Tigers Beat Bobcats

Goliad wide receiver Jackson Taylor extends the ball toward the goal while being brought down by Refugio defensive back Michael Firova during a non-district game last season at Tiger Field in Goliad.  

Dareon Wills hasn’t forgotten last season’s game against Goliad.

But he’s more concerned about what takes place Friday night.

“Last year’s in the past,” Wills said. “It’s the present now.”

The Tigers came into Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium and handed Refugio a 35-0 defeat – the first time the Bobcats had been shut out since 2001.

Goliad went on to the Class 3A, Division I regional playoffs.

The Bobcats recovered after abandoning its option offense and going back to the spread and advanced to the Class 2A, Division I quarterfinals.

Refugio was ranked No. 1 in its classification coming into the season, while the Tigers were ranked No. 8.

The Bobcats were able to maintain the top spot by opening the season with a 43-7 win over Tidehaven.

But Goliad fell out of the poll after dropping a 42-20 decision to Columbus.

“I’ve probably never coached kids that were more nervous in a first game,” said Goliad coach Bobby Nicholson. “The game was fast and we’ve got to catch up with it.”

The Tigers will have to improve quickly when they host Refugio at 7:30 p.m.

“They’re explosive,” Nicholson said. “One little seam, one little blown assignment and they’ll get you. They just play fast. That’s why I like playing teams like that because it’s going to make us play fast.”

Refugio coach Jason Herring was pleased with his team’s debut with the exception of its pass protection and four turnovers.

“Everything else was just first-game stuff like penalties and that’s just going to happen,” Herring said. “The two things that stuck out to me are we’ve got to protect our quarterback better and we had four turnovers. In a big game, you can’t do that. We were fortunate enough to win the game. Most of the times when you have four turnovers you have a hard time winning the game.”

Herring’s biggest concern against Goliad is the size of its offensive line.

“I’m nervous about that,” he said. “They’re foot to foot and they outweigh us about 100 pounds per man up front. I’m worried about them just ball controlling and pounding us. We’ve tried to emphasize pad level. We’re going to have to keep our pad level low and not get driven back.”

Nicholson is hoping to see the Tigers take another step forward as they go through a difficult non-district schedule that also includes George West, Rockport-Fulton and Shiner.

“We knew it was going to be like this,” he said. “I want to get better week by week. We need to try and play four quarters of smash-mouth football and see where it falls. Then, grade the film and get better every week.”

Refugio hopes to avenge last year’s defeat, while playing a more complete game.

“We know what we can do well,” Wills said. “We’re just trying to get to that level we can get to. I like to see us not get down on the low end. Stay up on the highs and just work together as a team and keep the ball moving.”

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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