Fri Oct 30th, 2015
Special to the Drum
Intriguing enough an enigma to generate a faint blip on the Class 1A radar when the CHSAANow.com preseason rankings came out August 17, and regularly re-gaining that ‘Others Receiving Votes’ status since, Center still hadn’t yet taken the big step towards cracking the poll’s top-ten.
But Friday night, Oct. 23, CHS appeared still trying to take that stride.
Welcoming Ignacio to Viking Field at Center Community Park, last year’s Southern Peaks Conference surprise improved to 5-3 overall, 2-2 in the SPC – the program finished 5-4, 3-2 in 2014 – with a 36-6 defeat of the rebuilding Bobcats.
Dropped to 0-8 (0-4 SPC) after its 12th consecutive loss dating back to last fall, IHS did avoid a third straight shutout – after near-identical 41-0 setbacks versus Monte Vista on Oct. 9, and 10/16 at Centauri – thanks to freshman Lawrence Valdez’s 90-yard kickoff-return touchdown along Ignacio’s sideline, but pass defense again proved an agonizing Achilles’ heel.
Falcon senior Christopher Martin had fired four TD’s against the Cats in La Jara, and Viking junior Jorge Venzor managed to precede, then most importantly follow Valdez’s runback with aerial TD’s covering 49 and 67 yards. Senior Angel Villagomez, on the receiving end of the second strike, then took an interception back for a key six points and a 20-6 lead after only one wild quarter of action.
A 15-yard carry by junior Nabor Quintana put CHS up by 20 points at halftime, and another returned pick put the game decisively out of reach, even with Ignacio again able to fairly fluster a foe with its ‘Polecat’ offense.
Only an Oct. 30 trip to Dolores remains on the 2015 schedule, Ponch Garcia’s first at IHS’ helm. And the nemesis Bears will be just as hungry to go into winter’s hibernation as the Bobcats; DHS (2-6, 0-4) fared worse out in the San Luis Valley on the 23rd, losing 48-0 at Monte Vista as the Pirates (7-1, 4-0) primed themselves to visit rivals Centauri (5-3, 4-0) on the 30th with the SoPeaks’ championship at stake.