FCA Victory Bowl

Red Team quarterback Ziere Banner, of Shoemaker, carries against the Blue Team on Saturday in the FCA Victory Bowl. Banner also played in the defensive backfield.

Courtesy photo | Michelle Yezak

WACO — Shoemaker graduates Antonio Mims and Ziere Banner each expressed how honored they were to get one last chance to play football for Channon Hall. 

Hall guided Banner, Mims and the Grey Wolves to the finest season in school history in 2013. Hall was also the Red Team’s head coach in the FCA Victory Bowl All-Star Game on Saturday at Waco ISD Sports Complex.

“We wanted to play hard for Coach Hall one last time,” Mims said. “We didn’t want to let him down.”

They didn’t.

This game featured the best of the best. But no two Red Team defensive backs were hitting any harder, making more tackles, and breaking up more passes than Banner and Mims.

“We grew up together,” Mims said. “So it’s the dynamic duo when we’re on the same side of the field.”

Banner was surprised the Blue Team tried throwing so often when he and Mims were manning the defensive backfield together.

“I have no idea why they kept trying to pass on us,” Banner said. “You’d have to ask them. At Shoemaker, we always wanted to stand out. This week, we worked hard at practices, our coaches had good schemes and they put us in the right spots and that’s why we were both able to keep making plays.”

Hall said, “Those two are good friends and they did a real good job tonight. It was exciting to watch them. I’m

glad I got to coach those guys one last time.”

With 8:02 left in the all-star game, the Blue Team attempted a long pass on third-and-9 and Banner leaped in and made the interception.

“I had a feeling they would be trying to go deep on me on that play,” Banner said. “My team needed me there; we were down and we had to have a big play.”

Hall inserted Banner at quarterback on Saturday for a few series and the 6-foot, 185-pounder responded by leading his team on some long, ground-gaining drives.

“Ziere didn’t practice on offense all week,” Hall said. “I just expected him to know what to do do. And he did.”

“When Coach Hall put me in there at quarterback, I knew what he wanted from me,” Banner said. “This is the offense we always run so it was pretty easy to keep moving those chains.

“Coach and I have been through so much together. When he told me I could play for him one more time, in this all-star game, I was very excited.”

“Coach Hall taught me so much about this game,” Mims said. “It was amazing to get to play for him one last time. I have a love for him like a father.”

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566​ and read his blog at KDHPressbox.com

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