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Turnovers doom Shiner in loss to Punchers

By aalvarado
Dec. 3, 2011 at 6:03 a.m.


CLASS 1A, DIVISION I QUARTERFINALS :: MASON 55, SHINER 7

GEORGETOWN - As the playoffs go and the number of teams dwindle, mistakes that a team got away with one week haunt them the next.

That was the case for the Shiner Comanches on Friday. The Mason Punchers scored 42 points on nine Shiner turnovers to eliminate the Comanches from the Class 1A, Div. I playoffs 55-7 at Birkelbach Field.

"We got off to such a bad start tonight," said Shiner head coach Steven Cerny. "Fumbles, penalties, we dug ourselves in such a hole right away and I think that just sunk all of our momentum."

It was the second consecutive season Mason eliminated Shiner from the playoffs. The loss snapped Shiner's six-game win streak.

The Comanches finish the season with a 8-6 record while Mason improves to 13-0 and will play either Lovelady or Garrison in the Regional Finals.

In last week's 42-14 regional round win over Winters, Shiner lost three fumbles, but the Blizzards scored only 14 points off those turnovers.

This week, Mason took advantage.

"Our fumbles were ridiculous today, that was the reason we lost," said junior running back and defensive end Caleb Curtis.

Curtis paced the Comanche offense with 61 yards rushing on 10 carries. Quarterback Jacob Stafford finished the game going 4-for-11 passing for 41 yards.

Evel Jones accounted for Shiner's only score of the night on a three-yard run midway through the second quarter.

The loss was the final game for Jones, Marlon Wallace and eight other seniors on the Comanche roster.

"I loved playing with those seniors," Curtis said. "We've got to come out next year and play like we did this year, but play better."

In a 28-21 win over Shiner in the regional round last season, Puncher running back David Mora ran for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns.

On Friday, it took the Mason offense awhile to get going with some help from the Shiner offense.

After forcing a three and out to begin the game Shiner took over from their own 34, but Stafford fumbled on the second Comanche play of the game.

Mason took over on the Shiner 38 and quarterback Austin Trip capped a seven-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown run in the first five minutes of the game.

The second drive had the same result for the Comanches as another fumble on the second play of that drive gave the Punchers the ball on the Shiner 35.

Trip had a key 28 yard completion to Kramer Watson to extend the drive and three plays later, Mora scored his first touchdown with a three-yard run as the Punchers built a 14-0 lead in just over three minutes of game time.

After two fumbles, the Comanches took to the air, but Shiner experienced the same result. Elliot Bibb intercepted Stafford and returned it 16 yards to the Shiner four-yard line.

Two plays later Mora scored a second three-yard touchdown to put Mason up 21-0.

The Comanche offense got things going on the only drive of the first half where they didn't turn the ball over.

Junior wide receiver Trevion Flowers picked up 36 yards on an end around to help set up at the three-yard Evel Jones touchdown run that cut the Mason lead to 28-7 midway through the second quarter.

It looked like the Comanches would build, but Mason answered with a 10 play, 54 yard drive that was capped by a Rio Schmidt 30-yard field goal.

The Comanches got the ball back on their own 24 with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first half another fumble helped set up Scmidt's second field goal in 31 seconds.

Schmidt's 32-yard field goal delivered the knock-out blow for the Punchers. Mason took a 34-7 lead into the locker room for halftime and the Comanches went three-and-out on the first drive of the second half.

Mason added three more rushing touchdowns in the second half. Mora paced the Mason offense with 119 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries.

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