CYPRESS, Texas — The Refugio Bobcats are no strangers to the UIL's state semifinals, but the Bobcats found themselves in unfamiliar territory in their first trip to the fifth round of the Texas high school football playoffs since 2019.
In a clash of Class 2A Division I titans, Refugio entered the fourth quarter of its state semifinal matchup against undefeated Timpson trailing the Bears 21-14 and hadn't held an edge on the scoreboard all night.
The Bobcats, however, knotted the game up with a fierce rally down the stretch.
Refugio scored a game-tying touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, forced a critical turnover on downs on the ensuing Bears' possession.
The Bobcats took over with about 3 minutes to go in regulation and drove nearly 60 yards, setting up kicker Alex Placencia to drill a go-ahead 20-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining to help Refugio seal a dramatic 24-21 comeback win to knock off Timpson in the UIL's 2A DI state semifinals on Thursday night at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium.
Refugio (14-1) extends a now 14-game winning streak with the victory and advances to the Class 2A Division I (UIL) Texas high school football state championship game for the first time since 2019, when the Bobcats beat Post 28-7 for the state title.
The loss ended Timpson's bid for a perfect season and knocked the Bears out of the 2A DI Texas high school football playoffs in the state semifinals for the second straight season.
Timpson was eliminated from the 2A DI playoffs last year in a 28-21 state semifinals loss to Shiner.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, improved to 14-1 overall with the win and earned their first appearance in a UIL football state title game since the program's last state championship in 2019.
Refugio (14-1) will return to action for a battle against the Hawley Bearcats (15-0) in the UIL's Class 2A Division I Texas high school football state championship game at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Check out SBLive's exclusive photo gallery from the game:
PHOTO GALLERY — REFUGIO 24, TIMPSON 21
All photos by Dustin Nguyen