Refugio running back racks up 111 yards on 13 carries in quarterfinal win over Blanco
Draigon Silvas had no idea how many times he was going to carry the ball against Blanco and he didn't really care.
"It's whoever's running good that night," Silvas said. "It's not who's the best. Sometimes they're keying on somebody and sometimes they're not keying on you. I've had games that I'm not playing well and I haven't touched it but a couple of carries. Tonight was my night. I did what I could to get the W."
The Refugio freshman carried 13 times for 111 yards and one touchdown to help the Bobcats claim a 22-14 Class 2A, Division II quarterfinal win over the Panthers on a frigid Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Refugio avenged last season's 27-7 quarterfinal loss to Blanco and improved to 14-0. The Bobcats will play the winner of Saturday's Daingerfield-Newton semifinal game next Saturday at Bowers Stadium in Huntsville.
Silvas scored on a 62-yard run in the second quarter and had a two-point conversion run after Refugio's first touchdown. He also teamed up with senior Jourdan Ortiz in Refugio's goal-line formation as the Bobcats drove 74 yards in 12 plays to put the game away.
"I'm going to feed that guy the ball," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "It never crosses my mind what grade he's in, whether Papi's (Ortiz) at quarterback or Aaron (Perez) or Kyle (Hendley), we don't care. This team just wants to win. Whoever we can win with we don't care."
Silvas and Ortiz carried 10 times and Charlie Henderson had two carries on the final drive that ate up 6:29 of the fourth quarter that ended with Ortiz scoring on a 2-yard run with 1:21 left.
"Our passing game wasn't there tonight so we had to go to our running game," Ortiz said. "We don't care who gets the ball. Draigon's one of our teammates and does what he does. We realized when he was in middle school he was going to be a real good back. He was in junior high doing what he's doing now."
Silvas' touchdown came on a fourth-and-one play to help Refugio go up 15-0. The play came a series after he had been stopped short of a first down on a fourth-and-one.
"If you can't get one yard you don't have any business being in the semifinals," Herring said. "The first time I was a goat, the next time I was the hero. It was the same stinking call. Draigon takes it to the house and it ended up winning the game for us."
Refugio took a 15-0 halftime lead after blocking a punt and recovering four fumbles. Henderson scored the Bobcats' first touchdown on a 41-yard run that also came on a fourth-and-one attempt.
But Blanco (13-2) pulled within a point in the third quarter behind the running of Layton Dworaczyk. The senior rushed for 98 of his 145 yards in the second half and scored on runs of 7 and 9 yards.
The Bobcats were able to stop the Panthers on their first possession of the fourth quarter, setting up their final drive.
"We're going to put it in Papi's and Draigon's hands," Herring said. "Plus our double-tight set had been our best set all night. They're real good up front. That was the only way we could match up in our spread. You notice early in the game we came out throwing the ball, but late in the game I wanted to run it. The only way you can run the ball against a seven-man front is match them. So we matched them."
Silvas carried six times on the final drive and his block helped Ortiz reach the end zone.
"If Draigon blocks all night long or he gets four touchdowns, he doesn't care," Herring. "That's what makes him so special. We've got a lot of good players. What makes this team special is we're loaded with studs and we're not selfish. They don't care. They just want to play and win.'
VERSATILE: Ortiz carried eight times for 27 yards and one touchdown and caught three passes for 40 yards. Ortiz also iced the win -- no pun intended -- with an interception.
TURNOVER TIME: Refugio's Farrell Flowers, Sean Ponce, Danny Hernandez and Perez recovered fumbles and Bryan Castellano blocked a punt. Hernandez had nine tackles and one sack. Dylan Klare played well both ways.
FEW FLAGS: Each team was penalized twice for 10 yards. Blanco received a personal foul penalty on Refugio's first extra point attempt that led to Draigon Silvas' two-point run. Neither team was penalized in the second half.