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Refugio's defense comes up big against Sonora

By MIKE FORMAN
Dec. 3, 2011 at 6:03 a.m.

Refugio's Shiloh Whetsel leaps over the pile into the end zone against Sonora on Friday night. The Bobcats didn't play perfect, but they were able to score enough to keep the game out of the Broncos' reach.

NEXT GAME: vs. Lexington, Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO - Refugio coach Jason Herring had a message for his players on the bus ride to Heroes Stadium on Friday afternoon, but he wasn't sure if they were listening.

"I told the guys to win a championship, at some point the offense is going to have to carry the defense like against Three Rivers, and at some point y'all are going to have to carry the offense," Herring said. "I didn't know it was going to be tonight. Now, I'm going to tell you, they were like, 'Yeah right coach. We're freaking averaging 600 points. Nobody's going to stop us.' That's what they thought and now they know. No doubt, the defense won that game."

The Bobcats intercepted three passes and shut down the Sonora until the game was decided en route to a 41-24 Class 2A quarterfinal win.

Refugio improved to 13-0 and advanced to the semifinals for the third straight season. The Bobcats will have a rematch of last year's semifinal with Lexington, a 47-20 winner over Arp, most likely next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Heroes Stadium.

"That's one of the toughest defenses we played all year, no question," Herring said. "They had a great game plan and we made some mistakes, but what I'm most proud of is the way our defense held us in there. I thought our defense played lights out and if we continue to play defense like that I think we've got a chance."

Refugio turned the ball over three times in the first half, but still led 14-6 thanks in part to a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown by Justin Padilla and a 50-yard interception by Richard Tuttle that set up Shiloh Whetsel's 1-yard touchdown run.

"We thought they were going to do trick plays and pass all the time and we were ready for it," said Padilla, who also returned an interception for a touchdown in last week's regional win over Poth. "We did a good job, we've just got to keep it up."

The Bobcats kept up the defensive pressure in the second half, shutting out the Broncos (12-1) until they scored three touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, two after recovering onside kicks.

"Their speed on defense is really good," said Sonora coach David Sine. "It's the fastest defense we've played all year. And speed makes a huge difference. A couple of times we had people out in the open and instead of us getting vertical we're side to side."

Refugio got its running game going in the second half, as Malcolm Franklin scored on runs of 39 and 21 yards, and Draigon Silvas added a 52-yard touchdown run, during which he broke four tackle attempts.

"We got an idea kind of what they were doing and started running more of our tight end set and our goal line set," Herring said. "We got in all of our short-yardage stuff. They did a great job with their two safeties, those two kids who moved in from Goliad (Imoni Cross and Dallas Payne). They were doing a great job from about 10-yards deep stopping the pass and stoning the run."

The Bobcats did just about everything they had to do on defense to give their offense a chance to execute and will try and do the same next week.

"Everybody stayed together and everybody did there job and that's what we like to do," Tuttle said. "It's not simple, but that's what we've got to do."

Refugio 41, Sonora 24

Sonora06018--24
Refugio771314--41

First Quarter

R-Justin Padilla 35 int. return (Adolfo Cordero kick), 11:18

Second Quarter

S-Imoni Cross 2 run (run failed), 5:58

R-Shiloh Whetsel 1 run (Cordero kick), 0:12

Third Quarter

R-Marcus Thompson 30 pass from Travis Quintanilla (run fail), 8:55

R-Malcom Franklin 39 run (Cordero kick), 1:05

Fourth Quarter

R-Draigon Silvas 52 run (Cordero kick), 10:03

R-Franlin 21 run (Cordero kick), 5:10

S-Cross 36 run (pass failed), 2:36

S-Word Hudson 2 pass from Clayton Parks (pass failed), 0:27

S-Cross 24 lateral from Hudson (no try), 0:00

RefSon
First Downs1516
Yards Rushing30-25229-88
Yards Passing101200
Passes9-17-219-43-3
Punts4-1458-275
Fumbles-lost4-23-0
Penalties-yards12-709-93

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING-- Refugio, S. Whetsel 9-74, M. Franklin 8-88, D. Silvas 12-90, L. Hawthorne 1-0. Sonora, E. Garza 6-11, C. Parks 5-(-8), Z. Badeaux 3-14, I. Cross 13-89.

PASSING-- Refugio, T. Quintanilla 16-8-101-1, S. Whetsel 1-0-0-1. Sonora, C. Parks 42-18-300-3, I. Cross 1-1-24-0.

RECEIVING-- Refugio, L. Hawthorne 3-44, S. Whetsel 2-8, M. Thompson 2-34, C. Sternadel 1-7. Sonora, W. Hudson 5-66, C. Pope 4-49, Z. Badeaux 4-38, E. Garza 3-25, D. Payne 1-9.

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