Fri Oct 7th, 2022
Special to the Drum
Tags: 1A Southern Peaks Conference, Alfonso ‘Ponch’ Garcia, Charlie Pargin, Devante Montoya, Dutch Nogel Field, Homecoming Week, Ignacio Bobcats, joel priest, John Riepel, Kendrick Nossaman, Marcus Maez, Nate Hendren, Xavier Garcia, Zane Pontine
Shutout win lights IHS’ fuse for Homecoming
Tightly sandwiched between the sideline and a boundary fence, Ignacio’s bench area still wasn’t as crowded Friday night, Sept. 30, as one would expect, and head coach Alfonso ‘Ponch’ Garcia couldn’t help but grin.
“I’ve got 14 players,” he said as warmups wound down. “Well, a couple are still learning the game, so … 13-and-a-half?”
Considering sophomore Kendrick Nossaman was playing with a re-injured left hand, that number could have been rounded down to 13-and-a-quarter – and still it was enough to trounce Trinidad 38-0 in 1A Southern Peaks Conference action.
“It was pretty crazy,” said junior Marcus Maez, who recorded one of IHS’ two interceptions. “We only had three subs, and really had to condition ourselves. So, we ran this whole week of practice, got our conditioning in and I think we all did fine.”
“Don’t get tired,” sophomore Charlie Pargin summarized. “We only had, what, 14? It was rough but we got ’er done.”
And it didn’t take long for the Bobcats to establish dominance upon Dutch Nogel Field at Miners Stadium, with Zane Ross recovering a THS fumble on the very first play from scrimmage. Set up at the Trinidad 45 with 11:42 left in the first quarter, Ignacio scored eight plays later when senior John Riepel hit junior Devante Montoya for a 13-yard touchdown 3:27 later.
Riepel then threw a dart to Gabe Archuleta for the two-point conversion, giving the freshman his first prep-level points.
Off tracked by two penalties pushing them from midfield back to their own 36, the Miners’ second possession then ended when Montoya intercepted sophomore running back Jayden Maxfield’s option pass at the THS 49 and returned it 25 yards to the 24 with 5:08 left. Almost comically, the ’Cats (3-1, 1-0 SPC) then gifted the football back to Trinidad in the form of a botched center-quarterback exchange.
Bouncing back from the previous Friday’s 42-0 blowout loss at 2A Montezuma-Cortez, in which two regulars were ejected for fighting and thus ineligible for the trip to Trinidad, it would be the only turnover IHS would commit – and the Miners (0-5, 0-1 SPC) failed to capitalize, with David Romero punting the pigskin away on the 15th play of a drive which gained just 34 yards but consumed about 8 minutes, 20 seconds as it plodded into the second stanza.
Montoya returned the kick an impressive 35 yards out to the IHS 44, and four plays later was called for holding while throwing a pancake block along the Bobcats’ sideline, right as Riepel sped by en route to an apparent 27-yard score. Ignacio’s series would die on downs after a Riepel toss to Montoya was snuffed out for a five-yard loss, but points would quickly come.
Pargin would snuff out Romero’s next punt and drop him for a six-yard loss, setting the ’Cats up at Trinidad’s 18 with 3:48 left until halftime. Two penalties and three plays later, Riepel (unoff. 15-126 rushing; 4-of-10 passing, 60 yards) crashed in from six yards out – then added a two-point keeper increasing Ignacio’s lead to 16-0 with 2:41 left in the second quarter.
Archuleta planted Maxfield for a 10-yard loss on THS’ very next offensive play, and Maez then picked off quarterback Xavier Garcia, returning the takeaway 13 yards to the Miner 44 with 1:47 remaining.
“At first they’d tried, like, a quick bubble screen … and I bit on it,” explained Maez, himself with one catch for 17 yards. “But the next time they tried it, I just stayed back, read the ball and picked it!”
Riepel connected again with Montoya (3-43 receiving) on first down, the completion netting 35 yards, then carried in a nine-yard TD himself with 1:18 left. Nate Hendren toted in the two-pointer, and the Bobcats went into the locker room up 24-0.
The third quarter was mutually scoreless, but not uneventful; Garcia was removed from play for the remainder of the night after being shaken up by a hard fourth-down tackle – producing a turnover-on-downs – with 7:35 to go.
Set up at the Trinidad 17 with 7:38 left in the fourth, after a 15-yard Miner punt and six-yard Montoya return, Ignacio got on the board again three plays and 0:56 later when freshman Zane Pontine dove in behind and left of center Cruz Martinez for a one-yard TD. Hendren rushed in the two-pointer, and the lead grew to 32-0.
Riepel then recovered Pargin’s onside squibber at THS’ 42, 6:41 still remaining on the clock, and five plays (plus two THS penalties) later Hendren (18-72 rushing) carried for a two-yard TD with 5:01 left. Pontine’s conversion carry, however, fell short as Trinidad avoided a mercy-rule shutout. Which wasn’t a bad thing; a running clock likely would have denied everyone the sight of the site’s sprinklers activating with 2:01 left, immediately after the Miners exited their third and final timeout.
With the Miners at the Ignacio 35, the decision was made to move the action to the opposite end of the ground, and Maxfield promptly gained ten yards on third-and-15. Still needing more, Anthony Sandoval was stopped for just one yard and Trinidad relinquished possession with 67 ticks remaining – time enough for Riepel to kneel twice with IHS in ‘victory formation.’
Hyped for Homecoming Week, Ignacio will next host Center at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, with the Vikings (2-3, 0-1) coming off a 54-0 home loss to reigning conference and State Champion Centauri (3-2, 1-0).
“Last year we lost to them pretty bad,” said Pargin, “so we’re coming back with some vengeance … this time.”
“Yeah, I think we’re going to play really good because we’re actually going to have a lot of players back,” Maez added.
THS, meanwhile, will visit Monte Vista on the 7th for a 7 p.m. kickoff.