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Refugio's defensive goal? Perfection

By aalvarado
Sept. 29, 2011 at 4:29 a.m.
Updated Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:30 a.m.

Refugio Bobcats coach Jason Herring explains to his players what it means to be a Bobcat and that they must be committed to be on his team after practice Tuesday afternoon at Refugio High School. ANGELI WRIGHT/AWRIGHT@VICAD.COM

REFUGIO -- Refugio's defense has not allowed more than 21 points in a game and has beaten its opponents by at least 19 points per game this season.

The scary thing? The defense considers itself in transition and has yet to play up to its own high standards.

"We've given up 28 points, had two shutouts in a row, and we've been absolutely disgusted and worried about defense," said head coach Jason Herring.

The Bobcats defense will take its next step toward a potential long playoff run Friday when Refugio hosts Riviera in its second District 16-2A, Division II game.

Both teams come into the contest with 4-0 records and won their first district game.

Last season, Refugio's run came to an end in a 45-22 semifinal playoff loss to Lexington.

Lexington ran all over the Bobcats' defense for 211 yards and two touchdowns.

Herring knew a switch to a more run-resistant 4-3 defense could be the key to helping the Bobcats get over the hump.

"In the big games, when their athletes are every bit as good as our athletes, it's really hard to play with a three-man front," Herring said. "We really struggled stopping the run."

It also helped that the Bobcats had the personnel in defensive tackles Donald Trevino and Logan Myers, and defensive ends Jake Henderson and Justin Padilla to run the scheme.

Trevino is a standout on the defensive line's interior, leading the team with 12 solo tackles, 17 assisted tackles and three forced fumbles through four games.

With renewed expectations of district domination again this season, Refugio will have a tough time topping last year's performance. In 2010, no team came within 47 points of the Bobcats.

This year, the Bobcats are hoping to pitch a shutout every time they take the field in a district game.

"That's what we all strive for, to make sure no team is going to score on the Refugio Blackshirt defense," Trevino said.

Although the Bobcats have been working on run defense, they play a Riviera team led by quarterback Heston Von Fleet that tends to throw out of a spread formation.

Through four games, Von Fleet has completed 37 of 52 passes for 528 yards, eight touchdowns and has thrown just one interception.

Refugio defensive coordinator Steve Heryford called Von Fleet a "playmaker," adding Riviera will serve as a good early district test.

"I know their kids are going to show up and get after us, and that's what we need," Heryford said. "We need to have to play though the adversity that good teams put you through."

Riviera's wins have come against Bishop, Woodsboro, Natalia and Banquete, but Trevino warns against taking the district opener lightly, especially since Riviera already has a district win.

'"They're 4-0," Trevino said. "They're just like us."

In 2010, the Bobcats easily won at Riviera 69-13.

Herring said although the defense is not statistically overwhelming while adjusting its philosophy, Riviera presents an opportunity to get even more accustomed to the system.

In the end, it will be just one game in a progression he hopes will lead to an extended playoff run.

"I knew we weren't going to look perfect right now," Herring said. "I'm building for Week 13 or 14."

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