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Refugio QB makes state history (w/gallery, video)

By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Nov. 23, 2013 at 5:23 a.m.


EL CAMPO - Travis Quintanilla knew the condition outside was frightful, but the feeling he had inside the Refugio locker room was delightful.

Quintanilla weathered a frigid north wind and bone-chilling mist that fell during the second half and led the Bobcats to a 42-13 Class 2A, Division II area playoff win over Danbury, setting a state record in the process Friday night at Ricebird Stadium.

Quintanilla completed 12 of 26 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns, breaking the record for career touchdown passes of 167 held by Graham Harrell, of Ennis, in the process.

As a result, Refugio improved to 11-1 and moved into the regional round against Rogers, a 69-0 winner over Dilley. The regional game will be played next Friday at 7 p.m. at Pridgeon Stadium in Cypress.

Quintanilla threw touchdown passes of 10 yards to Devon LaFrance and 38 yards to Marquis Brown to tie the record in the second quarter. The record-breaking 168th touchdown toss came on a 12-yard pass to LaFrance with six seconds left in the third quarter.

"This is probably the coldest game, the roughest game I ever played in," Quintanilla said. "It was tough. My hand was throbbing the whole time. It was freezing. I tried to put it in my hand warmer with the heater things, and it wouldn't go away. It was difficult. I've never been through this, and I learned a lesson for next time."

Refugio coach Jason Herring could see Quintanilla struggling with the conditions but told his quarterback to be patient and the record would come.

"I said, 'Pup, I promise you it will come. I don't know when tonight, but it's going to come, and it will be great,'" Herring said. "He has done a great job of making it about the team. He's handled this better than anybody else. I've insisted that it be about the team. He handled it like a stud, and he deserved it because of that."

Refugio relied a great deal on its running game to overcome the dreadful conditions. Tyler Castellano carried 17 times for 94 yards, and Isaiah Perez, who was battling the flu, had 17 carries for 85 yards and scored two touchdowns.

"In playoff football, there are two things you better be able to do," Herring said. "You better be able to play great defense when it counts, and you better be able to run the stinking football when you have to."

The Bobcats did not allow Danbury (10-2) to make a first down in the second half until 1:35 was left in the fourth quarter. Junior Nate Smith intercepted a pass that was tipped by J.B. Brown, James Durst recovered a fumble, and Les Rhodes blocked a punt.

"The key was putting pressure on the quarterback," said linebacker Alex Coronado. "If we put pressure on the quarterback, he wasn't going to do anything."

Quintanilla did what he needed to set one state record and moved within 215 yards of setting the state record for career passing yards that could come next week.

"He (Herring) told me just to trust him and the records would come and they did come," Quintanilla said. "I've been waiting all stinking year for this record, and finally, it's here. I've got the yards one coming, but I'm not really worried about that. There was a lot of stuff on my back. Now that it's here, I just want to go back to Dallas Cowboys Stadium."

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