A strong passing defense in football starts with the rush up front. Two of the Sam Houston State Bearkats’ front seven brought the rush all day, helping deliver history in the process.
Refugio natives Ysidro and Trace Mascorro were part of an eager Bearkats defense, getting after South Dakota State quarterback Keaton Heide and company in the FCS championship game May 21. The Bearkats won the contest 23-21, securing the program’s first national triumph.
Ysidro, a freshman import straight from the 2019 Refugio Bobcats state title unit, contributed an assisted tackle on the day, while senior Trace had three tackles (one solo). Opposing signal-caller Heide was forced into bad throws often, finishing 9-20 for 79 yards. His backup, Mark Gronowski, completed 1-2 for 16 yards.
The Jackrabbits would score first, but the Bearkats would take a 14-7 lead into halftime courtesy two touchdown hookups between Eric Schmid and receiver Jequez Ezzard. A Seth Morgan field goal in the third quarter would push the lead to 17-7.
In the fourth, Jackrabbits running back Isaiah Davis went wild, scoring his second touchdown of the day with 13:12 remaining, then busting out for 85 yards and a score with 5:41 left.
With time or score (21-17) not on the Bearkats side, Schmid found Ife Adeyi for a 10-yard connection, Adeyi running in for a touchdown with 16 seconds left on the clock.
The contest was Trace’s last with the Bearkats, beginning his career with the program after a two-year stint with UTEP. In his first year with the orange and white, the defensive lineman was named Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, along with first-team conference honors. He ranked seventh in the Southland with 15.5 tackles for loss in 2019, including 2.5 tackles for loss against multiple opponents.
In 2021, Trace was picked to the conference’s second team.
Younger brother Ysidro saw action throughout his freshman campaign, including 5 tackles in a Bearkat win over Nicholls. A two-time state champion in high school, the freshman has not lost an organized contest since 2018. The Bobcats went 16-0 en route to a 3A state title in 2019, followed by the undefeated Bearkats campaign (10-0).