Refugio's win streak remains
By By George Vondracek - SPECIAL TO ADVOCATE
Aug. 31, 2013 at 3:31 a.m.
REFUGIO - The track meet started late - really late - but Refugio's regular-season winning streak remains intact.
The Bobcats and Ingleside combined to score 45 of the 52 total points in the second half, including 32 in the final nine-plus minutes.
Refugio held off the Mustangs 32-20 to open the season in the first game on the artificial turf at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium. The Bobcats have won 62 consecutive regular-season games, a streak dating to a 24-21 loss to Skidmore-Tynan in 2006.
Oddly enough, the teams surpassed the combined 839 yards of offense the teams posted in last year's 62-27 Refugio win. The Bobcats totaled 569 and the Mustangs had 422 for a total of 991 yards.
Refugio overcame 125 yards in penalties and the Mustangs' defense denied the Bobcats five times inside the Ingleside 32, thrice inside the 13.
Tyler Castellano and Isaiah Perez rushed for 134 and 120 yards, respectively, for the Bobcats, with Castellano scoring twice and Perez scoring the game's first touchdown. For Ingleside, Jalen Gross rushed for 162 yards and two TDs on 18 carries. Refugio's Travis Quintanilla threw for 231 yards and a TD.
Until the final quarter, when fatigue and cramping started affecting the defense, it was the defense that was making the plays. And it was a defensive play that finally sealed Refugio's win, as Cameron Loveday's interception with a minute, 32 seconds remaining that squashed the Mustangs' final march at the Refugio 4.
Defense also set up Jaylon Mascorro's 30-yard TD run to give Refugio a 20-6 lead at the 9:49 mark of the fourth quarter. Alex Coronado's diving interception gave Refugio the ball at its 40, and the Bobcats neeed only three plays and a penalty before Mascorro's TD.
Then the fun began. Kyle Hernandez's 71-yard kickoff return set up Jalen Gross' 18-yard TD score 27 seconds later, pulling Ingleside within 20-14 after Tristen Barajas' 2-point conversion pass to Terrance Robinson.
Refugio then rumbled 64 yards in less than two minutes, taking a 26-14 lead on Castellano's 14-yard scoring sweep. The 2-point conversion failed.
A little more than a minute later, the Mustangs culminated a four-play, 63-yard drive on Gross' 38-yard scoring run on which he broke two tackles. The extra point failed, however, leaving Refugio with a 26-20 lead.
But the Mustangs' defense couldn't hold off the Bobcats. On a short field, Refugio needed five plays - the Bobcats were flagged twice for holding and Ingleside was hit with a pass-interference penalty to extend the drive - to go 60 yards, scoring on Castellano's 25-yard sprint draw. The 2-point conversion failed but Refugio had a 32-20 lead with 3:08 remaining.
Refugio drove 59 yards on the opening series to score on Perez's 6-yard run. After that defenses took over. Keyed by linemen Jollie DeLeon, linebackers Jonathon Jasso and defensive back J.D. Rodriguez, the Mustangs helped contain the big-play Bobcats to 233 yards of first-half offense. Conversely, Coronado, lineman Devin Tagle, safety J.B. Brown abd linebacker Devon LaFrance helped limit Ingleside to 179 first-half yards.
The Mustangs pulled within 7-6 in the third quarter when Barajas and Robinson connected on a 6-yard scoring pass play. On the next series, Refugio answered with Quintanilla's 20-yard TD pass to Dana Franklin for a 14-6 lead, setting the stage for the wild fourth quarter.