IHS, Limon combined for 112 points in 1968 Class ‘A’ finale still highest-scoring 50 years later

In addition to running a picture of their victorious Limon Badgers receiving the first-place trophy, the Nov. 28, 1968, Limon Leader also ran this picture (taken by then-publisher Ronald Cooley) on page nine as part of its extensive coverage.
The right half of the Nov. 28, 1968, Limon Leader detailed what still stands as a historic State Football Championship clash – still the highest-scoring 11-man rumble in CHSAA history – between Limon and Ignacio High Schools, played at IHS Field.
Courtesy of the Limon Leader
Courtesy of the Limon Leader

Last month, history was made at the 2018 CHSAA Class 1A, 8-man State Football Championship as the vaunted Julesburg-Ovid Revere co-op known as Sedgwick County, hammered Hoehne 58-14 at JHS’ Schmitt Field to become the fourth program in state history to earn four consecutive gridiron titles.

The Cougars joined Palisade (3A, 1994-97), Stratton (8-man, 1992-95), Hugo (8-man, 1968-71), and Limon (Class ‘A’ 11-man, 1965-68), 50 years after LHS became the first such dynasty by defeating none other than Ignacio in what still stands as the Centennial State’s highest-scoring grand finale in full-side play.

Led by quarterback Reginald ‘Reggie’ Howe, the ’Cats equaled Aspen’s 26-point output achieved against the Badgers in the previous week’s semifinals (Ignacio had defeated Springfield 31-21 in the other semi), but with nearly 70 players making the trip to La Plata County, LHS piled up a devastating, victorious 86.

“They were too big, too fast, and there were too many of them,” Ignacio coach Charlie Boyles told the attending Limon Leader scribe, who included that summary on the front page of that paper’s Nov. 28, 1968, issue.

Howe threw touchdowns of nine yards to Stan Neil and 70 to Andy Peacock during the first half, after which the Badgers held a 49-12 advantage.  Delbert Cuthair added a 6-yard rushing TD during the fourth quarter, with Neil carrying in the one-point conversion, and after Limon’s Randy Humrich countered with a 1-yard score punctuated by Randy Malcom conversion tote, IHS actually registered the final points Saturday afternoon, Nov. 23, via a 32-yard Tim Garrison-to-Abie Martinez connection, and conversion run by Cuthair.

All told, the Badgers reportedly racked up over 600 yards on offense during what would be the last of legendary coach Lloyd Gaskill’s ten state titles, while the Bobcats—numbering barely 29—managed an impressive 400 themselves in finishing 10-2 overall while LHS ended up 12-0.

“Some people who were not aware of the facts asked why it was that a ‘big school like Limon’ was playing a ‘small school like Ignacio,’” read words in the Leader’s ‘Badger Tracks’ column.  “They were judging from the fact that Limon had a squad of 69, while the Bobcats had only 29 on the program.”

“The inquisitive ones were shocked and unbelieving when they were told that Ignacio actually has 100 more students in high school than Limon.  The difference is that a large percentage of the boys in Limon high school [sic] are out for the football team.”

“Everyone was greatly impressed with the warm and friendly attitude of the people in Ignacio,” also stated the column.  “Everywhere they went there was a hearty greeting for the visitors.”


NUMBERS GAME:The Badgers’ 86 points wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary; during regular-season action in 1968 Limon had ripped Rocky Ford 83-32, slammed Stratton 82-40 and blasted Brush 78-33.  After ousting Revere 55-14 in the State Playoffs’ quarterfinal round, the Badgers then reached the grand finale with a 68-26 avalanche of Aspen in one semi.

Meanwhile, Ignacio—with a 49-0 rout of the Durango JV, a 59-9 whipping of Norwood, a 45-7 pounding of Pagosa Springs and a 25-0 shutout of Bayfield to their credit—knocked out Dove Creek (the only team to beat the ’Cats during the regular season) 44-6 in the quarters, then sent Springfield packing in the other semi, 31 to 21, to set up the supreme showdown.

All told, LHS averaged 60.2 points per game in ’68, while IHS averaged 33.8.

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