SHINER - Lane Nevlud was aware of Shiner's rivalry with Mason before he even played a down of varsity football.
Shiner's Cole Jalufka punts against Refugio this season.
[ NOTE: click photo to enlarge ]
photo by Angela Piazza for the Advocate
Nevlud's experience at linebacker against the Punchers has only reinforced his perception of the frequent postseason showdowns.
"Ever since being a manager and being part of the teams back then, it was just always a hard-nosed football game down to the wire every time," said Nevlud, a junior. "Both teams are very competitive and neither of us want to lose."
Shiner (8-2) and Mason (11-0) will square off in the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years when they meet in a Class 2A, Division I area round game at 7 p.m. Friday ( November 24, 2017 ) at the Pfield in Pflugerville.
"They are always a quick, hard-hitting and physical team and we love that," said Shiner senior offensive lineman Cole Jalufka. "It's always a good match-up whatever the year brings."
Four of the meetings have come in the area round, which poses a challenge for both teams.
"It's very tough," said Shiner coach Steven Cerny. "Whether it's us or Mason staying at home after Friday night that's a very good football team not advancing in the playoffs."
Cerny sees many similarities between this year's Mason team and those the Comanches have faced in the past with one major difference.
"They're just quicker than normal," he said. "They still have some size, especially defensively. They're real sound fundamentally. They've added a little bit to their offense and they're a little more complicated from that standpoint, but defensively they are basically the same. They're very quick, very strong and very well coached."
Class 2A, Division I Playoffs
Shiner-Mason Game History:
• 2010 regional: Mason, 28-21
• 2011 quarterfinal: Mason, 55-7
• 2012 quarterfinal: Shiner, 21-3
• 2013 area: Shiner, 14-13
• 2014 area: Mason, 44-20
• 2016 area: Mason 34-28, OT
• 2017 area: 7 p.m. Friday, Pflugerville The Pfield
Shiner bounced back from a 35-0 District 15-2A loss to Refugio and opened the playoffs with a 61-0 bi-district win over Santa Maria.
"Ever since the Hallettsville game we've made improvements week-in and week-out," Nevlud said of Shiner's season-opening loss. "We have guys stepping up and making plays. It's been a total team effort. Everybody is contributing and the leaders are stepping up and getting practice going along."
The Comanches have relied heavily on their offensive and defensive fronts and will do the same against Mason.
"We've got to play physical," Cerny said. "We said it from the beginning of the year our offensive and defensive lines are going to be the key to our success. We're going to have to have success up front for us to be successful on both sides of the ball."
Mason owns a 4-2 edge in the series.
The Comanches overcame deficits of 14-0, 21-6 and 28-13 in last year's game before losing 34-28 in overtime.
"I sure hope so," Jalufka answered when asked if he expected a game similar to last season. "I love those games. I hope they bring their best, and I hope we bring our best as well."
|Mike Forman is the sports editor at the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
Angela Piazza is a digital media creator for the Victoria Advocate.
Contact her at 361-574-1222 or email@example.com