Photo via Gabe Hernandez, Corpus Christi Caller Times

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The Refugio Bobcats are back in the Class 2A Division I championship game, but this is certainly not the same Bobcats team who lost to the Canadian Wildcats in 2015. A retooled offense and a shutdown defense have worked wonders for a team looking to redeem themselves.

On offense, it all starts with Jaylon Mascorro. The quarterback-turned-running back has continued to be the same dominant running threat this season as he was last season. When called upon, he can still make a big throw for the Bobcats offense. As for his replacement, Jacobe Avery has picked up where Mascorro left off from last year’s state title run. He’ll have D’Mond LaFond and Trent Ross as go-to targets but Refugio’s goal on offense is simple: run the football. One area they’ll have to clean up is ball security, as the Bobcats have had several fumbles in the last couple of playoff games.

For as much hype as the offense gets, the Refugio defense may be one of the best units in the entire state. The Bobcats have shut down nearly everyone that they’ve played, only giving up an average of 7 points per game. The Bobcats defense will match up against a Crawford offense that also likes to pound the rock, so that sense of familiarity may be very helpful. Jamel LaFond had two interceptions in last week’s win over Centerville, so expect him to be a key playmaker in the secondary.

As for the front seven, they’ve been able to contain some good rushing attacks in Mason, Ben Bolt and Centerville the last few weeks. Defensive tackle Trace Mascorro and linebacker Kobie Herring are both UTEP commits and they anchor a defense that has simply dominated for most of the season. The Crawford Pirates ground attack may provide the biggest test for the Refugio defense and that could be the key if the Bobcats want to win their first state title since 2011.

 

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