The Ignacio High School football team found a breakthrough late in Saturday’s clash against Lake County, but were unable to sustain the lead, as the Bobcats fell 8-7.
“We had our chances for sure,” said Ignacio High School head coach Alfonso “Ponch” Garcia. “Earlier in the game, we kicked a chip shot field goal and missed. We moved the ball well all day. Ian (Weinreich) did his job, same with Lawrence Toledo, who was amazing all game, but we just couldn’t capitalize.”
After a scoreless first three quarters, Ignacio (1-2) struck first early in the fourth quarter, after Gabe Tucson returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown, and after a converted extra point, Ignacio led 7-0.
Garcia was hoping the one score would be enough to pull out a gritty road win, but it was not to be.
Lake County (1-1) would respond later in the quarter, after the Panthers’ offense was stifled for much of the game. In the first half, Ignacio held Lake County to a total of -53 yards. The Panthers would eventually find their groove through running back Carlos Saucedo, who had 17 carries for 102 yards. With seven minutes remaining and his team looking for an answer, Saucedo broke a tackle and took it 48 yards for the score. The Panthers converted the two-point conversion to make it 8-7.
“Credit to Lake County for not giving in,” Garcia said. “Our defense was fantastic, and it was just one missed tackle, but it changed the game.”
Ignacio had a few more drives, but was forced to punt with 4:00 left. The defense was banking on one more stop to get the ball back with enough time to make one last drive down the field. However, on the Panthers’ final possession, facing a third down and nine, they handed the ball off to Saucedo, who got the first down that iced the game. Lake County was able to run out the clock for the win.
“We just couldn’t capitalize when we had our chances,” Garcia said. “We were trying to score, but we’d go backwards and had too many penalties. We shot ourselves in the foot because of that, but we will work on that this week and go again. We played them really hard, and I think we’re going to learn from this and get better.”
Ignacio’s statistics were not available. The Bobcats will take on non-league foe John Mall (0-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in Walsenburg.