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Friday, August 19,2 005

Eagles face Bulldogs in final scrimmage

The Pecos Eagles’ football team will get their final preseason test Friday evening in Coahoma, when the scrimmage the Bulldogs on their home field for the second year in a row.

The Eagles will face the Bulldogs in freshman, junior varsity and varsity scrimmages starting at 4 p.m. Coach Patrick Willis said the varsity teams would go 15 plays with their first team units, 10 plays with their second team squads and then run either one or two quarters under actual game conditions, along with some special teams work.

The Eagles tied Andrews in their first pre-season scrimmage this past Saturday 2-2. Both teams scored on their initial possession with their first team units, while Pecos scored on their first possession with the second team squad and Andrews scored on their final series of the day with their second group in the game. Both of Pecos’ touchdowns were on running plays, as the Eagles averaged just over seven yards per carry, while both of the Mustangs’ TDs came through the air against the Eagles’ pass defense.

Last year in Coahoma, Pecos scored a 3-1 scrimmage win, but actually looked better the previous week in a 1-0 scrimmage loss against Andrews.

This time, they’ll try and maintain their momentum from their opening scrimmage, against a Bulldog squad that was beaten 1-0 by the Eagles’ District 3-3A rival Greenwood, in their first preseason scrimmage.

“Greenwood drove down and scored on the 13th play of the first series,” Willis said. “When I talked to coach (Steve) Taylor, he told me Coahoma started blitzing every play after that, and they blew some blocking assignments.”

Willis said a blitzing defense by the Bulldogs, “could give us some problems, but I think we can handle it.” Quarterbacks Eddie Vela and Miguel Estrada were sacked twice in last week’s scrimmage, while going 5-for-8 for 65 yards through the air.

Vela had a pair of touchdown passes in last year’s scrimmage against Coahoma, playing with the second team unit. But the Eagles also had problems with fumbles, something that would plague them throughout the 2004 season, and while they allowed only one score, on a 57-yard touchdown pass, they did allow Coahoma to march inside the 25 yard line four other times before stopping them on downs.

Offensively this Friday, the Eagles can expect to see a lot of option plays from the Bulldogs. “I haven’t seen them on video, but they ran to the middle of the line and lots of veer,” Willis said.

The starters this week will be the same as for last Saturday’s Andrews scrimmage, as the Eagles get ready for their Aug. 26 regular season opener against Midland Christian, last year’s private school Division II state champs. Midland Christian lost their first scrimmage to Pecos’ final pre-district opponent, Sweetwater, by a 4-0 score last weekend.

Eagles start tourney play after Tuesday split

Speed, not size, was the biggest difference between the Pecos Eagles’ first and last volleyball matches of the night on Tuesday at the Pecos High School gym.

The Eagles’ front line was out-sized by both the Kermit Yellowjackets and Odessa High Bronchos in their games on Tuesday, but the results were much different. Pecos was able to use their own quickness to counter Kermit’s height advantage, and score a 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 sweep of the Jackets. But OHS used their quick sets and front line motion to confuse the Eagle blockers and take even more advantage of their height up front, as they swept Pecos by 25-16, 25-13, 25-12 scores.

“My blockers were watching their hitters instead of watching the ball. That did catch us off-guard,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia, whose team also was bothered late in the match by the Bronchos’ jump serves.

“We had a hard time passing today,” she said. “We’re going to have to come back and look at what we need to work on and keep improving.”

The split left Pecos with a 2-4 record going into this weekend’s Monahans Sandhills Tournament. The Eagles are scheduled to open play at 11 a.m. on Friday against Dalhart in the 16-team, two-day tourney.

In both of Tuesday’s matches the games were close at the outset, with Kermit holding early leads in all three games against Pecos, while the Eagles led early in their opening two games against the Bronchos.

The Eagles took the lead for good in their opening game against the Jackets at 14-13, and then went on a 7-0 run with Amalie Herrera serving, to open up a 22-14 lead. In Game 2, the Eagles would grab the lead at 7-6 and hold it the rest of the way, but saw the Jackets rally from a 22-13 deficit to get to within three points before Pecos secured the victory. Brittany Rodriguez and Adriana Armendariz had three kills apiece in the matches against Kermit, while Bianca Baeza finished off the match with a kill in Game 3, which the Eagles never led by more than four points.

“It seemed like we’d get a bit of a lead and then let up,” Garcia said. “We need too keep our intensity levels up throughout the game.”

The Eagles held a 6-4 lead on Odessa High in Game 1 of the next match, and led Game 2 by a 7-4 margin. But both times, the Bronchos pulled away at the finish. OHS led in Game 1 by an 18-16 margin when they went on a 7-0 run to earn the victory. Meagan Saulsbury had a couple of kills in that run, while Rodriguez and Armendariz missed on their spike attempts against the taller OHS front line.

Both found openings for their kills at the outset of Game 2, when the Eagles built their 7-4 lead. But a block of Armendariz by Saulsbury started the Bronchos’ comeback, and they took the lead for good at 11-10 on a spike by Kristen Beck.

Game 3 was where the Eagles had their biggest problems with OHS’ jump serves, as Saulsbury and Kylie Cowan had ace serves and caused the Eagles to mishandle the ball several other times.

The Eagles’ rival in Friday’s Sandhills opener, Dalhart, finished third in their district a year ago, then swept Seminole in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs, before losing to Pecos’ district rival and eventual Class 3A state champ Monahans by 25-22, 25-19, 13-25, 21-25, 15-12 scores. The winner of the 11 a.m. match will take on the winner between Midland High and Lubbock Christian at 2 p.m. at the Larned Special Events Center, while the losers will play at 3 p.m. in the Monahans High School gym.

Frenship faces El Paso Burges and Andrews plays El Paso Montwood in the other opening round matches on Pecos’ side of the bracket. The host Loboes play Van Horn, Presidio faces Denver City, Seminole takes on El Paso Ysleta and Lubbock Trinity plays El Paso Riverside in the opening round games on the other side of the bracket.

Pecos’ freshman team began play in Monahans with a pool round match against Andrews on Thursday afternoon, while the Eagles’ junior varsity plays Midland High in their opener, starting at 8 a.m. on Friday.

Bears host trio after winning first scrimmage

The Balmorhea Bears will be scrimmaging three teams, including two of their District 6-A six man football rivals, at home on Friday, after coming away with a scrimmage win over another district rival this past Saturday.

The Bears defeated Fort Davis by a 2-1 score in a 40-play scrimmage, and will host Midland Trinity and district rivals Buena Vista and Marathon for a scrimmage this Friday, beginning at 5 p.m., coach Adolfo Garcia said.

The Bears, who open their season on Sept. 2 with a game at Whitharral, weren’t sharp on offense against the Indians, but were still able to pull out a win, Garcia said.

“We looked real good on defense, but on offense we’re not where we need to be,” he said. “We held them very well. They hardly made any yardage at all.”

Garcia added that Ryan Woodruff had a strong game on defense for Balmorhea, while Brian Mendoza and Sean Enloe had interceptions. “We also had a couple of fumble recoveries,” he said.

Brandon Mendoza and Benjamin Orozco scored the touchdowns for Balmorhea, which will be trying to earn their first playoff berth in four years in 2005.

Although the Bears have a smaller roster of players this season than they’ve had in recent years, Balmorhea was able to play a junior varsity scrimmage against Fort Davis on Saturday, which ended in a 2-2 tie.

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