The Ignacio Bobcats have seen more than their fair share of high-scoring offenses on the football field this fall.
They’ll see another potent one tonight when the Bobcats host Centauri for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Ignacio.
“We’ve been struggling on defense,” Ignacio head coach Lupe Huerta said of the injury-depleted Bobcats (1-4, 0-1 San Juan Basin League).
“We’ve been trying so many different things on defense, trying to put the kids in position to make plays,” Huerta said.
Monte Vista, another recent Class 2A drop down to Class 1A football just like Centauri, scored 60 points against the Bobcats in last week’s 60-6 SJBL opener.
Three weeks ago, the IHS defense surrendered 60 points at Shiprock after earlier losses to Aspen (56-0) and Dolores Huerta of Pueblo (58-30).
“It’s been tough,” Huerta said. “We’ve made mistakes on defense, and we’ve had a hard time coming back from them.”
The loss at Monte Vista, he said, was a case in point.
“In the Monte game, we dropped some critical passes ... passes for first downs,” Huerta said.
The Ignacio defense, he said, then was forced back onto the field.
“You can’t make mistakes even against a mediocre team, let alone a good team,” Huerta said.
He said the addition of Monte Vista and Centauri, formerly of the Intermountain League, has made the 1A SJBL even tougher this season.
“They just moved down (to 2A). They’re both ... strong. But it is what it is,” he said.
The Falcons (4-1, 1-0) beat Center 42-30 last weekend in their SJBL opener. That came on the heels of a 51-point output in a Centauri shutout of Lake County (Leadville).
Centauri’s other victories this season came over Class 2A Pagosa Springs 46-6 and Paonia 7-6.
The Falcons’ lone loss came at Lamar 47-16 the second week of the season.
Jareb Aziz and Micah Keys lead Centauri’s offense. The Bobcats will counter with their home-field advantage and an offense that broke out and scored 49 points in a victory over the Montezuma-Cortez junior varsity team two weeks ago.
Quarterback Adison Jones, a two-year starter as a sophomore, led the attack.
“When we don’t make mistakes, we are very capable of putting up 30 points in a half,” Huerta said.
But with a lineup featuring a number of freshmen and sophomores filling in for injured upperclassmen, he said the Bobcats have had trouble getting in sync.
“We’ve had a hard time clicking so far,” coach Huerta said. “It can be tough with so ... many younger players.”