High School Football Preview
Shiner v. Mart State Semifinal

Friday, December 13, 2013
Jason Orts, Waco Tribune-Herald Sports

Waco Tribune-Herald Article   |   Shiner Comanche Football

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Mart (10-3) vs. Shiner (10-3)
7:30 p.m. Round Rock's Reeves Complex

Last week: Mart defeated Bosqueville, 58-26; Shiner defeated Thorndale, 14-10

Players to watch: Mart QB De'Nerian Thomas (57-105-5, 1,122 yards, 13 TDs passing; 223-1,750, 33 TDs rushing; 7-223, 4 TDs receiving), RB D'Marcus Cosby (145-1,540, 17 TDs); Shiner RB/LB Jacob Stafford

Key matchup: Mart speed vs. Shiner power

Breakdown: When these two teams met last year in the same round at the same place, it was a close game for a half before Mart pulled away for a 42-7 win.

The Panthers struggled to sustain drives for much of the night, but they hit some huge plays that went the distance and allowed them to separate. The plan will be much the same in this one, as they have the edge in speed.

Shiner has a solid defense, but any crack it allows could be disastrous against Mart.

"It just comes down to execution," Mart coach Rusty Nail said. "We've got the same things schemed up, but we have to get them blocked. Offensively, they're going to try and limit our chances. Can we get loose?"

The Comanches are led by Stafford on both sides of the ball. He's particularly stout on defense, as Nail said he's the best middle linebacker he saw in 1A last year.

Offensively, Shiner will use its split-back offense that includes some veer, power toss, base, follow, a lot of misdirection, reverses, screens and double passes, Nail said. Basically, the Comanches will do all they can to try and overpower the Panthers and keep them off balance enough to keep their speed from taking over the game.

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