While the other two La Plata County high school football teams will kick off Friday night, Ignacio will have to wait one extra day for the start of its season.
The Bobcats won’t open under Friday night lights, but they’ll be eager to host Lake County at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bobcat Stadium. The Panthers will make the trip from Leadville for Saturday’s game.
Lake County lost its top player from a year ago in Bryce Allen, who led the team in passing, rushing and tackles. Luke Allen, now a junior, was the only other player to throw a pass for the Panthers last season, a 31-yard touchdown. But the Panthers don’t throw much, as they totaled 339 yards through the air last season compared to 1,754 yards rushing.
Carlos Saucedo, a junior, ran for 464 yards last season to go with two touchdowns. He twice cracked the 100-yard barrier. Luke Allen also had one 100-yard game on the ground, and he rushed for 392 yards and three touchdowns during the season. The Bobcats will look to keep those two in check Saturday.
The Panthers also returned their leading receiver from a year ago in Isaiah Martinez. The senior played only five games as a junior but had 205 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Matthew Espinoza also returned to the team, and he had two touchdown catches last year.
Ignacio head coach Alfonso “Ponch” Garcia stressed the importance of his offensive line during the preseason. The team will look to rushers such as Lawrence Toledo to move the chains behind that line. Possession will be key Saturday, and the team that wins the turnover battle will have a definite advantage.