PFLUGERVILLE — With a youthful offense, the Shiner Comanches were going to have to hang their hat on their defense.
Shiner defenders, from left, Allan Jaehne, Michael Rodriguez and Lane Nevlud converge on Puncher ball carrier Klay Klaerner Friday night at Pflugerville’s The Pfield. Mason escaped with a 7-0 win despite a stellar performance by the Comanche defense. Photo by Mark Lube.
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While Shiner’s season did come to an end Friday night in the Class 2A Division 1 area round against Mason at Pflugerville’s The Pfield, the Comanches’ defense helped get the team to that point and against Mason, limited their offense.
In its previous 11 games, Mason had scored an average of 50.8 points per game but scored a mere fraction of that as Shiner held them to a single touchdown.
“Mason has pretty much mowed through people. They have not had anyone challenge them for four quarters,”Shiner head coach Steven Cerny said. “We believe we could win but just did not quite do enough to get the job done. Our defense has done well all year. Besides the Hallettsville and Refugio game, we have done well. We knew it would be our strength this year. And we played our hearts out tonight.”
Teams were also not finding a way to get many points on the board as Mason’s defense gave up less than four points a game.
Shiner’s offense had a formidable task, going up against a Punchers’ defensive unit that yielded less than four or five points a game. The Comanches kept grinding but ultimately were kept out of the end zone.
“We really fought hard,” Cerny said. “We knew at the start of the season that we were a little young on the offense and did some things differently tonight, hoping we could get some opportunity.” Shiner was able to move the ball somewhat but not all that consistent.
“We had little spurts of success but could not finish things off,” Cerny said.
Shiner loses seniors Jacob Cowan, Dustin Petras, Cole Jalufka, Cesar Reyes, C.J. Seymour and S.L. Lewis to graduation but the future looks bright with the players coming back.
“We have a lot of players coming back that gained a lot of valuable experience,” he said.
The seniors proved themselves as leaders on and off the field.
“They were steady, great leaders. We had zero problems because of the senior leadership. A very enjoyable year coaching for myself and our coaches,” Cerny said.
Shiner finishes 2017 with 8-3 record, 4-1 record for district runner-up, bi-district champions and area finalists.
The Shiner defense set the tone early in the game as Mason quarterback Otto Wofford was taken down 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage on a read-option keeper. He followed with two incomplete passes and Mason punted.
The Comanches fared no better as they gained 0 yards on three plays and punted as well.
This pattern continued for a while, including the Punchers attempting to convert a 4th-and-1 at their 41 with running back Jake Cockerham running the ball but was about six inches short of a first down.
Mason’s first down came on their drive, on a 10-yard carry by Klay Klaerner and the Comanches got their initial one with under two minutes left in the first on the 18-yard run by Lane Nevlud.
Eventually, the Punchers started a drive at their 22 and soon were at their 11 on a holding call. Klaerner converted a 3rd-and-21 play with a 28-yard run to their 39. With mostly moderate chunks on the ground and a pass here or there, Mason got a first down at the Shiner 7 but backed up on some penalties.
With a 2nd-and goal from the Shiner 22, Wofford had a 12-yard pass to Jake Comey and then hit an open TR Kerr on a 10-yard pass for the game’s lone touchdown with 2:45 left in the half, capping a 21-play drive.
The Comanches worked their way to near midfield but a long pass was intercepted, ending the half. Shiner started moving the ball to open the second half. Mikes had a 16-yard run off the bootleg for a first down to the Mason 49. He later connected with Nevlud on a 26-yard completion and later an 11-yard run by Donyai Taylor got Shiner inside the 10 but some flags and negative running plays soured Shiner’s deepest advancement.
The Comanches tried and came a little short on a 35-yard field goal attempt that Mason returned to its 37 on a drive that later ended on downs.
Shiner was able to get past the 50 onto Mason’s side of the field but lost 4 yards on a pass play on a 4th- and-12 play from Mason’s 41. The Punchers then gradually ran out the remaining 3:48 by driving the ball inside the Shiner 20.
GAME STATISTICSMason 7, Shiner 0 Class 2A, Division 1, Area Playoff (second round) Friday, November 24, 2017, 7:00 p.m. The Pfield, Pflugerville SCORING SUMMARY: 1 2 3 4 F Mason 0 7 0 0 -- 7 Shiner 0 0 0 0 -- 0 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter no score Second Quarter M — TR Kerr 10 pass from Otto Wofford (Isa Cruz kick), 2:45 2Q. Third Quarter no score Fourth Quarter no score TEAM STATISTICS: Mason Shiner First downs 12 8 Rushing 37-123 33-94 Passing 87 22 Passes 7-14 2-6-1 Penalties 8-81 6-32 Fumbles 1-0 0-0 Punts 3-37.33 4-31.75 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing M: Jake Cockerham 20-65, Klay Klaerner 11-61, Otto Wofford 6-(-3). S: Tyler Mikes 6-25, Donyai Taylor 7-23, Lane Nevlud 9-22, Collin Bujnoch 10-12, Cesar Reyes 2-12. Passing M: Wofford 7-14-0-87. S: Mikes 2-5-1-22, Devin Lehnert 0-1-0-0. Receiving M: Jake Comey 5-70, TR Kerr 1-10. Klaerner 1-7. S: Nevlud 1-26, Bujnoch 1-(-4).
|Mark Lube is the sports editor for the Shiner Gazette. Contact him at 361-594-3346 or firstname.lastname@example.org|