GOLIAD – Time was on Austin Ochoa’s side against Goliad.

The Refugio quarterback had good protection and made the most of the situation.

“I had a lot more time in the pocket,” Ochoa said. “I felt more comfortable and relaxed back there to get to whoever was open. It’s just staying in the pocket more and being patient. Waiting for my receivers to open up and trusting my line to block.”

Ochoa passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a touchdown to lead the No. 1 Bobcats to a 35-6 win over Goliad on Friday night at Tiger Field.

“Our offense is coming along and is better than it was in Week 1 and it was in two-a-days,” said Ochoa, who completed 20 of 29 passes without an interception. “So we’re just progressing each and every week and we’re getting better.”

Refugio improved to 2-0 while rolling up 464 yards and eliminating many of the protection issues it struggled with in a season-opening win over Tidehaven.

“Up front they’re physical and they’re real hard to run the football on,” Refugio coach Jason Herring said of the Tigers. “They were playing an eight-man box and we had to take it. What I was real pleased with is the way we pass protected. We gave Austin time to throw the football and when he has time, he’s a real special quarterback.”

Ochoa threw touchdown passes of 29 yards to Mike Firova in the second quarter, and 14 yards to Jordan Kelley in the third quarter.

Ochoa completed 10 pass of 11 yards or more, and Firova had eight receptions for 110 yards.

Ochoa added a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that followed a 70-yard kickoff return by Kelley.

“Overall, I was real pleased with the effort the kids gave,” Herring said. “We’ve got to get in better shape for these humid nights. It’s early, everybody does. I was really pleased with the defense and I was really pleased with the way we protected and threw the football.”

The Bobcats limited Goliad (0-2) to nine first downs and 183 yards of offense, 67 of which came on a touchdown pass from Cameron Morris to Shaun Justice in the third quarter.

“I like to say we’re working a lot,” said Refugio linebacker Ysidro Mascorro. “But we always say we grind and grind on defense. We want to be the No. 1 defense in the state and we want to show why. We know defense is a lot faster to learn and the offense is coming along.”

Justice was a bright spot for the Tigers, rushing 17 times for 104 yards and catching three passes for 73 yards.

“Yes, he does (run hard),” said Goliad coach Bobby Nicholson. “I wish we had three or four of him. We’ve got to get into shape and that’s just the way it’s going to be. The kids know that. They played tough tonight.”

Refugio never punted until the fourth quarter, but was penalized nine times, turned the ball over twice, and was stopped three times on downs.

The Bobcats were able to rush for 178 yards, and also scored on a pair of 1-yard runs by Mascorro.

“We kind of took what they gave us,” Herring said. “I don’t know what they average up front. I’ve been saying they outweigh us by 100 pounds up front. It may not be 100 pounds, but they’re big and physical and we had trouble moving them. We were opportunistic with our run.”

Other than the touchdown, Goliad’s deepest penetration was the Refugio 40-yard line after it recovered a muffed punt and turned the ball over after a fake punt attempt was unsuccessful.

“I thought the defense played lights out all night,” Herring said. “I thought they played incredible.”

The Bobcats were happy with the win, but far from satisfied with where they stand.

“We’ve got some things to do and some things to learn,” Mascorro said. “But all in all, I trust our offense and I trust our defense. We all trust each other that if something bad happens, we pick each other up. It’s just Week 2. We’ll get better down the road.”

NOTES: Refugio leads the series against Goliad 27-8-1.

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at mforman@vicad.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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