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Injuries, low numbers exposed in Ignacio loss to Monte Vista

IHS football to forgo facing No. 2 Centauri
Ignacio's John Riepel (4) outleaps Monte Vista’s double coverage to catch an 8-yard touchdown pass from Gabe Tucson on Saturday. The visiting Pirates won the game, however, 42-6. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

It took just 11 offensive plays Saturday for Monte Vista to all but leave IHS Field victorious. The Pirates won 42-6.

Two days later, it was announced that Centauri will require, effectively, zero plays.

Ignacio High School Athletic Director Leo Garand on Monday emailed media outlets to say the Bobcats would forfeit their home game Friday against Southern Peaks Conference powerhouse Centauri, because of injuries and low personnel numbers.

Second again only to Limon in this week’s CHSAANow.com Class 1A poll, the fully loaded Falcons will improve – once the forfeit becomes official – to 2-0 in the SPC and 7-0 overall, after routing nonconference Northfield 41-12 on Saturday.

And as Centauri declared its intent to vie for the 2021 Class 1A State Championship – with lopsided victories over credible nonconference opponents including Wray (28-14), Colorado Springs Christian (47-0) and perennial postseason roadblock Strasburg (48-3) – Ignacio’s propects against Centauri seemed dim.

The concession will drop IHS to 0-3 in conference and 5-3 overall.

Ignacio's Charlie Pargin (55) makes sure a Monte Vista ball carrier stays down during 1A Southern Peaks Conference play Saturday at IHS Field. The Bobcats fell 42-6 to the Pirates. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)
Monte Vista beats Ignacio, 42-6

All told, the Pirates’ six first-quarter scoring drives required just 3 minutes, 39 seconds as the Bobcats never recovered from a fumble on the game-opening kickoff. Recovered at the Ignacio 14 by MVHS junior Andrew Chavez, Monte Vista (5-2, 2-0 SPC) got on the scoreboard two snaps later when junior Khegan Gunter blasted through the trenches for an 8-yard score.

With a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead in hand, the Pirates were well on their way to victory, and with only 50 seconds having ticked off the game clock. Senior Keyshawn Martinez would intercept IHS senior Gabe Tucson two plays into the Bobcats’ next possession, and Monte Vista redeemed the takeaway for six more points when senior Colton Mellott linked up with Gunter for a 40-yard touchdown with 9:15 left in the first quarter.

Gunter would later take a first-down handoff 45 yards to paydirt for a 20-0 lead. The visitors added a 21-yard Hunter Pacheco run with 4:50 left, a 34-yard Mellott-to-Gunter pass with 3:27 left – with Mellott hitting senior Dusty Duran for two bonus points after the former, and Gunter carrying in the conversion after the latter – plus a 20-yard Mellott-to-Duran connection.

With 1:18 still remaining in the first frame, MVHS’ 42-0 advantage enacted mercy-rule running-clock rules as the Pirates utilized three QBs (Mellott, Chavez, freshman Kaden Mellott) and no fewer than 10 ball carriers in the one-sided affair.

Tucson (9-of-23, 90 yards) managed to hit junior John Riepel (5-52 receiving) through double coverage for an 8-yard TD with 9:36 left in the fourth quarter and, though his own subsequent two-point conversion carry failed, the ’Cats had accomplished about the only possible objective remaining in denying the outsiders a shutout.

Ignacio's Anthony Toledo resists the strip attempt of Monte Vista's Hunter Pacheco (45) during 1A Southern Peaks Conference action on Saturday. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Junior Keaton McCoy also managed to recover two Monte Vista fumbles, and senior Jeremy Roderick recovered one.

On the ground, however, IHS junior Anthony Toledo netted just four yards on 10 carries, Riepel had minus-4 on one and Tucson had minus-8 on four, but junior lineman Jace Carmenoros gained 10 in a late, two-carry backfield cameo.

Meanwhile, Mellott went 3-for-3 passing for 94 yards, while Gunter rushed three times for 55 yards and Pacheco two for 27.