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Ignacio's Gabe Tucson (11) throws out of danger during the Bobcats' season-opening win Sat., Aug. 28, at IHS Field over 1A Carbondale Roaring Fork. IHS routed the non-conference Rams 50-20, with Tucson slinging two TD passes.
Ignacio's Devante Montoya (1) escapes 1A Carbondale Roaring Fork's Zane Garcia (4) while running with a pass reception during the Bobcats' season-opening 50-20 rout of the non-conference Rams Sat., Aug. 28, at IHS Field.
Ignacio's Gabe Tucson (11) and Alric Hudson (56) lead the Bobcats – sporting all-new uniforms – onto the field in Newcomb, N.M., for non-conference play Saturday afternoon, Sept. 4. The Bobcats (CHSAA Class 1A) would devastate the Skyhawks (NMAA Class 3A) 52-0.
Ignacio's Jace Carmenoros (63) throws Newcomb, N.M., quarterback Perry Ellerbe (2) for a loss during non-conference play Saturday afternoon, Sept. 4, at NHS. The Bobcats (CHSAA Class 1A) would devastate the Skyhawks (NMAA Class 3A) 52-0 in a game dictated by defense.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
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NUKED ’EM: Ignacio blasts Newcomb 52-0


’Cats collect four defensive TDs in blowout 

Able to block a punt and return it for a touchdown, recover four fumbles and return two for scores, plus return a punt for another, the Ignacio Bobcats spent far more time on the field defensively than offensively Saturday afternoon, Sept. 4, as they devastated the Newcomb Skyhawks 52-0. 

In fact, IHS’ most sustained series offensively would be a 6-play, 61-yard push capped by a 1-yard Gabe Tucson quarterback sneak mercifully enacting the New Mexico Activities Association’s 50-point rule and bringing the interstate action to an early end with 2:31 worth of running clock still remaining in the third quarter. 

“We had a couple injured kids and had to put newer kids … in positions they did not know that well,” said senior OL/DL Jeremy Roderick, himself moved defensively from tackle out to end with both Rylan Maez and Alric Hudson banged up during the contest. “It was kind of tiring, but it feels really good.” 

And from the outset it was evident that this season’s NHS squad wasn’t the sort which many Bobcats’ older siblings had faced just a few years ago – a fact not lost on Roderick, recalling when older brother Lucas was in uniform. 

“I remember my freshman year we were 2-and-0,” he said, alluding to IHS’ current 2021 start, “then we came here … . And it was way different than it was this year.” 

Two plays into the game, Newcomb senior quarterback Perry Ellerbe lost a fumble which Ignacio’s John Riepel recovered at the Skyhawk 9-yard line. And following a 5-yard Tucson-to-Riepel connection, senior back Tyler Barnes bulled in to score from four yards out. He’d then carry in the two-point conversion and with 9:51 left in the first quarter the guests led 8-0. 

NHS’ next drive began at their own 47 following Lane Wilson’s 22-yard kickoff return, but quickly went into reverse and all but bogged down when Riepel sacked Ellerbe for a 13-yard loss back to the 22. Wilson would be called in to punt, but his kick failed to clear the line of scrimmage and was batted down in traffic by Kendrick Nossaman. 

Roderick had a chance to recover, but after failing to grasp the bouncing ball, it would be Riepel making the scoop at about the 10-yard line and toting it in for six points. Tucson then shovel-passed the conversion to Devante Montoya, upping the lead to 16-0 with 6:41 still left. 

Roderick, meanwhile, had told himself he wouldn’t let another opportunity slip away … if there was one. Fortunately, he wouldn’t have to wait long. 

Newcomb’s third possession died on downs after netting just ten yards to the Bobcat 45 in six plays and IHS took over with 3:30 to go. Tucson then immediately hit Montoya in stride for an apparent 55-yard TD, but a procedure penalty wiped the whole thing out and the drive would abruptly end at the NHS 12 after Barnes lost a fumble. 

But on first down, new quarterback Javarius John was sacked by Barnes and Jace Carmenoros with the former knocking the ball free. Pursuing the play, Roderick was able to pick up the ball, take a couple steps and then lunge into the end zone from two yards out. Tucson then carried in the conversion and IHS’ lead was an unassailable 24-0 with 1:39 still remaining. 

“Earlier there was another … and I’d missed it on scooping,” said Roderick. “But I saw (this) and I was like, ‘This is MY chance,’ and I scooped and scored. I was happy about that.” 

Enduring into the second quarter, the Skyhawks’ ensuing drive lasted nine plays and managed to gain 24 yards down to the Ignacio 21. But after John threw two incompletions, possession was relinquished when Carmenoros sacked him for a four-yard loss with 9:21 left until halftime. 

IHS (2-0, 0-0 CHSAA 1A Southern Peaks) would then put the game well out of reach via: a 60-yard Barnes blast with 7:15 left (plus a Tucson-to-Montoya conversion), a 30-yard Charlie Pargin shanked-punt return with 5:14 left (plus a Barnes conversion), and a Roderick-caused 34-yard Barnes fumble-return with 1:57 left. 

Owning about the only sterling offensive statistics, Barnes finished with 10 carries for 118 yards. Needing to do little more than call the play and take the snap, Tucson totaled 37 yards passing on 3-of-5 passing (a completion to Anthony Toledo was also wiped out by a procedure penalty) with Montoya recording one grab for 25 yards and Riepel two for 12. 

John unofficially finished with 58 yards passing for Newcomb (0-2, 0-0 NMAA Dist. 1-3A) on 4-of-13 accuracy. 

 

UP NEXT 

 

The ’Cats will travel east to Trinidad on Friday, Sept. 10, for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Miners (0-1, 0-0 1A Santa Fe) had dropped their season-opener the night before IHS’ romp, losing 49-12 – another source says 49-16 – at Raton, N.M., in the border towns’ ‘Coal Bucket’ clash as the Tigers improved to 3-0 (0-0 Dist. 2-3A). 

Coincidentally, that game also didn’t last three full frames, but due to an on-field fracas resulting in several ejections. 

“We’re going to heal up and just watch film to see what they do,” said Roderick. 

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