HALLETTSVILLE – Shiner running back Donyai Taylor sported a huge smile after his team opened the season with a 55-20 win over Hallettsville on Friday night at Brahma Memorial Stadium.

Considering Taylor had just scored three touchdown runs and completed a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown, it was simple to understand his excitement.

“It was ... mixed emotions,” Taylor said. “It was my last season opener, so it was emotional. I just had to come out and play some football.”

Taylor scored on runs of 14, 10 and 11 as part of the team’s eight scoring plays.

The Shiner senior finished with 156 yards on the ground.

“I felt good,” Taylor said. “It was a big game for us since our second-to-last scrimmage was canceled. We all questioned how we’d get through this game, but I’m glad we were able to get it done.”

Freshman Dalton Brooks scored on a 61-yard run for his first touchdown in a Shiner uniform.

Brooks, whose brother is sophomore running back Doug Brooks, finished with 70 yards rushing.

“When I got into the end zone, it was the best feeling ever,” Dalton Brooks said. “It was a good experience. We still have a lot to learn as a team, but I see us doing great things.”

Quarterback Tyler Palmer added two scores on runs of 3 and 2 yards to help give Shiner first-year coach Daniel Boedeker a win in his debut.

“I’m just proud of the kids,” Boedeker said. “There are some things we need to clean up, but it’s things we can fix. Overall, we were able to overcome them, and that was huge. The most important play is the next play, and I thought we did a good job. Overall, our effort was good, and we played fast.”

The Brahmas’ scoring drives came on three touchdown runs by running back Jonathon Brooks.

Jonathon Brooks finished with over 100 yards on the ground, while Hallettsville quarterback Lane Linhart passed for 184 yards.

“It’s still a learning process,” Brooks said. “We have to learn from our mistakes, watch film and get stronger. We can’t hang our heads; we have to keep playing.”

Shiner scored first on Palmer’s 2-yard touchdown run. Jonathon Brooks answered for the Brahmas with a 70-yard score before Zane Rhodes followed with a 57-yard touchdown. Taylor scored his first touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run, and Jonathon Brooks’ second touchdown came a minute later. Palmer ended the first quarter with a 3-yard score to give Shiner 28 first-quarter points.

“We have to take the positive things we did and build on that,” said Hallettsville head coach Tommy Psencik. “We didn’t tackle their big backs, but that’s not an excuse. In football, you have to find ways to tackle those backs. They’re gifted, and they did a good job. They beat us, and they did what Shiner does.”

Shiner running backs Dalton Brooks, Doug Brooks, Trevor Haynes, Rhodes and Taylor combined for 402 rushing yards.

“Our backfield has a lot of experience coming back from last year,” Boedeker said. “They’re great athletes, and they’re a pleasure to work with every day.”

Shiner went on to score seven points in the second quarter to take a 35-12 lead.

The Comanches’ defense held the Brahmas to eight points in the second half.

“I just want us to have our best season,” Taylor said. “We have to take it one week at a time.”

The Brahmas continue non-district play next Friday against Boling, while the Comanches return home to play Industrial, a 47-20 winner over Mathis.

“We’re going to look at film and try to correct the mistakes we made,” Boedeker said. “Our pre-district schedule is tough, and it brings out the weakness we have to make us a better football team.”

Psencik knows the Brahmas are young but believes his team has what it takes to get the job done against the Bulldogs.

“They’re going to be a good ball club,” Psencik said. “We have to work on playing our game and being more consistent.”

Rey Castillo is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at rcastillo@vicad.com, 361-574-1240 or on Twitter @reycastillo361.

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