The Banquete Bulldogs played their last football game of the season Friday as they were eliminated from the Class 2A Division II bi-district playoffs, losing 42-21 to the undefeated and third-ranked Refugio Bobcats.
"Just like them, we didn't want to lose," said Bulldog halfback Mikey Gonzalez. "We believed we could win as we never gave up."
Refugio's diversity of running backs with a combination of passing showed as Rickey Lewis, Collin Avery and Terrence Smith proved to be too much for the Banquete defense as the three running backs combined for 331 yards rushing and four touchdowns on only 26 carries.
Avery had a touchdown with 104 yards, but it was Smith who took the lead in this game with two touchdowns and 151 yards on just 14 carries while Banquete managed only 188 yards of total offense.
The Bulldogs opening game momentum was broken early as their opening drive was broken up and they were forced to punt.
The Bulldogs were already down by seven in the first quarter when, on the first play of the second quarter, Refugio scored another touchdown on a 70-yard run. Banquete got a break with a missed extra point, putting Refugio up by 13 points with nearly an entire quarter still to play before the half.
The Bulldogs had trouble holding onto the ball and fumbled to give the ball back to the Bobcats, who needed only one play to score as Ben Preston ran it in for about 30 yards, giving Refugio a 21-0 lead.
Gonzalez put points on the board for the Bulldogs when he ran back a 91-yard kickoff for a touchdown, making it 21-7.
Damien Crayton of Refugio took a 13-yard run down the left side for a touchdown, making it 28-7 at halftime.
After the half, the Bobcats came out of the locker room and scored another touchdown on only three plays to make it 35-7.
Banquete scored its second touchdown without the offense as defensive linemen Mathew Rodriguez intercepted a pass and ran it for 5 yards into the end zone.
Refugio concentrated on burning the clock and went to the ground in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats put together an 85-yard drive that took 5 minutes off the clock and ended with Smith diving into the end zone to make the lead 42-14.
Banquete scored its only offensive touchdown in the last 42 seconds of the game as the fans and the players on the sideline kept up their spirits. The Bulldogs played every down as if it were their last, because for some of the Banquete seniors, it was.
The game ended with the Refugio on top, 42-21.
"They played hard; they played with passion; they played their guts out. I am proud of these guys here," said Banquete coach Kevin Hermes. "Refugio is a good football team but surrounding all that negativity against us coming into the game, we still believed we could beat them no matter what."