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East Bernard scores major upset of Refugio (video)

By MIKE FORMAN
Dec. 8, 2012 at 6:08 a.m.

Refugio's J.B. Brown is consoled by a coach after the Bobcats' loss to East Bernard on Friday at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.

PHOTOS: Victoria West 52, SA McCollum 6

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SAN MARCOS - East Bernard had a second half to remember and left Refugio with 24 minutes it wishes it could forget.

The Brahmas outscored the Bobcats 41-0 in the final two quarters to run away with a 54-23 Class 2A, Division II quarterfinal win on Friday night at Bobcat Stadium.

East Bernard ended Refugio's 27-game win streak and improved to the 13-0 while advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 1984.

The Brahmas will play the winner of Saturday's Hughes Springs-Elysian Fields game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco.

"We turned the ball over and we couldn't find an answer for Slanina and then it just snowballed," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "Momentum in high school football is a huge thing. It just seemed like every single thing that could go wrong, went wrong. We dropped a hitch, balls were bouncing off of us and they were catching them and we'd drive and fumble.

"I'm not going to take anything away from them," he added. "They're a great team, their kids played their hearts out and I hope they win the state championship."

The Bobcats (12-1) won't repeat as state champions and the end was not a pretty one. They surrendered over 50 points in a game for the first time since Cuero scored 56 against them in 1974.

"Honestly, every thing that we could think of to go wrong actually happened," said junior Louie Whetsel. "You can be the No. 1 team in the state or the worst team in the state and you can upset anybody on a given night."

Refugio led 23-13 at halftime, but the advantage didn't last long. Ty Slanina scored touchdowns the first three times he touched the ball and went on to score four times in the second half.

"The second half my offensive line and backs just gave me enough crease to let me go and let me use my speed to get away," said Slanina, who has committed to TCU. "We had some key speeches at halftime. They had made some comments about how if it's close at halftime the game's over because nobody can hang with them. But we're East Bernard and we're not going to let anybody talk about us like that. I think we were ready to go."

Slanina scored on runs of 67, 28 and 33 yards and caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Grant Aschenbeck. He rushed for 161 yards, had 72 receiving yards, 16 passing yards and intercepted a pass.

"We didn't have an answer for Slanina," Herring said. "To be honest we played really good early, we were moving the ball and everything looked great and I just know we didn't have an answer for Slanina in the second half and every single bad break we could get happened."

East Bernard dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half, scoring on its first six possessions and missed a field goal on its seventh. The Brahmas also intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble.

"We got a little gassed in the first half," said East Bernard coach Jerry Long. "We hadn't played anybody that's really fast-paced us like that and made us stay out on the field. We had to get in at half and make some minor adjustments and realized we had to get off the field. We had to play a little harder on first and second down and we did that and of course we got some huge plays in the second half."

Refugio quarterback Travis Quintanilla threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns, but had six passes dropped and was intercepted on three consecutive passes in the second half.

"These guys were averaging like a 100 points a game," Long said. "We knew coming in we had to have some stops we had to take some shots on offense and we got those stops the second half and that was the difference."

Herring felt the biggest difference for East Bernard was Slanina, who ironically is the grandson of former Refugio coach George Harris.

"I'll tell you this No. 10 is one of the best football players I've ever played against," Herring said. "He is a son of a gun to stop."

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