Written by Corbett Smith
East Bernard starts fast, pours it on in 56-14 rout of Corsicana Mildred to capture 2A Division II crown
ARLINGTON — Corsicana Mildred coach Patrick Harvell gave a little grin; he knew his team was beaten by a superior team in the Class 2A Division II final, dominated by East Bernard, 56-14.
It was the journey — to a 13-2 season and the school’s first state final — that made him smile Thursday night. Few people outside of Mildred would have pictured it, especially after a 70-22 loss to Centerville in its second game of the season.
“I’m proud of the season we had,” Harvell said. “I don’t think many people in the state of Texas when they saw what happened to us on Sept. 7 would expect us to be at Cowboys Stadium today. … We’ve got great kids and a great community. I didn’t have any doubt we’d be here.”
From the opening snap, it was clear that East Bernard (15-0) was a different beast, dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. East Bernard scored twice in its first four snaps, had five touchdown drives of three plays or less and punted only once.
Running out of the Slot T, East Bernard rushed for 514 yards, with three players gaining more than 100 yards.
“That’s a dang good football team, and they took it to us all game long,” Harvell said. “We just really didn’t have any answers for what they were doing offensively.”
Senior quarterback Ty Slanina — a TCU pledge — rushed for 167 yards and four touchdowns on seven carries, passing for another score to lead East Bernard to its second state football title. The other was in 1977.
Mildred’s star quarterback, Iowa pledge Nic Shimonek, was harassed and hurried all game, sacked six times. Shimonek finished with 163 passing yards and two scores, both touchdowns coming in the third quarter after the game was no longer in doubt.
“They were really fast,” Shimonek said. “You can’t get that feel just watching film. Pressure all night long.”
Slanina, the game’s offensive MVP, showed his true excellence on his fourth touchdown run. East Bernard fullback Joc Richardson fumbled at the Mildred 11-yard line after a 1-yard gain. The ball squirted back toward Slanina. Slanina, the reigning 2A long jump champion, attempted a one-handed scoop, batted the ball twice before gaining control and dragged safety Draylon Sterling into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN