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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fumble returns for touchdowns
help, hurt sub-varsity grid teams

Fumble returns played key roles in both of the Pecos Eagles’ sub-varsity football games on Thursday in Lamesa, while only one of the Eagles’ junior high teams was able to get on the scoreboard on Saturday in their games against the Tornadoes in Pecos.

The Eagles used a fumble return to score one of their three touchdowns in an 18-6 win by the ninth graders, then saw Lamesa score three of their four touchdowns on fumble returns in a 30-0 win over Pecos’ junior varsity.

On Saturday in Pecos, both of the Eagles’ junior high purple teams were shut out, the seventh graders by a 16-0 score and the eighth graders by a 20-0 margin, while the seventh grade gold team won their game over Lamesa by a 28-22 final score.

Timo Reyes had a 15-yard fumble return for a score for the ninth graders, while Phillip Williams and Hector Ramirez had 40- and 50-yard scores for the ninth graders, who are 3-2 on the season.

The JV saw their record fall to 0-6 with their loss. Coach Elias Payan said “Our defense played good. They had one drive, when we were pinned in our end and were finally able to break one on us.”

The seventh grade purple team lost their first game in four tries, while the eighth graders fell to 0-4 and the seventh grade ‘B’ team improved to 2-1 with their win. Both of the purple teams had problems moving the ball consistently on Lamesa, while the gold team got touchdowns from Dillon Garcia, Donovan Rodriguez and Arthur Navarette in their victory.

The junior high teams will be back to their regular schedule this week, with Thursday games at Midland Christian, while the JV and freshman teams host Seminole on Thursday evening at Eagle Stadium.

Eagles’ Martinez 18th at Odessa cross country

Pecos Eagles’ senior Jennifer Martinez placed 18th this past Saturday at the Ector County ISD Cross Country meet, held at the UTPB Park in Odessa, in the next-to-last meet for the Eagles before District 3-3A competition.

Martinez ran the two-mile course with a 13:50.5 time, which was the best finish of any of the district runners entered in Odessa. She was one of three Pecos runners on the girls’ side, with Heather Lamka finishing 60th with a 15:35.1 time, and Kathryn Lamka finishing 62nd, with a time of 15:51.8.

The boys were short several runners, coach Rudy Jurado, said, and their highest finish was a 79th place be Jeremiah Jurado, who finished with a 20:39 time. Javier Mendoza was 83rd, wit a 21:.09.8 time, Thomas Paz was 86th, with a time of 24:37.6, and Austin Vernon was 87th, with a time of 26:01.8 seconds.

“Our four guys are doing OK. We just don’t have a lot of strong runners,” the Eagles’ coach said. “But for our girls, we’ve got three with a strong chance to go to regionals.” Katharine Priebe of Midland High won the girls’ division, with a 12:22.3 time. The next best finisher among District 3-3A runners behind Martinez was Presidio’s Edlin Dominguez, who was 28th with a 14:15.3 time. On the boys’ side, the winner was Brandon Birdsong of Lubbock Monterey, with a 15:37.2 time, while the top finish among district runners was Fort Stockton’s David Palma, who was 18th with a 17:20 time.

Jurado said the Eagles’ final pre-district meet would be this Saturday in Wink, while District 3-3A competition will be held on Oct. 24 at the Ward County Golf Course in Monahans.

Swimmers snare 6th place at Lubbock Relays

The Pecos Eagles are the dominant swim team in West Texas with inner tubes on, and the other events also did fairly well, coach Terri Morse said, following Saturday’s Lubbock Relays.

The Eagles made the first of three trips this season to Lubbock on Saturday and scored 244 1/2 points to place sixth overall out of 24 schools. Lubbock High School won with 536 points, while Andrews was seventh at the meet, with 193 points.

“I was impressed with the fact that we did get sixth with all the 5As there,” Morse said. “None of the 3A schools were ahead of us, and the ones that were there were in back by a considerable amount.”

Pecos placed first in two relays, and Morse said the Eagles should have placed first in a third. The two wins game in one of the “fun” relay events, the 100-yard inner tube relay. Pecos’ girls beat Lubbock Monterey by one second in that race, winning with a 1:36.69 time, while the boys swam a 1:18.74 to win by 10 seconds over Amarillo High.

“We won it because we know how to kick, because we play inner tube water polo in the off-season,” Morse said.

The other race was the boys’ 200 yard backstroke relay, where the Eagles were disqualified after Kyle Winkles was called for leaving early on his leg of the race. “When he left, I didn’t think he left early, but Frankie (Morin) touched kind of funny - his arm came back over the edge of the pool, and I think it was just the way Frankie touched, or else that relay would have gotten first.

Aside from the relays that the Eagles normally don’t compete in, Pecos’ boys also had teams entered in the three regular meet events, the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays and the 400 yard freestyle relay, while Morse said due to the absence of one swimmer, the girls didn’t field a 200 freestyle or 200 medley relay team.

In those, the boys placed third in the 400 freestyle relay, fourth the 200 medley relay and 11th in the 200 freestyle. Winkles, Matthew Florez, Matt Elliott and Josh Elliott swam the 400 free relay; Winkles, Flores, Josh Elliott and Matt Oglesby swam in the 200 medley and Florez, Morin, Luke Serrano and Alonzo Garcia swam in the 200 freestyle relay.

The boys also earned a fifth in the 300-yard medley relay, the 100-yard freestyle relay and in the 200 butterfly relay, sixth in the 200 yard breaststroke relay, seventh in the 100 freestyle relay.

Aside from the inner tube relay, the best finish for the girls was a fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke relay, a three-person race with Niki Lindeman, Lindsey Shaw and Cassandra Mata. The girls also earned seventh in the 200-yard butterfly relay; ninth in both the 200-yard backstroke relay and the one regular relay event, the 400 freestyle relay, and 17th in the 100-yard freestyle relay. Shaw, Mata, Cynthia Marmolejo and Ashley Mendoza were the girls’ swimmers in the 400 freestyle relay.

“We had the potential to be in the top three or four, but I’m still pleased with the outcome, considering the circumstances we faced,” said Morse.

There were also co-ed races, and Pecos placed second in the 200-yard freestyle t-shirt relay relay; sixth in the 200-yard freestyle fin relay, and 16th in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“The times in the relays were pretty good on the relays that counted as far as what we do normally,” said Morse. “They were pretty comparable to what we did against Fort Stockton.”

Pecos opened their season last month with a dual meet win at home over the Panthers, and will host Monahans this Thursday for another dual, beginning with diving at 4:30 p.m. and the swimming finals at 6 p.m.

Eagles’ offense vanishes following fast start

The question going into Friday night’s District 3-3A football opener for the Pecos Eagles against the Lamesa Golden Tornadoes was which Eagle offense would show up: The one that slashed its way through the Sweetwater Mustangs’ defense two weeks ago, or the one that stumbled through a series of self-inflicted errors during the first four games of the season.

The answer was both. The Pecos team that ran through Sweetwater showed up to start the game, but only hung around for the first 10 minutes. Then the Eagle team that has been determined to be its own worst enemy arrived, and the result was a 10-7 loss to the Golden Tornadoes.

Luis Ortega ran for 78 yards on the opening series, including a 25-yard touchdown run, and gained over 100 yards in just the opening 10 minutes of play. But for the second year in a row, with a chance to grab a 14-0 lead on Lamesa, the Eagles fumbled away their chance and then pretty much shut down on offense for the rest of the night, gaining less than 100 yards combined over the final three quarters.

“It was just like last year. We’re driving it down there and it could be 14-0 and we fumble,” said Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis. “Then we fumble on second down, and we’re not good enough to do that.”

The Tors’ ran last year’s fumble back for a score, and went on to win the game by a 19-7 margin. This time, Lamesa had to drive 79 yards for the tying score after Eddie Vela fumbled a 3rd-and-5 snap at the Tors’ 21, scoring on a 31-yard reverse by Isaac Guzman on a 4th-and-5 midway through the second quarter.

The Tors then used an interception of Vela by Montana Dunlop to set up what turned out to be the game-winning score, a 32-yard field goal by Antonio Gonzales with 55 seconds left in the half. Pecos would take the second half kickoff and drive deep into Lamesa territory before turning the ball over on downs at the Lamesa 15 after a holding call, and then lost the ball again on downs a few minutes later following an interception by Matt Elliott, as the third of six Pecos fumbles helped do in this drive.

Lamesa only managed 185 yards overall in the game, which was their season average, and Pecos started the game by stopping the Tors on three plays and forcing a Matt McCall punt, then needed just three plays, all runs by Ortega, to grab a 7-0 lead after Edward Valencia’s extra-point kick.

Pecos then forced another Lamesa punt after only three plays, taking over at their own 32 yard line, and then went for a 4th-and-1 at their own 41 and made it, though Ortega was slightly banged up at the end of his 8-yard run. But after two runs by Vela and a run by Donnie Myles netted 17 yards, Ortega returned to run for nine yards and another first down. He then gained three yards and Vela ran for two before fumbling the third down snap, which was recovered by Lamesa’s Michael Longoria at the 21-yard line.

White was stopped for no gain on first down, but then hit Humberto Avila for seven yards and Furlow was able to get just enough for a first down on the next play, which ended the first quarter.

As the second period began, Furlow found more running room, going for 12- and 16-yard runs to the Pecos 36. But two runs by White and one by Furlow got just five yards, before the Tors ran the reverse on fourth down, with Guzman getting around Myles on the outside and then racing the 31 yards to the end zone.

Things then got worse for the Eagles, as Vela fumbled the snap again on first down for a two-yard loss, then on third down under-threw Licon, who had gotten behind Dunlop and was intercepted at the Pecos 44. White then scrambled past Pecos’ linemen for a 22-yard gain, and then on 4rd-and-8 Eli Hinojos hit Guzman early on a five yard pass by White, giving Lamesa an automatic first down.

The Eagles then appeared to get a break on 3rd-and-10 from the 15, when a wide-open Jay Guerra dropped a pass from White in the end zone, but Gonzales, who started the season as back-up kicker, then booted his 32-yard field goal that turned out to be the game-winning points.

The Eagles had two chances to score in the third period. They wasted a 30-yard run by Ortega on the first series of the third quarter, when they were called for holding on a 2nd-and-8 play from the 19. Two runs by Vela got 12 yards, but he was unable to find an open receiver while scrambling on fourth down and ran out of bounds at the 15, and the Tors took over on downs.

Three plays later Pecos had the ball back, as White underthrew Guzman and was picked off by Elliott who returned it to the 31. But on 2nd-and-7 Vela again had trouble handling the snap, and then after running for four yards on the next play had his 4th-and-3 pass attempt blocked by Gonzales, and the Tors again took over.

They picked up one first down, then got a break after their drive stalled when Javier Tercero fumbled McCall’s put, with Lamesa recovering at the Pecos 31. White then scrambled away from Pecos’ linemen on a pass play for another 16-yard gain, but then the Eagles got a break, as the Tors were hit with a motion call, White threw short on a pass to Guzman at the goal line and was then sacked by Josh Payan for a 4-yard loss. But after getting the ball on downs, the Eagles went three plays and out on their next series, and then, after blocking McCall’s next punt attempt and recovering at midfield, the Eagles managed one first down on a run by Vela, but on 4th-and-2 on the Lamesa 38 Ortega couldn’t handle a pitch from Vela and ended up recovering the ball back at the 47, where Lamesa took over with 2:51 to play.

“We blocked the kick and got it down there, but then we get to a key fourth down and fumble,” said Willis. “We just keep on hurting ourselves.”

White then hit Guzman on a 25-yard completion, and while Pecos finally did get the ball back, it was at their own 36 with 16 seconds to play. Vela tried a long pass down the middle but was rushed on his throw and was interception by Shawn Puttman, ending Pecos’ hopes of their first district win since the 2001 season.

“I don’t think we’re at the point where we believe we can actually win. Something goes wrong and we get down,” Willis said. “We’ve got to win the games we’re supposed to win.”

Lamesa’s win was their first of the season, and left both teams with 1-5 records. The Tors go home to host Monahans on Friday, while the Eagles travel to Seminole to face the Indians, who are 1-0 in district and 2-4 on the season after winning a 40-39 shootout over Greenwood in their 3-3A opener. Monahans defeated Fort Stockton, 46-0 in the other district game.

Eagles fall short again in loss to Blue Devils

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team came closer to beating another team they struggled against during pre-district play on Saturday, but again came up short in the deciding game of their match, this time against the Presidio Blue Devils.

Pecos, which rallied in Game 4 last Tuesday to tie Fort Stockton, only to lose Game 5 after taking an 8-2 lead on the Prowlers’ home court broke a tie late in Game 4 at home on Saturday to score a 25-22 win, and then rallied from a 7-0 deficit to tie the Blue Devils in Game 5.

But the Eagles lost a point on a reversed call, then saw Presidio go out to a 13-9 lead and then win the game on a penalized point due to an illegal time-out, and took the match 20-25, 25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 15-10.

“We just fell short,” said a dejected coach Debbie Garica. “I don’t think they hurt us as much as we hurt ourselves. We passed batter and set better, but we just let some balls fall that we shouldn’t have.”

Presidio’s Vanessa Armendariz was the main factor in the Blue Devils win. Playing middle hitter on the back rotation, she came up with a series of shots at the end of Game 5 that fell in for points, and also closed out the Blue Devils’ win in Game 3 with a couple of kills against Pecos’ less experienced blockers.

“Amber Pando is still suffering from an injury, so we didn’t play as much as we would have liked,“ said Garcia, which left more of the back line blocking work for freshman Jasmine Rayos and Gabi Garcia.

The match-up was better for Pecos when their main hitters, Brittany Rodriguez and Adriana Armendariz, were on the front line against Presidio’s No. 1 hitter, Yasmin Herrera. Armendariz had a couple of early kills in Game 1, and Rodriguez had back-to-back spikes later that allowed the Eagles to go out to a 21-13 lead and survive a Presidio rally that cut the margin to 23-20. A serve into the net by Herrera and a spike by Rayos finished off the game.

Herrera put down a kill to open Game 2 and the Eagles never led. The did tie the game at 4-4 on a hit by Armendariz after Tiffany Tarango made two diving pick-ups on Blue Devil spikes, but Rodriguez was then called on a net violation to begin an 8-1 run by Presidio. The Eagles would get within four points only once the rest of the way.

The lead changed hands several times in Game 3, with the Eagles leading at one point, 18-15. But a trio of dinks over the net for points by the Blue Devils’ 5-foot-3 setter Elfida Olivas turned the momentum around, and Vanessa Armandariz’s shots helped Presidio close out the game with a 6-0 run, as the Eagles ended up several times just tapping the ball back over the net when they had chances for kills.

“If they hit one or two out they start holding back and just tapping the ball instead of placing it,” Garcia said.

In Game 4 it was a bad hit by Armendariz and a spike by Rayos that broke a 5-5 tie, and put the Eagles ahead. They would get the lead to 22-17 later on a spike by Gabi Garcia, but again saw the Blue Devils come back, tying it at 22-all on a dink by Arcely Levario before Christa Carrasco served a ball into the net after a Pecos time out, Jovani Villa then hit the ball into the net and Carrasco then misplayed a relay to end the game.

There was no momentum from that for Pecos going into Game 5. Garcia was forced to call an early time out after four unforced errors and an ace serve by Carrasco gave Presidio a 5-0 lead. The Blue Devils would get two more points before Pecos finally scored on a spike by Rodriguez, but the Eagles then went on a streak of their own, with an ace by Bianca Baeza and a spike by Adriana Armendariz leading to a time-out by Blue Devils’ coach Senia Armendariz with the lead down to 7-5.

Herrera then hit one out to make the score 7-6, and the Eagles appeared to tie the game, when a block of Rodriguez by Herrera was ruled to have gone out. But after a complaint by the Blue Devils’ coach, the point was replayed, and Presidio ended up getting their eighth point. The Eagles would tie the score at 8-8 on two hits by Adriana Armendariz and then take the lead on a bad hit by Levario, but the extra point helped rotate Rodriguez off the front line, and after Villa tied the game with a hit, Rayos then spiked the ball into the net and Vanessa Armdendariz had three straight hits for a 13-9 lead.

An unforced error got the Eagles their 10th point, but after another kill by Armendariz made it 14-10, Garcia tried to call a time out, but didn’t have any more, giving the Blue Devils the winning point.

“I was trying to freeze her and lost track, after the official got confused on a time outs earlier and had the two reversals,” said Garcia, whose team falls to 0-2 in district and 11-18 on the season going into their match on Tuesday in Monahans against the defending state champion Loboes, who downed Fort Stockton to go 2-0 in Distirct 3-3A play on Saturday.

The win was the fourth this season for Presidio over Pecos, the other three coming in tournament play, and the sixth overall since last year, when the Blue Devils ended the Eagles’ run of eight straight playoff appearances.

“I told the girls we just have to regroup. We’re getting close, but not finishing, and there are just a lot of bad habits we need correcting,” Garcia said.

The varsity win completed a Saturday sweep of the Eagles by the Blue Devils. Presidio won the junior varsity match, 25-4, 25-16, and also took the freshman contest, 25-22, 25-17. Play will start on Tuesday with the JV and freshman teams at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity match at the end of the JV contest, around 6:45 p.m.

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Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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