Refugio getting stops in addition to scores
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Banquete Bulldogs at Refugio Bobcats
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium
REFUGIO - Refugio has scored 456 points through seven games this season, which puts it four points ahead of last season when it scored a state-record 891 points.
But the Bobcats are more impressed with the 46 points they've allowed, which is seven points less than last season.
"I thought we had a chance to be really good defensively," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "I was cautiously optimistic. No question about it. I told the kids the two things I am most excited about is No. 1 our kicking game. We're kicking better than we ever have. And no doubt our defense. Our defense gives us a chance against anybody we play."
Refugio (7-0, 4-0) is yielding an average of 136.9 yards per game and 62.6 yards of rushing per game heading into Friday's District 16-2A, Division II showdown against Banquete (7-0, 4-0) at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium.
"I feel like we've got an overall better game plan," said defensive tackle John Wesley Shipp. "This is our second year running this type of defense and it's going to get better because we're starting to get used to it. It wasn't a terrible change, but it kind of took getting used to it and we're coming around now."
The Bobcats went from an attacking five-man front to a 4-3 reading defense last season and the adjustment took some time.
"The kids are more comfortable playing it and the coaches are more comfortable coaching it," Herring said. "The bottom line is it comes down to the kids on the field. I feel like we're as quick as we've ever been defensively and quickness usually means a pretty good defense. We're not real big, but we can really run. We've got some athletic playmakers."
The Bobcats' biggest test on defense came earlier this season against Lago Vista, which runs the slot-T.
Three Rivers and Cisco ran the slot-T and scored 25 and 35 points, respectively, against Refugio last season.
The Bobcats limited Lago Vista to 12 points.
"That's honestly been our Achilles' heel," Herring said. "What scared me the most was playing a team that could just grind it out, grind it out, grind it out because you're good on defense but not great and then you get three possessions and if you fumble one of those it's a 14-21 game or something.
"What I like about our defense now is I feel like they can get after people," he added. "What I like about that from the offensive side is that means we're going to get a lot of possessions and I just believe if we get a lot of possessions we're going to score some points."
Refugio is expecting its biggest test in district play from Banquete.
The Bulldogs returned eight starters on both offense and defense and are averaging 41.7 points per game.
"I'm actually pretty excited about this game," said linebacker Jack Gumm. "We're treating it like a bigger game. They're actually going to hit us back. Banquete is hyped up and they think they're going to win. It's going to be a good game because they'll hit us back and execute pretty good."