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Quintanilla, Refugio One Step Closer to Storybook Ending


Behind another record-setting performance by Travis Quintanilla, Refugio is headed back to the 2A Division II title game.

 With its running game and tough pass-rush, undefeated Waskom seemed like the ideal candidate to knock off the high-flying Bobcats. Instead, the Wildcats got a full dose of Refugio’s potent offensive attack.

Quintanilla did his usual thing through the air, hitting on six touchdowns. His 423 yards were also enough to break Garrett Gilbert’s state record for most passing yards in a season, adding to his previously set career yardage and passing marks. The all-state quarterback was sharp all night at Reliant Stadium, deftly avoiding the oncoming rushers and delivering strikes down the field.

But the Bobcats’ edge went far beyond their talent behind the center. Throughout the night, it was clear that head coach Jason Herring had a plan for reaching his second title game in three years.

Usually one to air it out, the seventh-year head coach dialed up 32 rushes for 253 yards, most of them being sweeps to the outside that picked up big chunks of yardage.

“We found a good little running play outside on the sweep,” Herring said after the game. “Once we were able to establish that, I felt very good.”

The effectiveness of the ground game allowed Quintanilla to play turnover-free ball after coughing it up eight times (6 INT, 2 FL) in his previous two games. On the night, he was sacked just one time.

Herring also made a noticeable adjustment to his defense that had just given up over 600 yards to Rogers. He lined up two tackles over the center, disrupting Waskom’s ability to find any running room on the inside.

Kevin Johnson and quarterback Trace Carter were both able to eclipse the 100-yard mark, but Herring’s wrinkle bottled up the Wildcats’ other two 1,000-yard rushers. Junebug Johnson and Dillon Benton combined for just 46 yards on 12 carries.

The defeat capped an unlikely run for Whitney Keeling’s group that went 7-3 last season. And with all four of its talented runners returning, they are early favorite to make another title run in 2014.

As for this season, the Bobcats are just one win away from completing a storybook campaign. With that win, Quintanilla would leave Refugio a two-time state champion and in sole possession of three of the state’s greatest passing records.

By: Zach Shelton

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