Monte Vista did exactly what it needed to do Friday night to set up a final-week league championship game against Centauri.
From its first offensive play, the Pirates made it clear the visiting Ignacio High School football team would be in for a tough test Friday night in Monte Vista. On the Pirates’ first play from scrimmage, Cobi Garcia ripped off a long touchdown run. He then scored on a 2-point conversion run, and it was 8-0 Monte Vista only 1 minute, 9 seconds into the game.
That theme would continue, as the Pirates (4-1, 4-0 1A Southern Peaks League) cruised to a 56-7 home win on senior night.
Ignacio (2-2, 2-2 SPL) was able to get within 16-7 in the first quarter behind a nice offensive drive. A big pass from Gabe Tucson to Dylan Labarthe got the Bobcats inside the Monte Vista 5-yard line. Joe Garcia then would score on a 1-yard touchdown run. Shawn Campbell would make the extra point to get IHS within nine points early in the first quarter.
But that was about all the Ignacio offense would get going Friday night. The Bobcats would not recover an onside kick attempt. Cobi Garcia ripped off a 47-yard run and was kept out of the end zone by a saving tackle by Ignacio’s Lawrence Toledo, but Hunter Pacheco would score one play later on a 2-yard TD run for Monte Vista that made it 24-7 after another 2-point conversion by quarterback Colton Mellott. It was Pacheco’s second short TD run of the quarter.
Turnovers would cost the Bobcats in the game. A lateral pass behind the line of scrimmage from Tucson to Joe Garcia would be recovered by Pacheco for Monte Vista inside the Ignacio 1-yard line. One play later, Cobi Garcia was in the end zone for the second time on a run. That made it 30-7 with 3:54 to go in the first quarter.
After another Ignacio turnover on downs, it would be Khegan Gunter who would rip off a long TD run for Monte Vista that made it 36-7 in favor of the home team with 2:02 to go in the first quarter.
IHS looked as though it would get another drive going. Tucson connected on a long pass, but the receiver would fumble the ball back over to the Pirates. Another big Cobi Garcia would set up another Monte Vista touchdown early in the second quarter, and it was 44-7 with 11:56 to go in the first half.
Monte Vista felt it had another big turnover when Tyrese Otero intercepted a Tucson pass, but the interception return for a touchdown was called back on a penalty. But, one play later, Ignacio would again fumble it. Monte Vista turned it into another touchdown to make it 50-7 and start the mercy-rule running clock in the second quarter with a lead greater than 40.
Monte Vista inserted backup quarterback Even Stults into the game. He would score on a 3-yard TD run as time expired in the third quarter to make it 56-7. The fourth quarter would quickly tick away with the home fans exiting early with a big win.
After a 73-0 loss to Centauri a week earlier, the Bobcats were a bit beat up going into Friday’s game, and more injuries mounted in Monte Vista. IHS head coach Alfonso “Ponch” Garcia hopes to get those healed in time for the regular-season finale at home against Del Norte (0-2, 0-2 SPL) at 7 p.m. Friday.