by Senior Writer, Adam Ogburn
The Brooks brothers were double trouble for Post on Thursday afternoon as their performance in all three phases of the game led Shiner to a 42-20 victory over the Antelopes in the 2A Division I state title game.
Defensive tackle and running back Doug Brooks forced a fumble early on and was actually going to return it for a touchdown until he handed it to his teammate Max Machacek so that his fellow defensive lineman could score. Brooks got his touchdown later in the game as he blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown to put Shiner up eight in the third quarter.
“At the beginning of the year, I told the d-line and o-line that if I get a chance, I’m going to give y’all a touchdown,” Doug Brooks said when asked about giving Machacek the touchdown. “They block for us. They get the credit, but they don’t get the credit like they should. I had to give at least one of them a touchdown.”
His brother Dalton had some explosive plays as well on offense for the Comanches. He broke off an 18-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 24-yard score in the third, both time using his speed to beat the Antelope defense to the edge.
“It was just find the hole and gash it,” Dalton Brooks said of his rushing success. “Let my linemen get in front of me and let them get blocks. I find the hole and I run through it and I try to make plays.”
For their efforts, Dalton was awarded Offensive MVP, while Doug took home the Defensive MVP.
“They’re definitely two special kids. They’re not only great athletes, they’re great students, they’re great people, they come from a great family- very humble and real respectful young men,” Shiner head coach Daniel Boedeker said. “They mean a whole lot to a football game because they’re game changers on both sides of the ball. Both of them definitely did that today.”
The state title is Shiner’s first since 2004 and caps off a perfect 14-0 season for the Comanches.
“It’s an awesome feeling right now to see these kids and the look on their faces to realize they just accomplished a goal that they set out way back in the summer when we got the okay to start our strength and conditioning,” Boedeker said. “They didn’t skip a beat since. They were determined. They did a really good job with all the details to get to this point and they finished it off the best way any football team can finish it off. I’m very proud of them”
For Post, the Antelopes dealt with adversity early on in this one as their quarterback Slayden Pittman suffered a leg injury on their second drive and did not return. That left the Antelopes to use a wildcat formation with running back Avery Clarkson behind center for the rest of the game.
“It’s tough at our level. Once Slayden got hurt, probably 85% of our offense is kind of out the window,” Post head coach Michael Pittman said. “We had to be very basic. There weren’t a whole lot of options that we had. But our kids adapted and they kept fighting. It just really kind of handcuffed us as far as the amount of different things that we could do.”
Despite that, Post hung around in the first half. Clarkson answered Machacek’s touchdown with a four-yard touchdown run.
Then after Zane Rhodes scored on a three-yard run to cap off a 90-yard drive and put Shiner up 14-6, Nathan McDaniel showed his speed, gashing Shiner for a 78-yard touchdown run to put Post back within two, 14-12.
And after Dalton Brooks scored his first touchdown of the night, McDaniel responded again, this time with a 35-yard TD run and a two-point conversion to cut Shiner’s lead to 21-20.
However, the second half belonged to Shiner. Doug Brooks opened it with the blocked punt and Dalton Brooks broke free for his second touchdown run of the night to put Shiner up 35-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Then penalties, Post had four for thirty yards in the second half, a turnover on downs and two late turnovers hammered Post’s nail into its coffin as Shiner added another score off a jump pass from Shiner quarterback Tyler Palmer to Micael Williams for 27 yards to seal its 42-20 victory
For the Antelopes offensively, Clarkson rushed for 84 yards, while McDaniel added 126 rushing yards and 92 yards passing on three completed halfback passes as Post did its best without its star quarterback.
“It was a tough game for sure. Had a lot of adversity. I feel like my kids responded well to the adversity. They’re a tough group,” Pittman said. “We just had some issues that were out of our hands and out of their hands. They fought hard.”
For Shiner, the Comanches now get to celebrate on the biggest stage in Texas for the third time in their school history.
“This is what we all work for. In Texas, everyone wants to win a state championship, and we weren’t satisfied just getting here,” Palmer said. “We knew that we heard bigger things in mind and we went out and accomplished them today.”