Turnovers were among some of the issues for Refugio on Thursday, as they dropped the Class 2A-Division I State Championship contest to Hawley, 28-54.
Head coach Jason Herring said experts didn't expect Refugio to make it this far until next year or later.
"Especially with a young bunch, these seniors overachieved and got us way ahead of schedule and set us up really well for next year," he said. "I just hate it that they are not going to be able to be here to be a part of it, but they will be part of it in our hearts."
Two fumbles and two interceptions hurt the young Bobcats roster early, and a total of five turnovers on the day managed to spell the difference.
"You can't turn the ball over. We turned the ball over. Period, and they just absolutely crushed us rushing to football," Bobcat head coach Jason Herring said after the game. "I'll be honest with you, I thought every time we got the ball — I think we did, every time in the second half, we just couldn't get it. We just couldn't get the ball back because of their rushing attack, and when we would hold them to 3rd-and-3 or 3rd-and-8, they'd make a fantastic play and that's what championship teams do."
The Bobcats were down 0-28 in the first half of play before Kaleb Brown was able to score on a 3-yard rushing touchdown for Refugio, with two minutes to go in the half.
Hawley answered with a 66-yard touchdown catch from Kason O'Shields, before a screen pass to Jordan King scored six more for the Bobcats.
Hawley blocked the point after attempt that followed, but both teams went into the locker room with the score, 13-34.
Refugio struggled heavily because of a hampered throwing attack, the receivers being limited to 121 receiving yards, 33 of that total belonging to junior Ernest Campbell.
"The main reason was they put No. 14 and doubled Ernie most of the night which is smart," Herring said.
A pretty quiet start for the second half turned into a back-to-back scores for Hawley, including a pick-six by Hez Parker for the Bearcats.
Eziyah Bland was able to tack on a rushing touchdown for the Bobcats with 1:10 remaining in the third, which made the score 21-48 headed to the fourth.
Hawley added a fourth touchdown from eventual Most Valuable Player Austin Cumpton, before giving up a final touchdown to Refugio, scored by King with 2:34 remaining in the game.
The Bobcats closed out the season with a 14-2 record, and finished the runner-up in Class 2A-DI. They graduate nine seniors leaving room for others to step up next season.