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Refugio-Rogers playoff game one for the ages

By Victoria Advocate
Dec. 4, 2013 at 6:04 a.m.

Refugio  kicker Adolfo Cordero, center, celebrates with teammate Julian Murillo, left, after kicking the game winning extra point to win 73-72 against Rogers in overtime at Ken Pridgeon Stadium in Houston.

Playoff scorefests

The highest combined scores in Texas high school football playoff games.

• 145 - Refugio 73, Rogers 72, OT (2013)

• 125 - Geronimo Navarro 76, Pleasanton 49 (2012)

• 124 - Palestine Westwood 65, Diboll 59 (2007)

• 124 - Port Isabel 63, Rice Consolidated 61, 4 OT (2003)

• 123 - Calhoun 76, Uvalde 47 (2006)

• 122 - Austin Westlake 80, San Antonio Clark 42 (1994)

• 121 - Elysian Fields 67, Winona 54 (2012)

• 120 - Round Rock Stony Point 72, DeSoto 48 (2010)

• 120 - San Antonio Reagan 72, Laredo United 48 (2006)

Source: texashighschoolfootballhistory.com

Refugio coach Jason Herring was talking to his players after their 73-72 Class 2A, Division II regional playoff overtime win over Rogers when someone pulled me aside.

"How are you going to write this one up?," he asked.

I wasn't sure how to answer, and there's no way I or anyone who covered the game could do it justice.

So much transpired in the 48-plus minutes of playing time that plenty was left out of the stories written and regrettably so.

In over three decades of covering high school football, only two games I covered came close to the drama witnessed by those at Pridgeon Stadium in Houston on Friday night.

One was Cuero's 38-36 win over Van Vleck in the 1985 Class 3A semifinals on a frigid night at Memorial Stadium in Austin.

Clay Pullin's 26-yard field goal with 1 second left in the fourth quarter helped a Cuero team led by quarterback Brad Goebel and running back Robert Strait prevail over a Van Vleck team that featured quarterback Robert Blackmon.

The other was Groveton's 41-36 win over Schulenburg in the 1990 Class 2A semifinals at the Astrodome in Houston.

Schulenburg battled back from a pair of two-touchdown deficits in the fourth quarter against a Groveton team led by running back Rodney Thomas.

The Shorthorns had the ball at the Groveton 10-yard line with 36 seconds left in the fourth quarter before a pass was intercepted in the end zone.

But neither one of those games had the non-stop action Refugio and Rogers provided.

The lead changed hands 10 times and the teams were tied only until Refugio scored on a safety with 10:47 left in the first quarter, and at the end of the fourth quarter.

The teams combined for 48 points in the third quarter when four touchdowns were scored in a span of 1:56.

Rogers scored on a 10-yard run by Brody Malovets, Refugio's Jaylon Mascorro returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, Rogers' Jackson Sodek ran 58 yards for a touchdown on the next play from scrimmage, and three plays later Tyler Castellano ran 15 yards for a touchdown.

Then, there were records.

Refugio quarterback Travis Quintanilla came into the game needing 216 yards to break Lake Travis' Garrett Gilbert's state record for career passing yards.

Quintanilla set the record late in the first quarter on a 13-yard pass to Castellano.

Two plays earlier it looked like Quintanilla had set another record with a 99-yard touchdown pass to Dana Franklin, but Franklin was penalized for diving into the end zone from the 2-yard line.

Quintanilla would go on to pass for 712 yards, which is a Class 2A record for passing yards in a game and is 12 yards short of the state record.

Refugio won the game despite rushing for 15 net yards and having four turnovers - Quintanilla threw two interceptions and fumbled twice - and also lost a first down when Castellano fumbled the ball backwards on a fourth down play that would have been a first down.

The Bobcats were 3 for 5 on fourth-down conversions, and two of them went for touchdowns, including a 16-yard pass from Quintanilla to Isaiah Perez on a fourth-and-12 that pulled Refugio within 60-58 with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter.

After a rare three and out, Refugio took the lead on a 71-yard pass from Quintanilla to J.B. Brown, who tip-toed the sideline to the end zone. Quintanilla passed to Perez for the two-point conversion with 1:55 remaining.

But Rogers drove from its 10-yard line to the Refugio 3 where Sodek scored with 2 seconds left.

But Rogers missed its fourth extra point of the game.

Rogers converted a fourth-and-one from the 16 on its first series of overtime before scoring on a 2-yard run by Malovets.

Rogers coach Jeff Walker decided to go for two points and J.B. Brown came up with the biggest defensive play of the game when he tackled Sodek short of the end zone.

The Bobcats needed only three plays after Quintanilla passed to Marquis Brown for 21 yards before Perez scored on a 1-yard run.

Adolfo Cordero converted his state record 279th career extra point for the winning margin.

What neither Refugio nor Rogers probably realized is the game set a state record for combined points in a playoff game.

The 145 points easily surpassed the previous record of 125 set last season in Navarro's 76-49 win over Pleasanton.

"Never, never," Herring said when asked if he's ever coached in a game like Friday night. "I hope I never do again."

Herring is likely to get his wish, although Refugio and East Bernard will play in the quarterfinals Saturday at 7 p.m. at Farris Stadium in San Antonio.

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com, or comment on this column at advosports.com

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