In a game that will be remembered for all time, both teams displayed why high school football is special in the state of Texas.
As in every playoff game, one team has to win, and in this exciting contest it was the Refugio Bobcats taking the overtime win in a colossal score fest: 73-72.
With the win, the Bobcats launched themselves into the history books by becoming the first high school football team to ever reach 100 playoff wins.
The first quarter of the game actually was fairly normal as football games go. The Bobcats started the game with the ball, and the Rogers defense held forcing a rare Bobcat punt.
The Refugio defense returned the favor holding Rogers deep in their own territory.
A high snap over the punter’s head resulted in the first points of the evening in the form of a safety, giving the ’Cats a 2-0 lead with a little more than a minute into the game.
Rogers rebounded quickly with a touchdown putting the score at 7-2.
Bobcat quarterback Travis Quintanilla then launched the Bobcat aerial attack, tossing a 74-yard strike to Devon LaFrance.
The Bobcats successfully completed a two-point conversion with Quintanilla passing to Isaiah Perez to make the score 10-7.
Near the end of the period, Perez carried the ball for a 4-yard touchdown run and a point after off of the foot of Adolfo Cordero, creating a 17-7 Bobcat lead. Needless to say, this is where all normalcy of a regular football game went out the window.
When the second period began, little did fans of both teams realize, the game became their roller coaster ride.
The Rogers Eagles pounded two scores out quickly making it a 21-17 ball game.
Quintanilla then started his magic. Like a magician with a hatful of rabbits, Quintanilla finished off two drives with scoring passes of 5 yards each. The first was a pass to LaFrance and a second to Dana Franklin to regain the lead 30-21 going into the half.
Quintanilla had 414 yards passing in the first half, and that surpassed the all-time career passing record for the state of Texas.
After the halftime breather, which the fans really needed before what was to come, both offensives went into overdrive. Rogers had the ball first to start the third quarter and marched down field for another Eagle touchdown, closing the gap with a score of 30-28.
Refugio responded quickly with a seven-play 41-yard drive culminating in a 21-yard TD pass from Quintanilla to Franklin to make the score 37-28.
Rogers came back hard with two touchdowns of their own to recapture the lead, 41-37.
Both teams traded blows as if the contest was a prizefight.
Refugio struck first with an 86-yard gallop by Jaylon Mascorro for another Bobcat score.
“I just knew we had to fight back hard and get the lead back,” said quarterback Travis Quintanilla. “I also knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we hung in there.”
With the lead back in the Bobcats corner at 44-41, Rogers plopped out another score, making it 48-44. With 2:44 left in the third period, running back Tyler Castellano put the ’Cats back on top with a 15-yard touchdown run to make it 51-48.
Even though every living being in the stadium was physically and emotionally exhausted, neither team let up in the fourth quarter.
Rogers cranked out another touchdown to give the Eagles a 54-51 lead.
After trading fumbles, Rogers sneaked in for another TD making it 60-51 with 6:34 left in regulation.
Quintanilla then found another one of those rabbits and pulled it out tossing a 16-yard pass to Perez for a Bobcat touchdown pulling the ’Cats closer at 60-58.
On the next Rogers series, the Bobcat defense hardened.
“We knew we had to stop this here and now,” said defensive specialist Alex Coronado. “Either we stop them, or we go home.”
With the ball back in his hands, Quintanilla ripped a 71-yard monster to JB Brown for a touchdown.
A completion from Quintanilla to Perez for a 2-point conversion put the ’Cats back on top 66-60 with 1:55 left in the fourth.
Rogers struck back with a score with 2 seconds left in regulation. Rogers missed the ensuing point after thrusting the game into a nail-biting overtime with the score tied 66-66.
Both teams had possession of the ball in overtime to decide the contest.
Rogers had the first possession and quickly scored. The Eagles then attempted a 2-point conversion with what they had had success with most of the night.
A running play wide right was unsuccessful with the Bobcat defense planting the Eagle running back firmly at the 1-yard line.
With the scoreboard reading 72-66, the Bobcats had a chance to capitalize on the Rogers failure.
Isaiah Perez got the call from the 1-yard line and pushed his way into the end zone making the score 72-72 with the point after pending.
With two state records under his belt Adolfo Cordero trotted onto the field to attempt the winning point after.
“I was so nervous,” said Cordero. “But I just focused on getting it straight.”
Cordero booted the ball through the uprights to give the Bobcats a 73-72 win and a date with the East Bernard Brahmas in a rematch of last year’s state quarterfinals.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Head Coach Jason Herring. “I’m just so proud of our kids for sticking with it the whole game.”
Travis Quintanilla threw 53 passes with 36 completions for a whopping 712 yards on the night.
Dana Franklin caught nine of those passes for a massive 279 yards.
The Bobcats now travel to Farris Stadium in San Antonio for the game they have waited 358 days for. Refugio will face East Bernard at 7 p.m. Saturday.