The chorus of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song ends “Double, double! T-R-O-U-B-L-E.”
And Friday, Sept. 12, trouble or disaster seemingly kept coming Ignacio’s way in pairs.
If it wasn’t Pagosa Springs’ senior defensive-line duo of Alonso Hernandez and Tyler Manzanares, it was the Pirates’ backfield 1-2 punch of seniors J.C. Parsons and Caden Henderson. Or if it wasn’t senior pass-rushers David McRee and Lamont Smith, it was senior quarterback Marcos Quezada – dually capable of not only carrying or tossing the ball, but also kicking (3-of-4 point-after tries) it.
And if it wasn’t enough that the Bobcat’s lost two running backs during the 40-8 drubbing, two PSHS non-RB’s even managed touchdowns by smothering IHS-forced fumbles in the end zone.
“We pushed it and gave it 100 percent – never gave up, even when it got a little down on us,” said McRee, whose unexpected score from two yards out with 5:33 left before halftime proved to be the game-winner.
“We’ve just got to keep going; that’s been our goal this year … never give up and don’t quit.”
In hindsight it was only fitting the Bobcats’ hard-luck Homecoming 2014 game would end with two – Parsons and freshman Isaiah Griego – Pirates sacking senior QB Adison Jones and snuffing out Ignacio’s best drive since a swift 3-play, 85-yard surge capped by an 84-yard Jones-to-Wyatt Hayes connection with 3:50 left in the second quarter.
Answering McRee’s good fortune, Jones then threw to junior tight end Nick Herrera for the ensuing two-point conversion, keeping the non-conference contest close at 14-8 and IHS Field’s atmosphere energetic for the revelation during intermission of the weeklong festivities’ Royalty.
But seldom letting slip a full smile, King honoree and senior lineman Alex Lopez sufficiently showed the tension of the tougher task.
Dictated by defense, the first quarter had ended scoreless as both Pagosa Springs (1-2, 0-0 2A Western Slope – South) and Ignacio forced each other once to relinquish the ball on downs – Ignacio’s turnover hurting far worse after a 15-play, 7:09 grinder that gained just 39 yards to the PSHS 35 – and once to punt it after three-and-out series.
Hayes, who finished with an unofficial 100 yards receiving on five grabs, would boot the ball away six times in all, and was also dropped for a three-yard loss on an attempted fake late in the third with IHS trailing 20-8 after a two-yard Henderson TD.
Three plays and 37 seconds after foiling the Bobcats’ trickery, Manzanares then fell upon a second-down Parsons fumble with 1:12 left in the frame for his sudden one-yard, six-pointer. Quezada then tacked on the PAT for adequate breathing room – at last – up on the scoreboard.
Two fourth-quarter Henderson scores, from seven yards out with 4:29 remaining and then from 12 yards out just 20 seconds later (after a Patane interception and short return) decisively pulled the outcome from the realm of doubt.
Lopez was shaken up on the latter touchdown and had his sides examined by the training staff – not a welcome sight to running back and classmate Mike Perez, his helmet and shoulder pads long since off and rib cage heavily wrapped.
Sophomore Lorenzo Pena – Ignacio’s leading rusher in the game with 24 yards on nine carries – was the next ball-carrier lost, slowly taken off on a gurney with 5:29 left in the game and his head safely immobilized after being involved in stopping a nine-yard Quezada run down to the Bobcat 15.
With senior Blaine Mickey already inactive, losing Pena thinned IHS’ backfield even further – putting Jones (13 for minus-11 rushing) even more so in the Pirates’ crosshairs as time wound down.
Still, he managed 6-of-6 accuracy – making him 17-of-33 overall, unofficially – and the last 37 of his 181 yards in driving the ’Cats (0-3, 0-0 1A Southern Peaks) 38 yards to PSHS’ 18 with 0:16 remaining. But after head coach Lupe Huerta called a last timeout to plan the end-zone attack, the drive – interrupted once by a McRee sack on its third play – and game ended with Jones beneath a pair of white jerseys.
12-for-83 rushing with one TD, Quezada finished just 3-of-11 passing, unofficially, for 92 yards and an interception to IHS freshman Kruz Pardo with roughly eight minutes left in the third. Henderson finished with 57 yards and three scores on 14 carries, junior Tyler Cowan gained 65 on just 10, and Parsons totaled 43 on nine as Pagosa Springs topped the 250-yard plateau.
Herrera hung onto five passes and totaled 35 yards receiving for Ignacio, and junior Anthony Manzanares caught three for 22, but IHS lost the ball four times on downs and also had possessions ended by halftime and the final gun.
Up next, the ’Cats travel to Montezuma-Cortez (2-1, 0-0 Western Slope – South) on Sept. 19, and then out to Walsenburg on Set. 26 to begin SPC play against John Mall.