Dawgs done in by Shiner
The Bulldogs season came to a premature end Friday night with a 14-10 loss to Shiner at Bob Shelton Stadium in the Class A, Division I, Region IV state quarterfinals.
Thorndale finishes 9-3 on the year, while Shiner (10-3) moves on to face Mart (10-3) in the state semifinals Friday at the Palace on Palmer in Round Rock.
Shiner—which finished second to Ganado in District 15A—were state semifinalists last season.
Reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006, the Bulldogs saw a 10-0 first half lead evaporate as they were held scoreless in the second half.
“We are very proud of our guys and the effort they gave all season,” said Thorndale Coach Brent Brevard. “Hate to see it end, but our guys played a good game against Shiner and came up just short.”
Shiner—which finished second to Ganado in District 15A— chose to keep the ball on the ground, rushing 68 times for 348 yards without attempting a pass.
The ball control aspect worked for the Comanches as they ran 22 more plays than the Bulldogs and in the third quarter, Thorndale got off just seven plays.
“Well, it is frustrating,” Brevard said.” But, you have to give a lot of credit to Shiner. We did have a few tough breaks that did not go our way.”
All the scoring took place in the first half.
Thorndale—which had won nine of 10 coming in—opened the contest with a quick score as Riley Schaefer connected with Colton Austin on a 43-yard screen pass to make it 7-0 with just 2 minutes and 6 seconds gone off the clock.
Austin then booted a 22-yard field goal with 1:11 left in the first quarter for a 10-0 lead.
That would be the end of the Bulldogs’ scoring.
Shiner opened the second quarter with 210-pound quarterback Jacob Stafford bulldozing over from the five.
The Comanches closed out the scoring for the evening as Marcus Coleman scooted in from the one to push Shiner ahead 14-10.
Stafford sparked Shiner with 178 yards on 30 carries, while Coleman added 113.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs drove to the Comanche 10-yard line to possibly grab the lead, but Chad Neubauer picked off Schaefer’s wind blown pass in the end zone.
The Thorndale season came to a close on a incomplete pass near midfield with 1:39 remaining to be played.
The game marked the return of Darius Brooks to the backfield, but he carried the ball just five times for 34 yards.
Brooks—Thorndale’s leading rusher—had not carried the ball in two weeks after suffering a deep thigh bruise.
Schaefer ends his football career with 4,358 yards passing and 33 touchdowns, both school records.
His 2,288 yards and 27 touchdowns this season are single season records.
Just a junior, Austin has caught 77 passes for 1,463 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career.
His 46 catches for 845 yards and 15 touchdowns is a single season record. record setting quarterback.
Junior Jake Miller is a likely candidate.
The Bulldogs fell a couple of games short of having a shot at their fourth state championship in football, but a memorable season none-the-less that included their first district crown since 2009.
“What I’ll remember is their drive and passion for the game, Brevard said. “They really wanted to go all the way. They were very passionate each and every Friday night. They also had good work ethic throughout the season during the regular practices.”