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Shiner gets its revenge; advances to state title game (w/gallery, video)

By MIKE FORMAN
Dec. 13, 2013 at 6:13 a.m.
Updated Dec. 14, 2013 at 6:14 a.m.

Shiner quarterback Jacob Stafford, right, finds an opening in the line during the semi-final playoff game.

READ MORE: Shiner's o-line leads the way

ROUND ROCK - Steven Cerny wrote the keys to his team's Class 1A, Division I semifinal game on the board in the Shiner field house.

The Comanches obviously took their coach's message to heart.

"We have our list of goals," said Shiner senior quarterback and linebacker Jacob Stafford. "We wanted no penalties and no negative yardage. We pretty much did what we wanted. It's just downhill running and that's how we've got to do it against these guys."

Shiner ran its veer offense to near perfection and came away with a 49-22 win over Mart on a foggy Friday night at the Reeves Athletic Complex.

The Comanches (11-3) not only avenged last season's 42-7 semifinal loss to the Panthers (10-4), but advanced to the state final for the first time since 2004.

Shiner will play for its third state championship against the winner of Saturday's Hico-Stamford game Thursday at 10 a.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

"We got down early again," Cerny said. "They looked so much faster than us, but our offense answered every time tonight. Our offensive line did a heck of a job and the backs ran hard."

The Comanches rushed for 453 yards - an average of over 6.6 yards per carry - and kept the potent Mart offense off the field. Shiner had a time of possession edge of 35:27 to 12:33, and ran 70 plays to the Panthers' 43.

"We knew they were small inside and they really haven't played anybody that went straight at them," Cerny said. "Everybody was spread, spread, spread. We had a good practice run at it last week with Thorndale and we just took the same game plan in this week as last week and it really worked well."

Shiner had three backs with over 120 yards rushing, led by Stafford with 203 yards on 30 carries. He had touchdown runs of 1, 38, 2, 1 and 1 yards.

Stafford also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Patek for the Comanches' first score.

"We crammed it right down their throat and it was the same thing we did to Thorndale," Stafford said. "It's nothing new to us and it's our game plan the past couple of weeks and it's been working for us."

Marcus Coleman had 127 yards on 20 carries, including a 37-yard touchdown run, and Chad Neubauer added 18 carries for 123 yards.

Shiner had only one of its 70 plays result in negative yardage, and was penalized just five times for 24 yards, a majority for kickoffs going out of bounds.

"We put it on the board," Cerny said. "That was our offensive goal was no negative plays. When you can execute on the game to go to state, it's all about the kids."

Mart quarterback De'Narian Thomas rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns. But after scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions, the Panthers didn't score again until the fourth quarter.

Shiner stopped Thomas on a fourth-and-one, Neubauer recovered a fumble in the Shiner end zone, and Patek intercepted a pass at the Shiner 3-yard line.

"Instead of being aggressive we had to slow play things and string it out," Cerny said. "You attack them, they find a seam and they hurt you. We made an adjustment to just try and play technique and staying on the line of scrimmage and it helped out a lot."

Shiner never punted and converted three times on fourth down to punch its ticket to Arlington.

"I've been dreaming about it since I was kid," Stafford said. "I don't know much more than to say thank you to my teammates, the fans and everybody else."

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