Sunday, December 25, 2011
State Championship Battle: Good vs. Evil...
I've said this plenty of time before, there are only two times I believe in running up the score: 1) Video Games and 2) When the other team is intentionally trying to hurt or has hurt your players. So, when you look at a team's scores for the year and they are beating teams by 60-70 points every game including one that was 93-0. Refugio was gunning for a national scoring record and didn't care whether they were doing it with class or not.
In the Class 2A Division II state championship game Cisco and their ball control, ground and pound offense was basically going to have to play a perfect game to keep Refugio under control. On the first drive Refugio took the ball and looked pretty unstoppable on offense. Until they got to the red zone, the Cisco was able to stop them on a fourth down. The Cisco offense took over and pounded the ball with their zone read running game, and a really nice deep pass to set up the first score of the game, while at the same time chewing up the clock.
It was kind of funny watching the game. Cisco would get the ball and slowly move it down the field on long drives zapping the clock. The Refugio would get the ball and score in 2-3 plays. Cisco's pass defense just couldn't contain the receivers. The one thing that was missing, sort of like I was afraid may be a problem when I started shooting them three weeks earlier was the kicking game. PAT's were an adventure every time for Cisco, and on the first try of the day the kicker sent one wide. That was the difference at halftime with the score 14-12.
In the second half it looked like Cisco was about to fall apart and the 48 points Refugio needed to set the record was going down. A costly fumble on their first drive of the second half and a quick score, then a punt and another quick score and things were starting to look really bad. Refugio ended up going up 36-19 and was looking completely in control. Then in the fourth quarter on a kickoff Cisco returned a kickoff for 86 yards for a touchdown and on the the following kickoff Cisco pinned Refugio deep.
With the touchdown and pinning them deep the Cisco crowd returned and got loud, then another stop and a bad punt. Cisco got the ball back with good field position and was able to march the ball for another score and they were right back in the game with less than 5 minutes left. This was turning out to be a great game and looking like Cisco could shock the state. After the next kickoff it was obvious Cisco had the momentum and the crowd knew it too, and was getting louder. The crowd from the next game was even getting into and making noise. The Argyle fans were pulling out their propane tanks filled with ball bearings and making it nearly impossible to hear from the sideline... I guess no one likes to pull for a team that likes to run up the score.
The Cisco defense held in their own territory and forced Refugio to punt. Taking the snap inside their own 10 yard line, the Refugio punter ran the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety to close the score to 36-35. That was as close as things were going to get. After fair catching the free kick and moving the ball to mid-field Cisco faced 4th-and-3 with just over a minute left and came up about a foot short of the first down. Well, good doesn't always triumph over evil, but at least Cisco kept them 12 points short of the national scoring record. They were a fun team to cover for the past few weeks and as young as most of the team is there I wouldn't be surprised to see them back again.