State championship caps record season for Refugio
When quarterback Travis Quintanilla took a knee on the final play of Refugio's 36-35 Class 2A, Division II state final win over Cisco, the Bobcats had only nine players on the field.
Refugio had 10 players on the field when running back Draigon Silvas ran for a two-point conversion in the third quarter.
Refugio wasn't perfect, but it was more than good enough to bring home its first state football championship since 1982.
The Bobcats completed a 15-0 season a little more than a week before Christmas at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Refugio became the Advocate-area's first University Interscholastic League state football champion since Shiner won the Class 1A title in 2004.
The Bobcats broke the state record held since 1975 by Big Sandy by scoring 891 points and came up 12 points short of the national scoring record.
Refugio averaged 538.7 yards and 55.7 points per game. The Bobcats scored over 50 points 10 times this season.
Critics cited Refugio's lopsided margin of victory as a sign of a lack of sportsmanship, creating some unpleasant moments for head coach Jason Herring, his staff and the players.
But the Bobcats adopted the motto "stay linked" and never let outside distractions interfere with their goal of winning a state championships.
Team leader and senior linebacker Donald Trevino lost his mother to cancer last season.
But Trevino and his teammates vowed to win a state championship in her memory.
Refugio lost in the semifinals the past two seasons, but advanced to its first state final since 1987 when it blasted Lexington 63-33 in a rematch of the 2010 semifinal.
A state title seemed assured when the Bobcats pulled out to a 36-19 lead over Cisco early in the fourth quarter.
But the Loboes pulled within a point and had the ball in Refugio territory with just over a minute to play.
In a record-setting season of offense, it was the Refugio defense that rose to the challenge.
Linebacker Jake Heryford, the son of Refugio defensive coordinator Steve Heryford, stopped Cisco running back Hayden Lewis less than a yard short of a first down on a fourth-and-three attempt.
A first-down run by Silvas sealed the win and the school's third state championship.
As a result, the nine players on the field for the final play soon had plenty of company for the trophy presentation.