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Defense paves way in Refugio's win in regional

By LEN HAYWARD - CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER-TIMES/SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
Nov. 26, 2016 at 7:44 p.m.
Updated Nov. 26, 2016 at 7:44 p.m.

MATHIS - On a night where the Refugio offense was struggling to hold on to the football in wet conditions, the Bobcats' defense did what it does best - dominate.

Refugio held Ben Bolt to 36 total yards and stuffed the Badgers' running game in a 36-12 victory Friday in a Class 2A, Division I regional at a wet Pirate Stadium.

The Bobcats fumbled the ball 10 times, including seven in the first half, and lost two of them. But even when Refugio (12-1) gifted the ball to the Badgers in its own territory, Refugio's defense rarely wavered.

The Badgers finished the night with six first downs and were held to minus-48 rushing yards as 35 of those came on bad snaps. Outside of those snaps, the Badgers had minus-23 rushing yards and 2,000-yard rusher Brandon Adams managed 22 yards on 20 carries.

"Maybe the best ever (defensive performance) because of the conditions," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "Holy cow, we couldn't hold onto to the ball. I thought (Ben Bolt) did a lot better job handling the conditions than we did. What I do like was our kids found a way to win and kept battling and kept battling. You need to be battle tested to win it all. We are better because of this game."

Refugio will take on Mason - a 55-18 winner over Normangee - in the quarterfinals, tentatively set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Rattler Stadium in San Marcos.

The Badgers' lone score in the first half came after the Bobcats fumbled at their own 38. That drive was helped by a Bobcats' personal foul penalty as they were flagged nine times for 93 yards. Of the Badgers' six first downs, three came by penalty.

Badger receiver Frankie Rodriguez caught a 15-yard pass from quarterback Adrian Estrada to tie the game at 6 with 3:09 left in the half as Ben Bolt took advantage of the turnover.

The Bobcats responded, through, as freshman running back Ysidro Mascorro broke free for a 54-yard touchdown run in a heavy downpour to give Refugio the lead at 14-6. Mascorro, who played much of the game in place of Jaylon Mascorro, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, rushed for a game-best 154 yards and a touchdown.

Refugio (12-1) did not shake the Badgers through the third quarter, leading 22-6. But the game changed in the fourth quarter when Bobcat defender Kobie Herring returned a fumble 86 yards and gave the Bobcats a 28-6 lead.

Ben Bolt did score after that touchdown, but Refugio responded with another score to cap the victory.

The Badgers fumbled the ball eight times on the night and lost four.

"Their defensive line is phenomenal," said Ben Bolt coach Daniel Johnson. "People are going to have a hard time moving them. They are big, strong and physical, and they are smart football players. We haven't been here in 26 years and to get to this moment and for them to keep performing under these elements and give it all they had is all we can ask for."


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