Shiner St. Paul have proved recently that they are a fourth quarter team. Just look at the “fourth quarter” of the season. The Cardinals lost seven straight games before finally getting a win. Then they lost to Hallettsville Sacred Heart before winning their final district game which began a four-game winning streak.
Now, St. Paul (5-8) are one win away from winning a state title, a feat that would have been crazy to talk about back when they were 0-7. Yet here the Cardinals are, ready to add to their trophy case.
St. Paul faces yet another tough task. They take on the Fort Worth Lake Country Christian Eagles (8-4), a team that hasn’t lost since mid-October.
“What they have been is they’ve been playing where they’ve been opportunistic, a lot of turnovers, which has helped their offense,” St. Paul head coach Jake Wachsmuth noted. “Their offense has been really thriving on good opportunities and good field position.”
The Eagles defense have recently had a “bend, don’t break” kind of defense, where they give up yards but have found ways to not allow their opponents in their end zone. The Cardinals expect Lake Country Christian to run an odd front or a split to stop St. Paul’s rush attack. Jon Nelson (52) is a defensive lineman to look out for in the game.
Offensively, the Eagles like to run the ball out of various formations, whether it’s the I-formation, two-back or even three-back. They’ve even shown spread looks with four receivers lined out wide.
Wachsmuth noted that sophomore running back Hayden Whites is one of the players to look out for on offense.
Shiner St. Paul may have shown that they are a fourth-quarter team, but Wachsmuth believes the team cannot rely on that in this state title game.
“I don’t think we can do what we did last week,” he said. “We definitely have to have a full four-quarter game.”
The Cardinals have cleaned up their game. They were able to move the ball last week, finally getting into the end zone in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the team was sound. If St. Paul can limit their turnovers, the season ends in a complete turnaround, from 0-7 to a state title.
Kickoff is Saturday, Dec. 8 at noon. The game takes place at Midway High School – Panther Stadium in Hewitt.