REFUGIO, TX — Our week 6 Marquee Matchup between the Three Rivers Bulldogs (5-0) and Refugio Bobcats (4-1) kicks off Friday, in a duel that's normally been one-sided.
"They've (Refugio) always been number one; them and Shiner and it would just be great to beat them," said Jacob Amaro, Three Rivers senior defensive end, running back and slot receiver.
The No. 5 Refugio Bobcats have won three UIL 2A State Championships (2019, 2016 and 2011) over the past decade, one 3A title in 1982, and earned a 2A Co-Championship in 1970.
This year the Bobcats play in District 15 2A-Division I, one of the toughest in the state, and the competition is fierce.
"It's the best Three Rivers team we've played," Refugio football head coach Jason Herring said. "It's our homecoming and they're undefeated."
In five games played, the Bulldogs have totaled over 1,000 passing and receiving yards each.
"Our line is a lot more experienced, a lot better," said Derek Lancaster, Three Rivers junior wide receiver and cornerback. "I mean we are young, but we know what we're doing more and our line has better chemistry all around."
Bobcat Stadium is going to feature a lot of young talent Friday night. Three Rivers has two seniors on their roster while the Bobcats have 11 freshmen and sophomores.
"I felt like from the get-go, this team has the chance to be the most improved team that I've ever had because we're so young," Herring said. "I'm most proud with the way we're running the football and how physical we are up front. We've really done a good job improving in those areas."
The Bobcats have rushed for 858 yards in five games played, accounting for 16 of the teams 25 touchdowns.
"We're stacked in the backfield," said J.R. Moore, Refugio senior left tackle and nose guard. "We have so many players that can run the ball and our o-line, we just make a hole for them and they do the rest."
Refugio and Three Rivers are stout on defense forcing two shut outs this season.
"It's a great matchup. I feel like we have the edge a little bit on the defensive side," said Jordan King, Refugio sophomore running back and middle linebacker. "We move fast. A lot of different formations, a lot of different blitzes and we're physical."
Both teams are tough, so it's going to come down to endurance and execution.
"Just to be more physical and come out stronger than they come at us because the past, I mean, we haven't won," said Amaro. "It's been a while since we've beat Refugio."
The Bulldogs and Bobcats have not played every year, but it's been nearly 30 since Three Rivers was the top dog.
"The last time we beat Refugio in Three Rivers was in 1993," said Ramon Soliz, Three Rivers football head coach and 1994 grad. "Refugio was a really good team. Very athletic like they normally are."
"He told us to never be scared of them because he beat them once and we would like to do the same thing," said Lancaster.
The Marquee Matchup kicks off on Friday in Refugio at 7:30 p.m.
Refugio is playing in their first Game of the Week matchup and Three Rivers is looking for their second trophy after earning their first this season.
Who's going to win our week 6 Marquee Matchup Game of the Week? #KRIS6Sports @momentumfpt @RefugioSports @RefugioBobcats @Ernesttheflash @soliz_caden @DerekLan10 @thegunslingerkb @EziyahBland @LarissaLiska @PJohnstone_
— KRIS 6 Sports (@KRIS6sports) September 28, 2022
— Ernest Campbell (@Ernesttheflash) September 28, 2022