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Refugio rolls to 82-26 victory over Nixon-Smiley (VIDEO, GALLERY)

By MIKE FORMAN
Nov. 16, 2013 at 5:16 a.m.

Dana Franklin breaks away from several Nixon-Smiley defenders, as the Refugio Bobcats rolled to a  82-26 victory.

Travis Quintanilla can't even compare the Refugio team that took the field for its Class 2A, Division II bi-district playoff game to the team that started the season.

The Bobcats progression has impressed the senior quarterback and he still sees room from improvement.

"We weren't that team that we thought would be going to the state championship," Quintanilla said. "We had to build every game and we had a little hump in the road, but we went on. We're still coming together as a team."

Refugio showed how far the progression has come by rolling to an 82-26 win over Nixon-Smiley (6-5) on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.

The Bobcats improved to 10-1 and moved into the area round against Danbury, a 35-14 winner over Blanco, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Ricebird Stadium in El Campo.

"We were playing pretty well offensively," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "Of course, Travis is real special and we've got a great corps of receivers and a good, young running back. We're just trying to get better. I'm hoping that we're peaking at the right time."

Quintanilla completed 22 of 24 passes for 290 yards and eight touchdowns. He now has 47 touchdown passes this season and 165 for his career, two short of the state record.

"He had a great night," Herring said. "He's playing phenomenal. I mean forget the record - he's thrown how many touchdown passes and only one interception on a Hail Mary against Lago Vista that I'm not even sure was caught - that right there is crazy. As long as he keeps playing that efficiently then I like our chances. I like the way this team is coming together."

Quintanilla completed his first 12 passes and threw to 10 different receivers, as the Bobcats scored on their first 12 possessions.

"This year we're using everybody," Quintanilla said. "It's not that key guy like Marcus Thompson or Lynx Hawthorne. We're a whole team and that's something that's good to have."

Quintanilla threw two touchdown passes each to Dana Frankin and Devon LaFrance, and one each to Tyler Castellano, Anfernee Friar, J.B. Brown, and Johnathan Rosas.

The Bobcats also scored on runs of 52 yards by Castellano on the first play from scrimmage, and 51 yards by Marquis Brown on the third play. They also had an 82-yard interception return by Cameron Loveday, and a 71 yard kickoff return by Isaiah Perez.

"Giving our running back a little pitch, that's what we needed and that's what I told coach," Quintanilla said. "Tonight it worked both ways - running or throwing."

Nixon-Smiley's Garrett Earlywine rushed for 80 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown, and had 100 receiving yards, including a 53-yard touchdown pass from Nick Pena.

But Refugio scored its final touchdown with 5:00 left in the third quarter. Herring played his reserves the entire fourth quarter.

"I was real pleased with every phase of the game," Herring said. "Some of those touchdowns we had young kids out there and we've got to learn from it."

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