Sharing the wealth
Refugio junior quarterback Travis Quintanilla threw a state-record 10 touchdown passes to five different receivers in Friday night's win over Taft.
Marcus Thompson 3 TDs
Juan Ramirez 3 TDs
Tyler Castellano 2 TDs
Louie Whetsel 1 TD
Draigon Silvas 1 TD
REFUGIO - Travis Quintanilla tries to take the same approach in every game.
"No matter who we're playing, we've still got to do our part and get better and not worry about the score," Quintanilla said. "We don't worry about the scoreboard. You can shut it off if you want to. We're just trying to get better."
The junior quarterback has rarely been better than he was Friday night at Jack Sportsman Bobcat Stadium.
Quintanilla threw a state-record 10 touchdown passes in the No. 1 Bobcats' 80-0 District 16-2A, Division II win over Taft.
"I didn't really think I was going for it," Quintanilla said. "We just kept scoring. I never had a night like that. Friday night was unbelievable."
Quintanilla's 10 touchdown passes broke the previous record of nine set last season by Fort Worth Southwest's Wesley Harris.
Quintanilla's performance was remarkable considering he threw a total of 15 passes and completed 13 for 383 yards.
He threw deep only three times, with most of the scores coming on screens or short passes.
Refugio ran only 26 offensive plays, but gained possession five times inside the Taft 30-yard line after the Greyhounds went for a first down on fourth down.
"It was a special night for Travis," said Refugio coach Jason Herring. "All night long they were bringing seven through every gap and playing straight man in your face. I don't have any idea how you complete 13 passes and 10 of them go for touchdowns. I really don't."
Quintanilla spread the ball around throwing three touchdowns to Marcus Thompson, three to Juan Ramirez, two to Tyler Castellano, and one each to Louie Whetsel and Draigon Silvas.
Quintanilla was named the Class 2A Player of the Year last season after passing for 3,944 yards and 53 touchdowns with six interceptions to lead Refugio a 15-0 record and its first state championship since 1982.
Herring has seen Quintanilla improve in a number of areas this season.
"I know he's a year stronger and a year faster," Herring said. "Once you've had a year everything is much easier. He's real talented and had an unbelievable year last year that I thought would be hard to duplicate.
"I know he worked real hard in the offseason. He gained about 15 pounds of muscle and got his arm much stronger. His release and his passes are so much faster and and so accurate. He's just throwing bullets."
Quintanilla's continued maturity is obvious to his teammates.
"When we get in the huddle, he makes sure everybody is in the right spot and makes sure everybody runs their right routes," Thompson said. "If somebody doesn't know what to do, he'll stop and run to the person to make sure everybody is on the same page."
Quintanilla is not adverse to scrambling, but he's become more comfortable in the pocket.
"That's hard for a young quarterback when you feel all those guys coming around you to step up and stand tall and stay in there and make the throw," Herring said. "That's what he did real well the other night. He got hit a lot, but he stayed in there and delivered the ball like you're supposed to."
Quintanilla admits he used to get anxious when taking a three-step drop, but credits his line and right tackle John Wesley Shipp in particular for making him more comfortable in the pocket.
"One time I rolled out and his guy got off him and he was starting to chase me and that's why I ran out of bounds," Quintanilla said. ""John Wesley said, 'Stay in the pocket. We got you.' That's what made me more confident in them. I trust my line with everything and I expect them to block their booties off so we can go down the field."
Quintanilla has passed for 2,003 yards and 30 touchdowns this season, giving him a career total of 6,729 yards and 91 touchdowns.
Quintanilla is well within reach of Colt McCoy's Class 2A state record of 116 career touchdown passes, and the overall state mark of 167 touchdown passes held by Graham Harrell is not out of reach.
He also has a shot at Harrell's season record of 67 touchdown passes.
But Quintanilla is not concerned about records as long as the Bobcats keep winning.
"I don't worry about I want to break a record tonight," he said. "It just happens like that. I just go with the team."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.