Comanches head coach Steven Cerny points to a player during practice in Shiner on Monday.
As of Friday, December 7, 2012
SHINER - Few need a reminder of what happened the last time Shiner made the quarterfinals.
Those that do, will recall the Comanches committed nine turnovers in a 55-7 loss to Mason last year.
Friday, the schools will meet in the playoffs for the third straight year. There is more confidence from the 11-1 Comanches as they enter a Class 1A, Division I quarterfinal contest against the undefeated Punchers (12-0).
Mason, the reigning Class 1A, Division I champions, has won 27 straight football games. Refugio is the only other program in Texas that can boast of an active streak that long.
"It's going to be a tremendous challenge for us Friday night," said Mason football coach Kade Burns. "It's a game that involves two teams that want to run the football. Whoever runs the ball will have the best chance to win. Our kids know that and I'm sure they know that in Shiner."
David Mora, the running back who tormented the Comanches the last two years - with a combined 413 yards and seven touchdowns - is now a college student at Texas-San Antonio. In Mora's place is the quartet of Rio Schmidt, Raul Silguero, Luis Castillo and quarterback Elliot Bibb.
Shiner will counter with Jacob Stafford, Evel Jones and quarterback Trev Flowers, who have combined for 45 rushing touchdowns.
The Punchers are a power football team that will line up in their base offense and dare teams to stop them. Such a scheme will once again test Shiner's improving defensive line of Caleb Kalich, Jaace Chumchal, Zach Albert and Caleb Curtis, all of whom are seniors.
"We were all ready to prove it," Albert said. "The defensive line is not to be messed with and we know we wanted to show we were better than we were at the beginning of the year."
Shiner coach Steve Cerny said the key to a Comanches' victory will be their physicality, adding Mason was the physical team a 28-21 victory in 2010 as well as last year's loss.
Meanwhile, Burns said his team prides itself on being physical and doing the small things because "we don't have the speed that Shiner has."
"We know we have to play well to beat Mason," Cerny said. "They are a great team. Our attitude is to play our best every day and we'll find out on Friday night who the best team will be."