The Bobcats got two chances to pounce on the Centauri Falcons.
Instead, the Falcons broke the Ignacio High School football team.
Centauri forced a turnover on downs on its own 4-yard line, narrowly avoided a safety on its own 2-inch line, then drove more than 99 yards to take a two-touchdown lead before going on to beat Ignacio 48-8 on Friday night on the Bobcats’ home field.
“It was hard,” Ignacio quarterback Adison Jones said.
The Bobcats started out warm Friday night, then went as cold as the dropping temperature.
After an opening drive that ended on a turnover on downs on Centauri’s 33-yard line, Ignacio’s Clayton Jefferson intercepted KC Jarvies on his second pass of the game on the first set of downs – Jefferson’s first of two.
Then, the Bobcats drove 59 yards to pay dirt. Jones threw three passes for 63 yards on that drive before running back Austin Haire capped it with a 1-yard touchdown.
Haire was Ignacio’s leading rusher with 26 yards and scored the Bobcats’ lone touchdown.
Centauri’s Jareb Aziz took a reverse 55 yards on the next drive to even the score at 8-8, and the Falcons took the lead on their next possession with a 70-yard drive ending in another Aziz touchdown, this one from 15 yards out to start the second quarter.
He finished with 155 yards and two touchdowns, as the Bobcats’ defense struggled to stop his churning legs up the middle or on a quick counter that the Falcons made use of all evening.
The Bobcats weren’t done yet.
On the next possession, the Ignacio offense strung together an 18-play, five-first down drive that ate up nearly eight minutes and positioned the Bobcats to pull even with the Falcons.
Everything worked, until they hit the goal line.
“We were doing the things we wanted to do,” IHS head coach Lupe Huerta said. “The offense was clicking.”
Then like worn gears, it started grinding instead.
With four downs from the 4, the Bobcats couldn’t find the end zone on two rushes and two incomplete passes.
“The offense just wasn’t clicking,” Jones said.
Still, the Bobcats got a chance at redemption.
Taking over at their own 5-yard line, the Falcons’ first play was a bungled snap, which Jarvies fell on at the 2-inch line.
But Centauri rushed for two yards on the next play, then threw a 38-yard pass to get out of danger, and the Bobcats’ chances ran out.
“I think they were kind of down that they didn’t get that safety,” Jones said.
The Falcons took the ball the rest of the 99 yards to go up 24-8 at half, and they never let up. After the break, the Falcons added three more touchdowns, while Ignacio’s first-half offensive flair all but disappeared – too many mistakes, Huerta said.
The Bobcats had just 66 yards of total offense in the second half for a combined 245 yards.
“The offense is there,” Huerta said. “What we’re doing is working; we just got to put it together.”