Refugio scored on its first possession after the Owls kicked off. Starting at its own 27, the Bobcat offense methodically picked the Owls apart. On the first play quarterback Kyle Hendley faded back and threw a perfect pass to Christian Espindola for a 28-yard gain.
Two plays later Jourdan Ortiz was the recipient of a Hendley pass with a great catch for 35 yards. Terrence Smith picked up 12 yards on a run and two plays later he added the touchdown on a one-yard run. Eric Martinez kicked the extra point to give the Cats an early 7-0 first quarter lead.
Refugio kicked off with a “pooch kick” and the Owls took over at their 37. They began an extended drive that consumed 10 plays and got to the Refugio 17 before the Cat defense forced them to give up the ball on downs.
Refugio and Odem exchanged the ball on their next possessions. Then Refugio got the ball back on an Owl punt to the Cat 17. The Cat offense started another TD drive with two big pass plays from Hendley to Irvin Fox for 14 and 43 yards.
Five plays later Smith crossed the goal line for an eight-yard touchdown. Martinez was true with his PAT kick and Refugio led 14-0 early in the second period.
On the Owl’s next possession, Ortiz intercepted a pass. Setting up at the Owl 35, the Cats wasted little time in scoring again on their fourth play.
Charlie Henderson broke off right guard and tackle on a 26 yard TD run. Martinez’s kick was good and the score upped to 21-0 at 7:59 left in the first half.
As much pleasure as it is for fans to see the Refugio offense roll up impressive scores and the Bobcat defense nail down its opponent’s offense, watching Eric Martinez kick off is entertaining as well. His kicks are not fun for the opposing teams as they seldom get a chance to return a ball that goes out of the end zone or through the uprights on a kickoff.
The Owl return team was so accustomed to the long kicks last Friday night that they just automatically headed for the 20-yard line on each kickoff.
The hapless Owls again set up at their 20 after the ensuing kickoff and again on the third play had the ball picked off. This time, Bryant Lewis snared the ball at the Bobcat 45. The Cats moved to the Owl five before having to give up the ball on downs.
Odem failed to move because of the tough Refugio “D” and were forced to punt with the Cats taking over at its 48. A pass on first downs to Ortiz was good for 22 yards. Three plays later Smith caught a screen pass from Hendley and scored from 15 yards out. Martinez gave the Cats a 28-0 lead with his kick and the half ended.
Odem came out the second half determined to score and they did. The Owls took the kickoff and started at their 20. On the third play an Odem back broke loose and headed for the “promise land” on a 69-yeard run.
Ortiz saved a TD by tackling the runner at the Bobcat 11. Three plays later, Sam Pesek scored on a nine-yard run and, despite the missed PAT, the Owls were on the scoreboard trailing 28-6.
After the following kickoff Refugio responded quickly and in only two plays. The Cats set up at their own 29 and a first pass attempt failed. On the second play quarterback Aaron Perez hit Ortiz in the right flat and he outran the defense to the goal line 71 yards away. Martinez kicked the extra point and Refugio had a commanding 35-6 lead midway in the third quarter.
Again the Owls failed to move on their next possession and Refugio took over on a punt to its 34. Three plays netted a minus one-yard and Refugio faced a fourth and 11 and set up for a punt.
Coach Jason Herring surprised everyone by faking a punt and Fox passed to Danny Hernandez for a 27-yard gain to the Odem 40. Three plays later Hendley hit Ortiz with a perfect over-the-shoulder pass good for a 34-yard touchdown. With 2:52 left in the third quarter, Refugio held a 42-6 lead.
Then Coach Herring began unloading his bench and let the backups take charge. They did a good job moving the ball and the defense stalled an Odem TD drive at the Bobcat’s seven-yard line.
Refugio put up another outstanding performance. The offense racked up 515 yards while the defense held Odem to 192 yards of offense. Refugio tallied 22 first downs while the Owls had seven.
Hendley added to his already amazing numbers as he passed for 175 yards on 12 of 18 attempts. Ortiz caught seven of nine passes for 178 yards followed by Fox with 60 yards on three of seven passes. Smith was the leading rusher with 101 yards on 11 carries.
This Friday night is homecoming and the Cats will host the Taft Greyhounds in another district game. The Hounds (2-4, 1-1) have played Refugio 57 times in the past with the Cats winning 40, losing 14, and tying three games.
Taft is coming off a 27-14 win over Bloomington and is not to be taken lightly. Last year the Bobcats defeated the Greyhounds 49-6. Game time is 7:30 p.m.