CONVERSE — Not even Hollywood in one of their summer blockbuster movies could script such an action-packed, intense show.
Running back Donyai Taylor races down the field. The senior ran for five touchdowns against Refugio.
[ NOTE: click photo to enlarge ]
all photos by Mark Lube, Shiner Gazette
A last-second field goal by Refugio’s Jordy Martinez sent the Bobcats past the Shiner Comanches 45-43 Friday night at Converse Judson’s D.W. Rutledge Stadium in the Class 2A Division 1 regional game, which was arguably the biggest game for players and fans of both teams.
It was a back-and-forth affair that saw Refugio rally from 43-30 deficit in the final three minutes of the game.
“It was definitely a back and forth. We know it was not going to be over until the last play,” Shiner head coach Daniel Boedeker said. “It went down to the wire and we were unfortunate to come out on the short end. I am still proud of every one of our kids and our coaches. They put everything into it; the end was just unfortunate.”
Facing a bigger Refugio, Shiner simply rolled up its sleeves and went to work, running for over 400 yards and led by stellar effort by senior running back Donyai Taylor who ran for 284 yards and five touchdowns.
“Our offensive coaches had a great game plan,” Boedeker said.
The Shiner defense, having to deal with an explosive offense, made the ‘Cats earn everything on offense.
“We knew Refugio was going to be explosive and we going to have a tough time. They did make some big plays at the end that they had to make and it is a play or two at the end that would have been the difference and flipped our way,” he said.
The game was the final for Comanche seniors Taylor, Devin Lehnert, Jacquis Miller, Jacquez Miller, Cross Rankin, Cole Patek, Michael Coppola, Allan Jaehne and Gage Brooks.
“The seniors were a great group, a fun group, good leaders. They came to work everyday, enjoyed every minute of being at practice and we will miss their leadership,” Boedeker said.
Shiner took the open- ing kickoff, starting at its 1 and moved down to the 39 but had to do an early punt. Refugio quarterback Austin Ochoa hit Jordan Kelley for 26 yards to the Shiner 40 and a couple of plays later, Ysidro Mascorro scored from the 23 and took the two-point run for an 8-0 ‘Cat lead with 4:26 left in the first.
Shiner took the following kickoff to the Refugio 36 and Taylor finished a six-play drive with a 21-yard run and Shiner kicked the point after to come within 8-7 at the 2:08 mark.
Refugio went three and out on the next drive, but got Shiner inside their 10. Dalton Brooks, Taylor and Tyler Palmer moved Shiner to its 26 and Palmer pitched to Taylor on the option and he took it 74 yards for a 14-8 lead with 10:42 left in the first half.
The ‘Cats moved the ball to the Shiner 21 where they faced fourth down and the Shiner defense dropped Naaji Gadsen for a loss.
Jacquis Miller (right) is stiff-armed by Austin Ochoa on one of the quarterback’s 29 runs.
[ NOTE: click photo to enlarge ]
Shiner got some yards but eventually had to punt. Refugio again moved into Shiner territory as time started to wind down; Ochoa was intercepted by Jacquez Miller who ran the ball all the way down to the Refugio 11 with just a couple of seconds left. Connor Winkenwerder then connected on a 28- yard field goal as time expired for a 17-8 Comanche halftime lead.
Refugio took the second-half kickoff and marched 75 yards in 14 plays with Ochoa running the ball the majority of the plays. He capped the drive with a 17-yard run but missed the two-point conversion as Shiner was ahead 17- 14.
Shiner started the next drive at its 22 and moved back five on a penalty. Taylor then raced 83 yards for another score and a 24-14 Shiner lead.
Shiner got a break as Refugio had a short 14- yard punt to its own 28 on the next drive and Taylor got in the end zone from 28 yards out for a 31-14 lead.
A 2-yard run by Ochoa capped a 15-play drive and he scored the twopoint conversion getting his team within 31-22 with 10:56 left in the ball game.
On the next drive for Shiner, Doug Brooks had a 16-yard run on the third play to the Shiner 44. A few plays later, Palmer gained 24 and a first down but Shiner was assessed a 15-yard penalty from the end f the runto the ‘Cat 43. Taylor scored on the next play for his fifth touchdown for a 37-22 lead.
Refugio answered fast with a 76-yard pass from Ochoa to Kelley and the two-point play to close down to 37-30 with 6:40 left to play.
On the next drive starting at the 25, Dalton Brooks gained 56 yards on a reverse. Later, on a 4th-and-1 play, Palmer was held to no gain but Refugio was assessed a face mask call to put the ball at the 5 and few plays later, Doug Brooks had a 3-yard run to out Shiner ahead 43-30 with 3:04 left.
The Cats quickly got within 43-36 on a 68-yard pass from Ochoa to Kelley but missed the point after. The onsides kick failed and Shiner looked to be on the way for the knockout blow but fumbled the ball and Refugio returned it to their 49 with 52 seconds.
In less than 20 seconds, Refugio got another score on a 19-yard connection from Ochoa to Ethan Perez.
Refugio again went for an onsides kick and was able to recover it. A couple of passes by Ochoa moved them to the Comanche 18 with just five seconds left and Refugio drilled the 35- yard attempt with two seconds left.
Shiner tried to make one last bid to score on the kickoff with several laterals but eventually Refugio stopped it, concluding the game.
The Shiner Comanches finished 12-1, district champions, bi-district and area champions, and regional finalists. Refugio advanced to the Region IV finals (state quarterfinal) vs. Holland.
GAME STATISTICSRefugio 45, Shiner 43 UIL Class 2A, Division I Regional Playoff November 29, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. Rutledge Stadium, Judson High School, Converse SCORING SUMMARY 1 2 3 4 F Shiner 7 10 14 12 -- 43 Refugio 8 0 6 31 -- 45 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter R - Ysidro Mascorro 26 run (Mascorro run), 4:26 1Q. S - Donyai Taylor 21 run (Connor Winkenwerder kick), 2:08 1Q. Second Quarter S - Taylor 74 run (Winkenwerder kick), 10:42 2Q. S - Winkenwerder 28 FG, 0:00 2Q. R - Austin Ochoa 17 run (run failed), 5:34 3Q. Third Quarter S - Taylor 83 run (Winkenwerder kick), 5:19 3Q. S - Taylor 28 run (Winkenwerder kick), 3:39 3Q. Fourth Quarter R - Ochoa 2 run (Ochoa run), 10:56 4Q. S - Taylor 43 run (run failed), 7:01 4Q. R - Jordan Kelley 76 pass from Ochoa (Ochoa run), 6:40 4Q. S - Doug Brooks 3 run (run failed), 3:04 4Q. R - Kelley 68 pass from Ochoa (kick failed), 2:35 4Q. R - Ethan Perez 19 pass from Ochoa (run failed), 0:27 4Q. R - Jordy Martinez 35 FG, 0:05 4Q. TEAM STATISTICS: Shiner Refugio First downs 17 26 Rushes-yards 44-440 40-215 Passing yards 27 333 Passes 2-2 14-25-1 Penalties-yards 3-30 10-59 Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0 Punts-aver 2-36.5 2-35.5 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing S: Donyai Taylor 21-284, Dalton Brooks 3-74, Doug Brooks 8-39, Tyler Palmer 10-38, Trevor Haynes 1-3, Zane Rhodes 1-2. R: Austin Ochoa 29-166, Ysidro Mascorro 9-50, Naaji Gadsen 2-(-1). Passing S: Palmer 2-2-0-27. R: Ochoa 14-25-1-333. Receiving S: Cross Rankin 1-15, Cole Patek 1-12. R: Jordan Kelley 4-188, Mascorro 3-55, Antwaan Gross 3-38, Ethan Perez 2-43, Michael Firova 1-5, Gadsen 1-4.
Mark Lube is the sports editor for the Shiner Gazette.
Contact him at 361-594-3346 or firstname.lastname@example.org