Fresh off a 26-20 overtime victory against Bloomfield’s junior varsity squad last week, the Ignacio High School football team (1-0) will welcome another squad from San Juan County of New Mexico when Newcomb (1-1) visits Bobcat Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Newcomb’s definitely going to be a hard team,” Ignacio’s Colten Jackson said after Saturday’s win. “They definitely have some fast people in the backfield, and their line’s alright, you know? I haven’t watched a lot of film on it, but last year, they were pretty good, and it’s going to be a hard game. There’s no easy games, really, and they’re going to come hard at us, as we’re going to go as hard at them.”
Last season, the Newcomb Skyhawks hosted Ignacio and earned a 42-6 victory. The Skyhawks finished the season 10-2 overall and reached New Mexico’s Class 2A state quarterfinals under head coach Eric Stovall.
IHS held Newcomb in check for a scoreless first quarter last season, but 22 points for the Skyhawks in the second quarter changed the game. It was quarterback Deondre Begay, now a senior, who rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown and passed for 88 yards and another touchdown for the Skyhawks.
The Bobcats fumbled three times in last year’s loss, and Deontay Begay, also now a senior, ripped off an 82-yard kickoff return while Deondre Begay had a 72-yard punt return. The Bobcats will focus on special teams and ball security.
“Just becoming better football players every day,” Ignacio’s Joe Garcia said of what the team’s focus would be in practice before the Week 2 matchup. “Working on blocking, containment, all those little things, fixing them up.”
In last week’s win, Garcia rushed for 73 yards on 16 carries, while Dylan Labarthe gained another 41 on 10 carries. Labarthe also led the team in receiving with six catches for 58 yards, while Jackson had three grabs for 33 yards. Distributing the ball was quarterback Ian Weinreich, who passed 19 times with 10 completions for 101 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
The Begays are once again leading Newcomb’s offense this season. Deondre has thrown for 60 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions this season and has rushed for 82 yards and two scores. Deontay has 136 rushing yards on 17 carries with one touchdown, and Leandreth Begay has the team’s lone receiving touchdown. Deondre and Deontay are also the Skyhawks’ leading tacklers on defense.
After a 38-0 win at Navajo Prep, the Skyhawks welcomed a huge challenge against Aztec in Week 2 and suffered a 50-0 loss.