December football: ‘It’s in our blood!’
by Kenda Nelson
Dec 09, 2010 | 1409 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
December football has become such a tradition in Refugio, putting up a Bobcat Christmas tree has become part of that tradition for at least one family. Most fans across the community are saying, “all they want for Christmas is a state championship.”
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December football – it’s in our blood. The Bobcats are reminded daily by the sign that hangs in the turf room. But it’s been that way long before the sign was ever hung.

Led by Bobcat All-American running back Willie Mack Garza, the 1987 Bobcats managed to rack up 748 points to set a school record during its 16-game season. The Cats advanced to the state championship game, losing by one point to Lorena.

On Saturday in the Alamodome in San Antonio, the 2010 Bobcats beat that school scoring record by tallying 762 points for the season in two fewer games than the record-setting team.

Most likely, no All-American running backs will be named from this year’s team, not because a lack of talent exists, but because the team is balanced, unselfish and team oriented.

The Bobcats went into halftime trailing the Schulenburg Shorthorns, 21-7, but the Cats took only one minute and 34 seconds into the third quarter to close the gap.

Refugio busted into the second half with back-to-back touchdowns. The Cats never fell behind again but the fans were on the edge of their seats.

“That may be the hottest football team I’ve ever seen,” said Coach Jason Herring. “We were all over that football, but the quarterback would throw it and the receiver would catch it... and always on a third down.”

But the Bobcats wouldn’t give up. The Cats won the barnburner 42-35, after dominating the second half against the Schulenburg passing game.

“I don’t have any doubt that we wore them down,” Herring said. “We had 22 different guys out there and they had seven or eight playing both ways, including the quarterback.”

Herring credited conditioning and two complete offense and defense teams, plus a determined senior running back – Terrence Smith.

“Terrence, no doubt, had his single best rushing performance and he played like an inspired senior,” Herring said. “And the line opened up holes for him. It was a crazy good night that deep into the playoffs. It was one of the best games I’ve ever seen and I’ve been coaching for 20 years.”

In the final two minutes of play, the Shorthorns used their passing game to score a final touchdown.

In a last-ditch effort, with only seconds left on the clock, the Shorthorns kicked an onside kick to a waiting Refugio return team. Bobcat Justin Padilla grabbed the ball, went to the turf, and the game was over for the Shorthorns.

“I’m so proud, we did not give up and our kids made a statement,” Herring said. “Terrence tied the game for us and I’m just real proud.”

This Saturday in Cypress, the Bobcats will face off with Lexington in the semifinal match.

“Lexington is quick and plays a real aggressive style of defense with a solid offense,” Herring said. “Their team is built around their defense.”

Herring said the Bobcats will have to move chains and take every opportunity they get.

The game just might be the lowest scoring game of the season.

But even so, this year’s Bobcats already have the school record for points scored.
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