Refugio on schedule heading into district play
Riviera Seahawks at Refugio Bobcats
7:30 p.m., Friday, Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium
REFUGIO - Refugio coach Jason Herring hates to nitpick, but he has found an area where the Bobcats can improve.
"The most important thing is to cut down on penalties," Herring said. "We've been penalized a ton. We've been able to overcome them. I don't know how many touchdowns we've scored, but I bet we've had at least as many called back."
Refugio has been penalized 39 times this season for 377 yards, but it hasn't stopped the Bobcats from going 3-0 and maintaining their No. 1 ranking in the Class 2A state poll.
Refugio opens District 16-2A, Division II play against Riviera (1-2) on Friday at 7:30 at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium.
"We don't know for sure how good we are yet," said junior defensive back J.B. Brown. "We still have a long road ahead of us. We feel like we're on schedule. We're learning and getting better every week."
Herring attempted to schedule competitive opponents in non-district play to give the Bobcats a preview of what to expect in the playoffs.
The Bobcats beat Ingleside 62-27 and topped Edna 56-0 before defeating Lago Vista 28-12.
"I think the competition is going to help us in the long run," said senior safety Brett Davis. "The Lago Vista game was a great experience. It was tough and it was a very intense game."
Refugio is likely to find exactly the opposite in district play.
The Bobcats outscored their district competition 492-39 last season and Banquete is the only other team to enter district play with a winning record.
"That brings about a whole another set of challenges," Herring said. "We tell our kids to remember we're not just getting ready for Riviera we're getting ready for Lexington, remember we're not just practicing for Freer we're practicing for East Bernard. We remind them every single day of that. I remember coach (Drew) Cox told them you're practicing against perfection."
The Bobcats have not been perfect, but they have been good enough to extend their overall winning streak to 18 games and their regular-season winning streak to 54 games.
"Our defense has played well, but we always seem to give up one or two big plays," Herring said. "I would like to see us complete the deal. We've played a lot better than we've ever played since I've been here.
"There was one pass against Ingleside on fourth down and the other night against Lago Vista there was one 60-yard bomb. I'd like us to eliminate that."
Refugio has limited its opponents to 659 total yards, while rolling up 1,550 yards, including 1,042 yards via the pass.
"Offensively, we need to continue to throw the football," Herring said. "We've been throwing it great. I'm real pleased with our passing game. I'd like to see us get more clean and sharp on our run."
The Bobcats know other teams would welcome their issues, but the defending state champions set high standards for themselves.
"We feel like we're pretty good," Davis said. "But we know we need to get better because we have not had close to a perfect game yet."
NOTES• Refugio running back Malcolm Franklin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee against Edna and is lost for the season. He has been replaced by freshman Isaiah Perez.
• Refugio quarterback Travis Quintanilla will receive his Built Ford Tough Class 2A Player of the Week Award for Weeks Zero and 1 during Friday's pep rally at 3:15 p.m. at the high school.