Refugio's playoff road filled with potential pitfalls
Class 2A, Division II Area
Rogers Eagles vs. Refugio Bobcats
3 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Columbus
The path isn't going to be easy for the Bobcats this year.
• Area round: Rogers (9-2)
• Regional round: Lexington (8-2) or Poth (9-2)
• Quarterfinals: Blanco (7-4), Karnes City (9-1) or East Bernard (10-0)
• Semifinals: Centerville, Hughes Springs
REFUGIO - Refugio's schedule has been much maligned, but the Bobcats played five playoff teams, including three teams who advanced to the area round.
The Bobcats (10-0) will find out if their preparation paid off when they begin the Class 2A, Division II playoffs with an area game against Rogers (9-2) on Friday at 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
"This is definitely the toughest road we've had to state but we know that and the coaches never let us forget," said senior linebacker Jack Gumm. "We've been working extra hard to make sure we don't go home early."
The thought of the defending state champions and the No. 1 team in the state being done before December may seem preposterous, but the bracket suggests otherwise.
Refugio's road to the semifinals could also include state-ranked Lexington and East Bernard.
"There's a different sense of urgency," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "We're playing the caliber of teams you play in the semis and the quarters right off the bat. I think there's a little bit of extra motivation as far as our kids."
Refugio got a tougher than expected test from Three Rivers in last year's area round.
The Bulldogs ran the slot-T just as Cisco did in the state championship game.
Rogers also runs a slot-T and has rushed for 4,478 yards, including 332 yards in last week's 35-22 bi-district win over Hitchcock.
The Bobcats were aware Rogers was a potential opponent and played Lago Vista, which also runs the slot-T, earlier this season.
"Last year's Three Rivers game really opened our eyes," said senior defensive back Cameron Sternadel. "Our coaches got the scheme down for it and we're really prepared for a slot-T team because we know we were going to have to face them."
"We need to stop them and get the ball back as quick as possible," Gumm added. "We don't want them to eat up the clock. We get a couple of stops and get the ball back to our offense so it can do what it does."
The Bobcats set a state record by scoring 891 points last season. They have scored 641 points this season after scoring 654 points in the regular season last year.
Refugio has averaged over 529 yards per game and quarterback Travis Quintanilla has passed for 3,058 yards and 48 touchdowns.
"I thought we would be just as explosive, just not as many down the field plays," Herring said. "I thought we would have to drive a little more. I'm real pleased with where we are offensively. I think we're playing really good football. I like the way we're throwing the football and when we need to, I like the way we're running the football.
"I'm really excited about our defense. I've been waiting for the playoffs to see how good we are defensively because I think we're pretty good and I'm anxious to see."
• Refugio will be the home team.
• The winner will advance to the regional round against the winner of Friday's Lexington-Poth game.