REFUGIO — Jason Herring, who has molded Refugio into a high-powered, lightning-quick offensive machine in his eight years as the Bobcats’ coach, called it earlier this week.
Refugio quarterback Jaylon Mascorro (2) shakes off a tackle from Shiner's Tyler Patek (2) before Mascorro is brought down by another Shiner defender for a loss Friday at Bobcat Stadium. photo by Michael Zamora, Caller-Times
The subject was what type of game he and the top-ranked Bobcats were expecting when seventh-ranked Shiner came calling in the District 15-2A Division I opener Friday night at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium.
It would come down to defense, Herring said.
He was correct.
It just took more than 48 minutes for him to be proven so.
After the Comanches ran around and through the Bobcats most of the game, Refugio got the stop it needed in overtime, holding Shiner on four downs. On the Bobcats’ first play in the extra period, Isaiah Perez bolted through the middle of Shiner’s defense for a 25-yard, game-winning touchdown in the 34-28 victory to open District 15-2A Division I play.
"Going into it, I thought the offenses were going to get their points and their yards, and they did," Herring said. "I thought in the end it would come down to who made a key stop and that’s exactly what it did.
"We played great fourth-quarter defense — finally. We didn’t play good in the first half but we got it adjusted. They have a great, power running game. I think we only gave up one running touchdown in the second half and it was on a reverse."
After that play, Justin Stovall’s 51-yard TD and a 2-point conversion gave Shiner a 28-21 lead with 7:05 remaining in the third quarter. The Bobcats allowed only 55 yards on 21 plays from that point through overtime.
In overtime, Chad Neubauer, who seared Refugio for 177 yards and a TD, was stopped for no gain by Tyler Castellano. Blake Michalec, who threw for and caught a TD pass, threw two incompletions, the second one broken up by Refugio’s Jaylon Mascorro on a crunching hit on Stovall. On fourth down, Michalec threw short to Neubauer in the flat.
Enter Perez, who scored all but one of the Bobcats’ TDs. On the first play, he got the ball — "Bread and butter, baby; F-power right, right at you," Herring said of the play. "Gus Malzahn, Auburn football." Perez broke left, then sliced through the middle to give Herring his 100th victory as the Bobcats’ coach.
In the prime-time matchup of defending state finalists in their respective classes, Refugio (6-0, 1-0) prevailed despite allowing 332 rushing yards to the Comanches (5-1, 0-1) and losing all-state center Joe Richard Castellano to a knee injury with 2:10 remaining in the second quarter.
Against a Shiner team that suited only 23 players compared to 42 for Refugio, the young Bobcats rallied to tie the score at 28 with 3:14 to play on Mascorro’s 48-yard connection with Tyler Castellano against the tiring Shiner defense.
Arguably Refugio’s most dynamic player next to Perez, Castellano had touched the ball only four times previous to that play, but made two moves and scored. Refugio made the two-point conversion for the lead on Robert Frazier’s pass to Mascorro, but a penalty wiped it out and the Bobcats had to settle for Marcos Arredondo’s point-after kick to knot the game.
"We’ve always played hard at Shiner, don’t get me wrong," Comanches coach Steven Cerny said. "I just think they sold out each and every play. We gave it all we had. You could see at the end we were a little bit more worn down than they were."
The Bobcats gained some valuable experience, Herring said, gutting through a game in which they twice had a lead, lost it and had to rally in overtime.
"All in all I’m so tickled pink to get out with a win and so proud of our kids," Herring said. "What a 100th win."
REFUGIO 34, SHINER 28 (OT) October 10, 2014 Refugio Bobcat Stadium 1 2 3 4 OT -- F Shiner 6 14 8 0 0 —- 28 Refugio 14 0 7 7 6 —- 34 First quarter Shi — Chad Neubauer 16 run (kick failed), 8:12 Ref — Isaiah Perez 51 pass from Jaylon Mascorro (Marcos Arredondo kick), 7:04 Ref — Perez 40 pass from Mascorro (Arredondo kick), 1:21 Second quarter Shi — Blake Michalec 19 pass from Tyler Patek (pass failed), 4:24 Shi — Dadrian Taylor 23 pass from Michalec (Patek run), :46 Third quarter Ref — Mascorro 15 run (Arredondo kick), 10:23 Shi — Justin Stovall 51 run (Michalec run), 7:05 Fourth quarter Ref — Tyler Castellano 48 pass from Mascorro (Arredondo kick), 3:14 Overtime Ref — Perez 25 run TEAM STATISTICS Shi Ref First downs 19 17 Rushes-yards 50-332 34-158 Passes 4-8-0 13-21-0 Yards Passing 47 207 Punts 4-39.8 4-38.8 Fumbles-lost 0 0 Penalties-yards 3-35 6-40 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING — Shiner, Patek 15-53, Neubauer 24-177, Michalec 8-42, Stovall 1-57, Taylor 1-7. Refugio, Perez 15-116, Mascorro 13-35, Robert Ortiz 1-0, Castellano 2-11, Austin Moya 3-(minus-2). PASSING — Shiner, Michalec 3-7-0-28, Patek 1-1-0-19. Refugio, Mascorro 13-21-0-207. RECEIVING — Shiner, Taylor 2-27, Michalec 1-19, Nuebauer 1-1. Refugio, Perez 5-116, Frazier 1-4, Moya 1-2, Tommy Soto 1-4, Castellano 3-63, Anfernee Friar 1-6, Johnathan Rosas 1-12. Contact George Vondracek at 361-886-3731 or email@example.com. Twitter: @Caller_GeorgeV