LEXINGTON — Shiner could not have asked for a better start against Lexington.
But the Comanches would have preferred a more favorable finish.
Lexington shut out Shiner in the second half and went on to a 35-21 win Friday night at Eagle Stadium.
“We came into the game too over ourselves because of the win last week,” said Shiner running back Donyai Taylor. “It’s the thing we need to prepare ourselves for in practice.”
Taylor picked up where he left off in last week’s win over Goliad, scoring on runs of 60 and 53 yards the first two times he touched the ball.
But he managed 38 yards on his next 13 carries as Shiner (5-1), ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A state poll, suffered its first loss of the season.
“We were a lot quicker than them first, but as the game went on, they wore us down,” said Shiner coach Steven Cerny. “They had a lot of guys who only went on one side of the ball. We have two-way players.”
The Comanches final score came on a 53-yard pass from Tyler Mikes to Cole Patek with 1:43 left in the second quarter.
But Shiner hurt itself by losing four fumbles and an interception, and all but one of the turnovers came in the second half.
“I still feel good,” Cerny said. “I was more upset with the mistakes we made – how many times did we get a big play and didn’t follow it up. But they had a good scheme. “
The Eagles (4-1), ranked No. 10 in the Class 3A state poll, threw an interception and muffed a punt that Shiner recovered, but they were able to maintain possession on all of their five fumbles.
“We gave up three plays because we didn’t do what we’re supposed to,” said Lexington coach Kirk Muhl. “It’s just being disciplined. On offense, we couldn’t catch a snap. At halftime, they settled down. The sign of a good football team is you can go in at half and coach and we can change those things and make adjustments.”
The Eagles recovered an onside kick to begin the third quarter and didn’t score. But they did on their next three possessions.
“A lot of it has to do with the pace of play we have,” Muhl said. “We have maybe one two-way player, and we can sub him out. We can wear on people with the kids we have, and I think that starts to open up later on.”
Lexington running back Ja’Kobe Cooper carried 27 times for 214 yards and one touchdown. Freshman quarterback Sheldon Springer passed for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
“They have a lot of speed, and the speed that’s going one way is a step faster than you the second half,” Cerny said. “I’m still proud of the effort we had. I wasn’t happy with the mistakes we made, but I thought we played hard.”
The Comanches will look to bounce back when they travel to Yorktown for their District 15-2A, Division I district opener.
“It was a great start,” Cerny said. “It was not just Donyai. He shows his talent, no doubt. Hopefully, the game will slow down a little bit when we get to district. But this is the type of team you face in the playoffs.”
Taylor is well aware success takes more than a fast start.
“Whichever game we go into, we have to go in 100 percent,” he said. “We can’t go into a game easing into it and thinking we’ve got the game. We have to go into the game full throttle and keep going.”
|Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org|