Refugio captured the 2A Division I State Title off the leg of kicker Diego Gonzales as he hit the game-winning field goal from 18 yards out to give Refugio the 23-20 win over Crawford.
All 15,017 people in attendance witnessed a classic inside AT&T Stadium as both teams were physical and relentless in their pursuit of the state title. In a game where pads were colliding and helmets clashing, the scoreboard read 20-20 as the fourth quarter began to wind down with 4:36 left in the game.
“We’re real similar. Both of us play great defense, both of us like to pound the rock and both of us like to try and big play you with the play-action pass. I thought they did an outstanding job,” said Refugio head coach Jason Herring. “We had a huge size advantage but they submarined and cut our lineman at the line of scrimmage that just made plays. It’s a great job coaching by Coach Kelm and then all the kids played really hard and as y’all saw it could have gone either way.”
Jacobe Avery had been the workhorse for Refugio as he compiled 117 yards on the ground with two touchdowns and also threw for 77 yards and one touchdown. His third touchdown came from an 18-yard run with 6:26 left on the clock in the fourth quarter to put Refugio up 20-13.
“I wanted this one for the kids cause they’ve been here twice. They’re the winningest class in Refugio history for a four year span and what we didn’t have was a championship,” Herring said, “I wanted more than anything else for these guys to finish it right and get a ring and to send them off into college the right way.”
When Refugio was up 13-6 at the half, Crawford looked to Garrett Dutschmann on subsequent scoring drives to tie the game at 13-13 then 20-20 in the fourth.
For Refugio, this is their fourth overall state title and first since 2011. This particular title has a special meaning for Jason Herring.
“I haven’t been this close to a bunch of kids ever! My son plays on this team, when I got here these little rascals were third-graders…way back in 2007…they’ve been in my house, we’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together. There’s no question this one is really, really, really, really, really special.”
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