SAN MARCOS - The game did not end like they wanted but the Shiner Comanches did not let one game take away from their season and the last couple of seasons they've had.
Senior receiver Drew Wenske secures a catch Friday night against Refugio in the regional championship at San Marcos. Wenske led Shiner in receptions and receiving yards with three catches for 62 yards. photo courtesy of Photos by Lori Raabe
[ click any photo to enlarge ]
Shiner faced Refugio in the Region IV-2ADI final Friday night [ December 2, 2022] at San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium and Refugio rallied from being down 13-21 to edge Shiner by a final score of 27-21.
The seniors and rest of the team have had quite the ride this season and the last couple of seasons.
"After the Hallettsville game, many people felt we would not make this far," senior running back/defensive back Dalton Brooks, who will continue his football playing next school year at Texas A&M, said. "This game could have gone either way. To make it this far and bow out like this, I love this team for that because we grew and never gave up. I had a great high school career and only had four losses."
"This team really worked hard together and built such a big bond together that we did not have at the beginning of the season.
We have worked so hard from the beginning, it's crazy," senior receiver/ defensive back Drew Wenske said. "I have so many memories from the last few years. So much love for this team, the program, the love the coaches have for us."
The Comanches finish the season 11-3, runner up in district and regional finalists.
"We gave it our all and did everything we could," Wenske said.
"There is no magic words that can take away the pain our guys are feeling right now," Shiner head coach Daniel Boedeker said. "They played their tails off; just came down to a couple of plays. Our players did exactly what we asked them to do. They worked hard this week in practice to get ready for this game. We were able to put some drives together and score; we got some stops. We just came up a little short."
"I felt we improved on both sides of the ball, tackling and blocking. They were on a mission to get better and have a chance to win the game but it just did not go our way."
Shiner will bid bye to seniors Brooks, Ryan Peterson, Wenske, Beck Bishop, Angel San Martin, Hunter Knight, Cade Murrile, Bryce Nerada, Jake Davidson, Dalton Patton, Jacob Werner, Kasey Borel and Haven Stafford. The senior class went 53-4 during their time on varsity, four straight appearances in the regional championship game and two state championships.
"We are going to miss just what kind of people the seniors were. They were a blessing to coach. Anytime you have kids that have a great attitude every time they came out and work as hard as they did, that is what you will miss the most, their character, their work ethic," Boedeker said.
Shiner has come a long way from the opening- season loss to the Brahmas to the regional game against Refugio. "They can look back to where we were in the first week against Hallettsville to today and it's a tribute to their hard work this season. Disappointed in tonight's result but not in the season," Boedeker said.
Trailing 21-19 and with a 4th-and-12 at their own 13, the Refugio Bobcats dialed up an airborne connection between Kelan Brown and Isaiah Avery.
The connection was good and put Refugio ahead of Shiner 27-21 with just four minutes left in the game.
Dalton Brooks gets one of his 31 carries during the Refugio playoff game. photos by Mark Lube, Shiner Gazette
[ click any photo to enlarge ]
The Comanches started their potential gamesaving drive at their 25 and Peterson hit Wenske for 41 yards to the 34 and Brooks got Shiner to near the 'Cat 25 and Shiner had to convert a fourth down but was stopped, giving Refugio the ball to run out the remaining 90 seconds.
The Comanches fumbled the ball away on the game's opening drive inside their own half. The 'Cats drove inside the 10 before running back Eziyah Bland picked up his own fumble on fourth down, giving Shiner the ball back at the Comanche 13.
A Peterson pass of 14 yards to Carson Schuette converted a third down and Brooks had a 13-yard run to the 38. Peterson hit Wenske for 10 yards on another third down. Brooks and Beck Bishop carried the ball as Shiner overcame a holding call and scored on a 2-yard run by Bishop for a 7-0 lead with 9:58 left in second quarter.
The 'Cats scored twice quickly as Bland returned the following kickoff 97 yards to help Refugio tie the game at 7-7. Refugio forced a three-and-out and then Brown hit Ernest Campbell for a 42-yard touchdown pass and a 13-7 lead after the extra point was missed.
Shiner started its next drive on its 22; Brooks had a 29-yard carry; Comanches also received help on a facemask call on the 'Cats and Peterson capped the drive with a 13-yard pass to Kyle Muehlstein for a 14-13 lead with the point after good.
Shiner got the ball back after a punt but Peterson was intercepted.
However, Refugio could not score before the half ended.
The 'Cats fumbled the ball away to Shiner on the third quarter's first drive.
With Brooks limited by an apparent injury, Trace Bishop got plenty of carries and the Comanches converted a fourth down when Wenske took a handoff from Brooks on a reverse and then passed to Peterson for an 8-yard gain.
A couple of plays later, Trace Bishop scored on a 9-yard run for a 21-13 lead with 1:54 left in the third quarter.
The 'Cats got within 21-19 early in the fourth quarter on an 18-yard run by Jordan King and then started the game-winning drive at their own 15 after forcing a 54-yard punt from the Comanches.
(by Mark Lube of Shiner Gazette)
The Comanches offensive line fires off quickly at the snap Friday night against Refugio. Shiner RB Trace Bishop runs behind some blocking. Refugio's QB Kelan Brown takes a hit from a Shiner defender. Refugio RB-LB Kaleb Brown and Shiner's Dalton Brooks exchange post-game sportsmanship.
GAME STATISTICSRefugio 27, Shiner 21 Class 2A, Division 1 Region IV Final Playoff Game Friday, December 2, 2022, 7:00 p.m. Toyota Rattler Stadium, San Marcos SCORING SUMMARY 1 2 3 4 F Shiner 0 14 7 0 -- 21 Refugio 0 13 0 14 -- 27 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter S - Dalton Brooks 52 run (Ryan Peterson kick), 3:33 1Q. Second Quarter S - Beck Bishop 2 run (Ryan Peterson kick), 9:58 2Q. R - Eziiyah Bland 97 kickoff return (Alex Placencia kick), 9:44 2Q. R - Ernest Campbell 42 pass from Kelan Brown (kick failed), 7:55 2Q. S - Kyle Muehlstein 13 pass from Peterson (Peterson kick), 3:11 2Q. Third Quarter S - Trace Bishop 9 run (Peterson kick), 1:54 3Q. Fourth Quarter R - Jordan King 18 run (run failed), 10:53 4Q. R - Isaiah Avery 87 pass from Brown (King run), 4:04 4Q. TEAM STATISTICS: Team stats Shiner Refugio First downs 21 11 Rushes-yards 58-230 20-112 Passing yards 96 294 Passes 7-9-1 6-8 Penalties-yards 2-15 4-50 Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1 Punts-aver 1-54.0 1-40.0 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing S: Dalton Brooks 31-157, Trace Bishop 13-37, Beck Bishop 9-28, Ryan Peterson 4-13, Drew Wenske 1-(-5). R: Eziyah Bland 7-43, Jordan King 6-28, Chai Whitmore 2-24, Kaleb Brown 4-15, Ernest Campbell 1-12. Passing S: Peterson 6-8-1-88, Wenske 1-1-0-8. R: Kelan Brown 6-8-0-194. Receiving S: Wenske 3-62, Carson Schuette 1-14, Kyle Muehlstein 1-13, Peterson 1-8, Keenan Hailey 1-(-1). R: Whitmore 3-51, Campbell 2-56, Isaiah Avery 1-87
Mark Lube is the sports editor for the Shiner Gazette.
Contact him at 361-594-3346 or firstname.lastname@example.org