It’s been said, often in a negative connotation, that those unfamiliar with history are destined to repeat it.
Sometimes, however, even the most knowledgeable are relatively helpless to halt, much less reverse, a downward trend; the past two Fridays aptly illustrated that, as the Ignacio High School football team remained winless in nine tries against Centauri since the Falcons joined the 1A Southern Peaks League in 2012,. IHS also fell to 0-and-11 against Monte Vista since the Pirates’ 2010 invasion.
Fortunately, history could this week finally favor the Bobcats, insofar as that against 2020 SPL re-join Del Norte, history doesn’t exist. Not pertaining to any current Bobcat, including head coach Alfonso “Ponch” Garcia.
Ignacio (2-2, 2-2 SPL) has not faced the Tiger program since prevailing 55-0 at IHS Field back in 2013, after which Del Norte would leave for the 8-man realm.
The Bobcats will go into this Friday’s clash at the same site seeking to play well for no fewer than eight seniors and potentially secure IHS’ first winning season since that 2013 season when the Bobcats went 6-2 overall and 3-2 in league play.
And despite coming off a painful 56-7 road loss at Monte Vista, Ignacio’s twin tasks are achievable.
Particularly if the ’Cats show any marked improvement against the run – a staple of Pirates and Tigers past and present.
Led by senior Cobi Garcia’s reported 12-193, four touchdown rampage, Monte Vista’s ground force simply tore IHS apart last week. The Pirates (4-1, 4-0 SPL) produced all eight of their scores on foot as they reportedly gained almost 400 yards at 8.8 per attempt.
Del Norte (1-3, 1-2 SPL), meanwhile, blanked hapless Dolores 30-zip last Saturday at home on the strength of freshman Nickolas Atencio’s 100-yard rushing game. Del Norte senior Fletcher Madrid also rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown, while junior Brennan Velasquez had 30 yards and another touchdown. All told, the Tigers racked up 345 yards on 51 totes while utilizing a Monte-like eight ball-carriers.
Amongst them, junior quarterback Malachi Gallegos ran seven times for 40 yards and was also a reported 4-of-10 passing for 27 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown to senior Logan Cestone in helping Del Norte book its first 11-man gridiron conquest since concluding the 2012 campaign winning 41-27 at Center.
Having scored just eight points this fall to date while surrendering 258, the Bears (0-5, 0-4) did manage a respectable 146 yards rushing in defeat at a solid 5.8 per try – definitely encouraging numbers from Ignacio’s perspective – but did lose two fumbles. Dolores junior QB Wyatt Koskie was also intercepted once, and even reportedly dropped by Cestone for a safety, meaning yet again, IHS’ linemen will have to improve their protection of junior Gabe Tucson in order for a capable passing attack to materialize.
Tucson was hounded from start to finish at Monte Vista; Pirate freshman Jack Noonan logged two sacks amongst a reported 12 total tackles, and MVHS also recovered three Bobcat fumbles despite permitting a first-quarter Joe Garcia touchdown plunge and subsequent Shawn Campbell point-after kick.
HANG ON TO YER HATS Previous IHS-DNHS encounters have definitely produced their share of points, meaning should history repeat itself in that regard, onlie viewers could be in for something of a treat. Blasted in the aforementioned 2013 affair, the Tigers actually won 50-16 in 2012 and 46-20 in ’11, but lost 50-18 in 2010.
Del Norte had prevailed 49-20 in 2006, Ignacio’s first year in the SoPeaks – which at the time also included Mancos, Sargent and Sanford, all now long-established and well-versed in the 8-man style – and backed that up in ’07 by a 47-0 result. The Bobcats bounced back in ’08 and ’09, winning 28-21 and 46-0, respectively.
ELSEWHERE Monte Vista, meanwhile, will head to La Jara this Friday afternoon with the showdown against Centauri (5-0, 3-0) yet again crowning an SPL champion. Most recently, Centauri scored a 38-8 road win at non-conference Woodland Park (2-3, 1-2 2A West) last Friday after Center had to postpone—at the time—visiting Conejos County.
But after a recent COVID-19 scare, the Vikings have reportedly canceled the remainder of their season and will likely be assessed forfeit losses to Centauri, Del Norte and even Dolores, finalizing Center’s record at 0-6 overall, 0-5 conference.