Oh, so close! Wildcats lose to Cuba in game of inches

Questa stopped short on last play of first half and on final drive of homecoming game

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Surrounded by the golden hue of the changing foliage in the upper reaches of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and under a warm October sun, the Questa Wildcats celebrated their annual homecoming with a hometown parade and smashing good football game.

The team was trying to right the ship and come away with its first win of the season and snap a seven-game losing streak that stretched back to Sept. 24, 2016, against the visiting Cuba Rams Oct. 7. The Wildcats, under the direction of first-year coach Chris Torres, fought tooth and nail for Questa’s homecoming game, but fell short by a final score of 21-15.

The fight actually began as the clock was winding down at the end of the second period, when the Wildcats marched down the field on the shoulders of Antonio Garcia, who, along with a speedy offensive unit, pounded their way close to the end zone in the waning seconds. On the final play of the half, a scrum ensued as the Wildcats tried to force their ball carrier across the plane, but were stuffed as time expired.

Questa came out after the intermission and showed an impressive level of determination in the second half. Despite failing to crack the 21-0 lead in the first half, the Wildcats mounted a furious comeback in the second half. To the delight of the sizable hometown crowd, coach Torres opened the playbook and inserted some creativity to the Wildcat offense that produced some long pass completions and a 35-yard field goal to narrow the score in the third quarter. The final drive of the game brought Questa deep into the red zone of Cuba off a long bomb completed inside the 12-yard line of the Rams. A series of miscues at the line pushed Questa backward and a desperation play at the end was not successful, costing the Wildcats the game. Solid defense by Questa caused multiple turnovers and held Cuba to zero points in the second half. The possibility of tying or winning the game on the final drive kept fans in their seats to the very end.

The Wildcats now enter the district season with another home game against the Fort Sumner Foxes Oct. 13. This will be Questa’s final home game of the season, as the team will travel to Tierra Amarilla to take on the Escalante Lobos Oct. 20, then to Española to challenge the McCurdy Bobcats in a non-district match Oct. 28.

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