Refugio Proves Why They Are #1 With 49-12 Dismantling of the Undefeated Holland Hornets
SAN ANTONIO, TX — From the first play of the game on, it looked like Refugio was playing against air. Everything they did worked, and nothing Holland tried even came close to working until they were in a 35-0 hole.
On the opening snap, after Refugio kicker Jordy Martinez sent the kickoff out of the end zone, Holland handed off to featured back and team captain Clay Cooper. Cooper slammed into a wall at the line of scrimmage, and the ball squirted out giving Refugio possession at the Holland 27 not even 15 seconds into the game.
Three plays later, quarterback Austin Ochoa slipped his way through the defense for a two yard rushing touchdown with 11:12 remaining in the first quarter.
Following the quick punch to the mouth, Holland continued to get in their own way. A muffed catch on the kick return paired with a block in the back penalty set them up at their own 7 and allowed Refugio's dominant front seven to pin their ears back. Holland's senior QB Zane Spinn, which is an incredible name for a quarterback, recognized this and threw a quick hook to Caleb Cearley for five yards.
On second down, Cooper tried to go inside again but only picked up two. With three yards to go for a first down, Holland gave it back to him and got the same result. The Hornets brought their punter out on 4th and inches.
Refugio let the punt roll down to their 39 and got right back to work. On 2nd and 10, following a near interception from Holland's Brady Shelton, running back Naaji Gadsden crossed midfield before being tackled at the Hornet 47. Ochoa tried to air it out again but sailed it over Jordan Kelley's head along the left sideline. Right after, Ochoa showed off his legs and stiffed armed a Holland defender on his way to the 22.
Holland's defensive front responded and dropped Ochoa in the backfield on 2nd and 7 to force a 3rd and 11. The momentum was short lived and wide receiver Antwaan Gross took a screen down the right sideline untouched for his first score of the evening. 14-0 Refugio with 7:27 in the first quarter.
Holland showed signs of adjustments on their ensuing possession. On 3rd and 9, after the Refugio defensive line forced an errant throw and short run, the Bobcats brought the house expecting a Holland pass. Holland countered with a perfect play call, a running back screen to Cooper. Spinn waiting in the pocket until he was surrounded and dumped it off to Cooper with a wall of blockers in front of him. He made it to the Refugio 44 before being tracked down.
In enemy territory for the first time, Holland could not capitalize. A jet sweep went nowhere after a Holland blocker tripped his own runner, and they were stuffed again for one yard on an inside Spinn run. Spinn then heaved a deep shot out of bounds, and a mishandled snap on the punt gave the Bobcats the Ball way back at the Holland 33.
It took them two plays to find the University of Texas San Antonio painted end zone. Jordan Kelley took a wildcat snap and kept a read option down to the six yard line. Ochoa ran it in for his second rushing score on the next play to go up 21-0 with 3:55 still to play in the first.
Refugio marched right back down the field following a Holland three and out. Gross took another screen from Holland's 49, made a cut, and blew by the Hornets for his second TD to cap the two play, 52 yard drive. 28-0 1:12 with 1:12 still to go in the first.
The energy was completely sucked out of Holland at this point. They were outmatched in all aspects of the game. Refugio's defensive front of Javon Williams, Jaden Hubbard, Thomas Keyes, and Elias Morris haunted Spinn and Cooper all night no matter the playcall, and Refugio's offense just had to pick a player to give the ball to and it would work.
Ochoa might be the best quarterback remaining in the 2A DI playoffs. His ball placement on deep balls was nearly perfect throughout the night, and his rhythm with Gross down the field is as good as it can get. He dropped the ball in the bucket several times throughout the game on flag patterns, a go, and a wheel, overcoming tight coverage from Holland's defensive backs.
Holland narrowed the gap to 35-6 on an 80 yard catch and run by wide receiver Brady Shelton. Refugio's man cornerback tried to make a play on the short slant and missed, giving Shelton plenty of open space with no Refugio safety on the field.
That touchdown with 4:19 to play in the half would be the final score before the break.
The Bobcats would not take their foot off the gas and moved right down the field to open the second half. Running back Zavien Wills took the first snap 46 yards down the right sideline and was pushed out of bounds at the Holland 27.
It looked as though Holland would stop them after three consecutive plays netted Refugio negative one yard, but Ochoa pumped faked a screen to Gross and then hit Ethan Perez who darted down the left side of the field after acting like he was blocking. The pass gave them more than enough for the first down and had the ball inside the Holland 5.
On 2nd and goal from the 4, Ochoa hit a wide open Gross in the flat for their third touchdown connection.
The Bobcats extended the lead with 1:29 to play in the third quarter on a powerful, five yard Gadsden run. The rush capped a 55 yard, 6 play drive that was highlighted by a beautiful, high arching pass from Ochoa to Gross that was reeled in at the Holland 9.
In the fourth quarter, Holland continued to fight and Shelton earned his second touchdown of the night with a three yard sweep to the right side.
The two teams traded possessions until Ochoa took a couple of knees to run the clock out and end the game 49-12.
Ochoa finished with 5 total touchdowns, three passing and two rushing. All three of his scores through the air were to the immensely talented and shifty Antwaan Gross. Running back Naaji Gadsden added the other two on the ground.
Brady Shelton had Holland's only points.
The now 14-0 Bobcats will play the winner of Friday night's Groveton/San Augustine game.
You can click here for a photo gallery from the game.
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