Indians clinch playoff spot (VIDEO)
Nov. 2, 2013 at 6:02 a.m.
SHINER - The Ganado Indians controlled the ball in the second half, overcoming a 7-6 halftime deficit to beat Shiner 20-7 and clinch the top playoff seed in District 15-1A, Division 1.
After a Shiner three and out to open the third quarter, Ganado went on a 14-play scoring drive that took almost six minutes off the game clock.
Billy Jones took the ball the final three yards for the score with 3;54 left in the quarter. Clay Vesely ran in the two-point conversion and Ganado led 14-7.
On its next possession, Shiner fumbled the ball back to Ganado, and the Indians were in business again at the Comanche 43 yard line.
Six plays later, Jones found the end zone again, this time from a yard out. The extra point kick was partially blocked and no good.
Shiner only ran five offensive plays in the third quarter and did not get a second half first down until about the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
"We made some adjustments at halftime," said Ganado head coach Jimmy Thompson. "We called some different plays, and the kids did a great job executing. And defensively, we did a great job especially in the second half."
The kicking game played a pivotal role in the first half.
Shiner blocked a point-after attempt following Ganado's touchdown, and short Indians' punts kept giving the Comanches good field position inside Ganado territory.
Ganado got the ball first and went 75 yards in five plays, the last 55 by quarterback Ray Salazar. The signal caller faked a handoff to Vesely and burst up the middle to pay dirt. On the point-after attempt, the middle of the Shiner defense batted down Thomas Parks' kick, and Ganado led 6-0 with 10:09 remaining in the first half.
After exchanging punts, the Comanches went on a 10-play drive to the Indians' 4 yard line, but Chad Neubauer was stuffed on fourth down and the drive stalled.
Another punt gave Shiner the ball at the Ganado 49, but seven plays later from the Indians 20, Neubauer lost a fumble, and Shiner was denied again.
Shiner head coach Steven Cerny knew his team had its chances.
"We had two good drives deep into their territory. But you've got to give them credit," Cerny said. "They made the plays when they needed them.
"I think that's where the game was really decided. We had an opportunity and didn't seize it. It's a tough loss, but it's not the end of the season. We've got to learn from it."
Ganado could not get anything going offensively and punted again to the Shiner 18. After a short gain on first down, Shiner reeled off four big plays - a 12-yard run by Neubauer, a 10-yard whirling scamper by Marcus Coleman and a 30-yard pass completion from Jacob Stafford to Blake Michalec.
Coleman then found the end zone from 28 yards out. Hunter Mraz added the extra point, and Shiner led 7-6 with two minutes to go in the half.
Salazar led all rushers with 95 yards on 13 carries. Vesely added 79, and Jones had 70. For Shiner, Coleman had 50 years rushing, Neubauer had 44, and Stafford had 31.