Originally published on Friday, November 30, 2012
CLASS 1A, DIVISION I REGIONAL
7:30 P.M. FRIDAY AT MATADOR STADIUM, SEGUIN
• RADIO: KNRG 92.5 FM (Columbus)
In February, when districts were realigned, Zack Hudson may have been the happiest person in the room when he found out his Weimar football team would not be in a district with Shiner and Ganado.
The Wildcats (7-4) eliminated Ganado last week, but will have to beat the Comanches (10-1) in the Class 1A, Division I regional round if they are to play December football.
Shiner and Weimar (7-4) met Oct. 5 in one of the more exciting games of the regular season. The Comanches won that home contest 33-32 largely because of a pair of special teams miscues from the Wildcats.
"Plays like that, they change the field position of the game," said Shiner center Cole Strauss about special teams play. "One mistake like that Friday, with our teams matching up as well as they do, one mistake could mean the ball game."
Friday's game will be in Seguin. Strauss and other Shiner seniors are expecting another difficult encounter.
"Those boys are big and they put up a fight every year when we play them," said Shiner defensive tackle Jaace Chumchal. "They come to play ever time we do play them."
Weimar's Jakyle Harris and Deluxus Gordon were certainly up for the task in the team's previous meeting. Harris ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while Gordon added 62 yards and two more rushing touchdowns.
Entering Friday, Harris has 1,435 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. His running mate, Gordon, has scored 11 times and averages eight yards per carry.
Shiner linebacker Max Huth said the Weimar win was "very, very frustrating." The senior recalls missing a tackle, which led to a touchdown. However, he did force a fumble, which led to Shiner regaining the lead in the fourth quarter.
Huth, like Chumchal, said Friday's game will be more difficult than the first meeting because the Wildcats were so close to walking out of Comanche Stadium with a win. Huth said Shiner's physicality and defensive line have been critical to its success.
Opponents average just 272.2 yards per game against the Comanches defense. Since the Weimar game, only Ganado has managed to find the end zone more than twice against Shiner.
In that Nov. 2 Ganado game, Huth broke his left thumb trying to make a tackle. He missed the regular season finale against Yorktown, but returned for Shiner's 62-13 win over Ozona in the area playoffs.
"My commitment to the team, I couldn't let them down. I was the leading tackler until I had to stay out a few games," Huth quipped when asked why he returned. "I wanted to get a few more tackles and stay on top of the totem pole."
Most of the players in the Class of 2013 have been a part of Shiner's long playoff runs each of the past two seasons. None of them are ready to have that run end Friday - especially with recent playoff nemesis Mason on the horizon.
"We've had a lot of experience and ever since our sophomore year we've gone three rounds, or deeper, in the playoffs," Strauss said. "We know what to expect week in and week out. We have more playoff experience than most other teams in the playoffs."
"We know the feeling to be that close and have it taken away from you off one little mistake, or nine mistakes like Mason last year."