 7-of-10 passes for 201 yards in the first half alone. He dumped a pass in the flat to Kevin Hoff for Windthorst's first touchdown. Hoff zig-zagged through the Shiner defense on the way to the 66-yard score.
"This was probably the best I’ve ever thrown the ball," Chad Green said. "I was putting it on the money and the receivers were catching the ball and going with it. It was a really great experience."
Brad Green set up Hoff’s score when he recovered a Garet Pustka fumble with 4:47 left in the opening quarter. Green set up touchdown when he caught a 40-yard pass to give Windthorst the ball at the Shiner 1.
Chad Green scored from there on a quarterback sneak in the fourth quarter. "I didn’t tell him anything before the game," injured Trojans running back Kyle Green said of his twin brother Chad Green. "I knew he would do just fine tonight."
Pustka finished with 127 yards rushing and three of Shiner's touchdowns, while Quentin Wright added 102 yards rushing.
The Comanches took a 14-7 lead with 7:28 left in the half by driving 80 yards in 11 plays. Chris Baer capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown. Twenty-four yards of Shiner's scoring drive came on a pair of Pustka quarterback sneaks.
Chad Green countered Pustka’s heroics with a 1-yard sneak of his own with 5:23 remaining in the half. He hit Ross Wolf for a 50-yard gain in that drive. Wolf hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass to put Windthorst ahead 21-14, after Carlos Botello kicked the PAT.
"This is awesome," Wolf said. "Nobody can take this away from us." Wolf caught four passes for 120 yards to lead Windthorst's receivers, and he intercepted a Pustka pass in the second quarter. Brad Green and Hoff led the Trojans rushing attack with 45 yards apiece.
"Chad was putting it right there and all I had to do was catch it," Wolf said. "This is the greatest feeling in the world. We’re the 2003 state champs."
Staff sportswriter Michael Wright may be reached by calling (940) 763-7571 or (800) 627-1646, Ext. 571. His e-mail address is wrightm(at)timesrecordnews.com