Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Eagles suffer early errors, miss chances to rally
One long pass, one long run and one long return set up the Greenwood Rangers for a trio of early scores Friday night, in their game against the Pecos Eagles. But it wasn’t until late in the third period when Greenwood finally got their running game going that the Rangers were able to put the Eagles away.
Pecos gave up 35 points for the second week in a row, but for 2 1/2 quarters, played their best defensive game of the season, holding Greenwood to just over 100 yards, after the Rangers had run for 400-plus yards in their previous two games. But Greenwood was able to put together a 69-yard touchdown drive on the ground to close out the third period, and then a 68-yarder for their final score of the night in the fourth quarter, while stopping Pecos at the goal line just before halftime and then shutting the Eagles down in the second half of their 35-8 victory.
“We start relaxing and resting. We think we’ve given all we can, but we can’t win until we start playing a whole game,” said Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis, whose team picked up 113 yards in offense in the first half, but only 38 in the final two periods, and just 14 of that on the ground.
Greenwood surprised Pecos on the opening kickoff, as Aaron Brooks squibbed one down to the 35 yard line that the Eagles were slow to react to, and Justin Sebree ended up recovering the ball for the Rangers. After recovering the squib kick, the run-oriented Rangers opened Friday’s game the same way they did a year ago, with a pass.
Quarterback Colton Wilbur hit Lane Flowers on a crossing route for a 27-yard gain to the Pecos 7, and three plays after that Wilbur got into the end zone from a yard out to give Greenwood the lead less than 90 seconds into the game.
Flowers would score the Rangers’ next TD four minutes later when quarterback Miguel Estrada couldn’t find a receiver on a 2nd-and-8 play from the Rangers’ 45 and was sacked an fumbled along the Rangers’ sideline. Flowers picked up the ball and ran 50 yards to the end zone, with Lance Bawcom’s kick widening the lead to 14-0.
The Eagles then were able to surprise the Rangers on their next series, after surviving another fumble. The fumble appeared to kill the drive after Javier Tercero returned another squib kick by Brooks to the 42-yard-line, but on 4th-and-2 from midfield Tercero took the snap as the blocking back for punter Edward Valencia and went around the right end for 29 yards, down to the Greenwood 21.
On the next play, Luis Ortega broke through the right side of the line and went the final 21 yards for his third score of the season. Pecos then caught Greenwood off-guard again on the extra-point try, lining up on the left side of the field and snapping the ball to Donnie Myles, who got into the end zone to cut the lead to 14-8.
Greenwood managed just three first downs in the first half, one coming on the pass to Flowers and the second coming late in the first quarter, when Wilbur got through the right side of the line at midfield and went 50 yards for his second touchdown of the night. The play was set up by a questionable punt reception interference call on Joenell Garcia, who appeared to hit Justin Sebree just as he caught Valencia’s punt at the 25-yard-line. Sebree’s teammate Michael Washington did recover the ball back at the 10, but the penalty and an improper spot by the officials ended up giving Greenwood a first down up at the 44-yard-line.
However, penalties would help Pecos on what turned into a long 17-play series as the half wound down. A facemask call on a run by Ortega, a 15-yard interference call on Wilbur on an option pass from Myles to Matt Elliott, and an offsides on a 4th-and-2 play from the Rangers’ 18-yard-line gave Pecos three of their five first downs in the series.
Quarterback Eddie Vela would then get another one on a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-inches from the 5, and then ran the ball down to the one on the next play.
But with three chances to get the final yard, the Eagles couldn’t get enough of a surge in the line, though Willis said Vela ended up in the end zone on the fourth down play as time expired.
“He was laying in the end zone when they got up, but the officials said they had stopped his forward progress,” he said.
The Eagles would stop Greenwood on their first series of the second half, but the Rangers’ defense, combined with Pecos’ own mistakes, would keep the Eagles from taking advantage. They did get out of one deep hole on a roughing the passer call against Greenwood, but not before losing Elliott for the season with a knee injury on a play where he came down on one leg after catching a pass from Vela, who had to chase the ball down deep in the end zone after a snap out of the shotgun formation sailed over his head.
Taking over at their own 31, the Rangers used a series of medium length runs to go 69 yards in 11 plays for a 28-8 lead. The longest run of the series was a 13-yarder by Wilbur, while Sebree broke up the middle for a 12-yard gain one play before scoring from three yards out.
Greenwood missed the extra point with 26 seconds left in the third period, but had the ball back before the quarter was over, when Josh Gaskin picked off an Estrada pass and returned it to the Pecos 49, after he had connected with Luis Licon on a 13-yard pass to midfield. The Rangers were stopped on that series, but then held the Eagles to one yard on their next series, and closed out the scoring with a 10-play 68-yard drive, highlighted by a 47-yard run by Wilbur around the right end, two plays after a holding call had wiped out a 44-yard touchdown run by the Rangers’ quarterback on the exact same play.
Greenwood’s win evened their season record at 4-4 and put them at 2-1 in District 3-3A play, tied for second with Seminole, which was routed by Monahans on Friday, 62-13.
The 8-0 Loboes are up next for the Eagles, who fell to 0-3 in district and 1-7 on the season. Pecos hosts Monahans in their final home game this Friday, before ending their season in Fort Stockton on Nov. 4. The Panthers are 3-5 and 1-2 after edging Lamesa on Friday, 13-10.
Swimmers snare 2nd despite shuffled lineups
Pecos Eagles swim coach Terri Morse had to make some planned and unplanned changes to her lineups on Saturday, at the Big Spring Invitational. But despite the moves, the Eagles were still able to come away with second place finishes in both the boys and girls divisions at the 12-team meet.
District rival Andrews edged Pecos for the boys division title by a 287-284 margin, with Fort Stockton placing third with 186 points. In the girls division, the Eagles edged the host Steers for second place by a 167-165 score, while Abilene High scored 246 points to take the division title.
Morse made some changes to her lineup going in, due to a conflict with the Eagles’ 3:45 p.m. performance in the UIL area marching contest in Odessa. But she also had to juggle her boys’ lineup some more, after senior Matt Elliott suffered a knee injury during Friday night’s football game against Greenwood.
“They don’t think it was as bad as they first thought, but we still don’t know for sure,” Morse said on Monday. She was hoping that under best-case conditions, Elliott, who normally swims the 100 yard butterfly and 200 yard freestyle, could return a few weeks before the District 3-4A swim meet in Big Spring in late January.
“I thought the kids did a great job considering. They were kind of down Friday night when they went to the hospital to visit Matt, but they kept their chins up and swam some good races,” Morse said.
Elliott’s brother Josh replaced him on two of the relays, the 200 medley and 400 yard freestyle races, and Pecos still managed to take first in both events. The medley relay of Elliott, Kyle Winkles, Matt Oglesby and Matthew Flores, had a 1:48.38 to beat Fort Stockton by one second, while the same four swimmers had a 3:34.28 to take the 400 freestyle by just under six seconds over Big Spring.
“I had to drop our boys ‘B’ medley and move people from there to the 200 free to fill Matt’s place in them,” Morse said. “And Luke (Serrano) wasn’t in his best events because he had to leave early for band. He would have done better in the breast or backstroke than in the 50 free, and we could have had a ‘B’ relay.”
Aside from Elliott’s injury, Morse said Andrews was able to edge Pecos for the boys’ title due to the addition of a new swimmer. “Andrews had a kid from Alaska move in and he’s a very, very good swimmer. He gave Kyle a challenge in the 100 free and won the breaststroke.”
Winkles beat Mustangs freshman Trevor Williams in the 100 free by seven-tenths of a second, winning with a 51.33 time. Winkles then won the 100 yard backstroke in 57.97, while Elliott was second with a 60.02 time. Williams took the 100-yaard breastrstroke by two seconds over Fort Stockton’s Jason Rice, while the Eagles’ Alonzo Garcia was fifth and Brian Carrasco was10th in that event.
Garcia was also fifth in the 200 freestyle, which was won by Big Spring’s Daniel Pike, with Serrano placing ninth for Pecos. In the other races, Oglesby won the 200 medley with a 2:09.26 time, six seconds ahead of Josh Elliott, with Carrasco eighth; and the junior also took t he 500 free with a 5:22.60 time, with Adam Medina placing ninth.
Florez was fifth, Frankie Morin 11th, Serrano 13th, Jose Gonzales 25th and Oscar Machuca 29th in the 50 free; Medina was seventh in the 100 yard butterfly; Florez was fifth in the 100 free; the 200 freestyle relay team of Medina, Morin, Garcia and Carrasco was sixth; and the same four finished sixth as the 400 freestyle ‘B’ relay.
In the 1-meter diving competition held on Friday, Hector Roman was fifth, Gonzales eighth and Machuca was 10th for the boys. The Eagles had no girls competing in diving.
The girls were able to edge out Big Spring for second, after beating Monahans in a dual meet nine days earlier. The Loboes wound up with 145 points and in fourth place on Saturday, while Abilene Wylie was next with 139 points.
“I thought the girls did a great job,” Morse said. “For eight girls and the lack of experience we have on the team I thought we did really well, plus two girls definitely were not on their best events.”
She said Ashley Mendoza and Cassandra Mata also swam out of their normal races due to the UIL band competition. “Ashley definitely would have won the 500 and Cassandra would have swam better in the backstroke and fly.”
Mendoza, Mata, Lindsey Shaw and Nevya Rodriguez were second to Abilene High in the 200 medley relay, while Mendoza won the 200 freestyle with a 2:22.08 time and was ninth in the 100 fly. Mata placed third in the 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 200 medley.
Shaw eanred Pecos’ other first place finish Saturday, edging Andrews freshman Alison Mohr by .46 second to win the 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:18.30 time. Earlier, she was edged by .33 second by Abilene’s Elise Hager in the 200 medley, as Shaw finished with a 2:31.07 time.
The other second place finishes for Pecos came from Rodriguez, in the 100 yard freestyle, while Shaw, Marmolejo, Rodriguez and Niki Lindemann took second in the 400 freestyle relay. The 200 free relay of Lindemann, Marmolejo, Brittanie Rodriguez and Stephanie Lucas placed 14th.
The other individual results for the Eagles included a seventh by Marmolejo in the 200 free; a ninth by Neyva Rodriguez and a 30th by Brittanie Rodriguez in the 50 free; a fourth by Marmolejo and an eighth by Lucas in the 500 free; a 15th by Lucas and 17th by Brittanie Rodriguez in the 100 backstroke and a 10th by Lindemann in the 100 breaststroke.
“I was really surprised by our girls. Every one of them swam well,” Morse said. “If was can keep this up and don’t lose anybody to grades for the rest of the season, our girls may have a shot at district.”
The Eagles’ next meet is their longest trip of the regular season, this weekend in Abilene. Morse said diving is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday, with the swimming finals on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Bears’ playoff hopes ended after home loss to Indians
The Fort Davis Indians shut down the Balmorhea Bears’ offense Friday night, and ended the Bears’ chances at a six-man football playoff spot in the process, as the Indians closed out Balmorhea’s home schedule with a 54-8 win.
It’s the fourth time in district play the Bears have gotten off to slow starts, all against the teams now tied for first in the district standings. But while the Bears were able to get their offense going in their games against Sierra Blanca and Dell City, coach Adolfo Garcia said only a kickoff return for a score by Americo Rios kept the Bears from suffering their second shutout of the year.
“Nothing we tried worked. Everything went wrong for us the whole night,” said Garcia who also lost two of his starters in the process, when Ryan Woodruff suffered a knee injury and Brandon Mendoza either severely bruised or fractured his collarbone.
“We played good defense in the first quarter, and not bad defense in the second quarter, but that was it,” the Bears’ coach said. He added that Woodruff went out in the opening period and Mendoza in the second quarter, “and they’re two of our best defensive players.”
Garcia said Fort Davis scored both on the ground and through the air, getting four touchdown passes from Adrian Hernandez. “We just couldn’t stop anything,” he said.
The loss dropped Balmorhea to 4-4 on the season and 2-3 in district play wit two games remaining, at Sanderson and Imperial. Fort Davis improved to 6-1 and are 5-1 in district, tied with Sierra Blanca, which lost to Dell City on Friday, 48-32, while Grandfalls routed Marathon, 66-0, and Sanderson tied Balmorhea for fifth in the standings with a 55-6 win over Imperial.
Pecos, Greenwood split sub-varsity games
The scoring went back and forth in the second half of a couple of sub-varsity football games between the Pecos Eagles and Greenwood Rangers on Thursday, with the Rangers coming out ahead in both games, while the Eagles were the only ones to score in the second half of two other games they won from the Rangers.
Pecos’ seventh grade purple team shut out Greenwood after their opening offensive series of the game, while the gold team tossed a shutout for the entire game against the Rangers, as the purple team posted a 22-8 win while the gold team blanked Greenwood, 34-0.
Pecos’ eighth grader purple team traded scores with Greenwood in the second half, but that only came after the Eagles had fallen behind the Rangers, 24-0, in the first quarter and a half of play in an eventual 40-18 loss at Eagle Stadium.
Over in Greenwood, the Eagles opted to go for the win instead of a tie on the final play of the game and came up short, as the Rangers won a 20-17 decision that was scoreless at halftime.
Freshman coach Pat Gent said the Eagles had a chance to kick a 30-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, after Timo Reyes had kicked a 35 yarder to give the Eagles a 17-14 lead earlier in the fourth quarter. Reyes had caught a 70-yard pass from Jeremy Martinez to get the ball down to the 15, and a run by Hector Ramirez put it at the 13 with six seconds to play.
“Instead of kicking a field goal, we decided to go for the win and came up a yard short,” Gent said. “The clock just ran out on us.”
Greenwood scored on their series after Reyes’ field goal with six minutes to play. The Rangers had opened the scoring in the third period, before Pecos took a 7-6 lead on a 65-yard run by Ramirez. He would later have a 70-yard TD run after the Rangers came back to score and make the two point conversion for a 14-7 advantage.
“Overall I was very pleased with the way the boys played,” said Gent, whose team is now 3-4 on the season. Pecos was forced to cancel Thursday’s junior varsity game due to a shortage of players, and while the ninth graders added one JV player to their squad, “They decided to go with a split squad and play their freshmen on offense and their JV on defense.”
The eighth graders gave up three touchdowns and a safety in the first 2 1/2 quarters of their game, then finally got on the board after a series of turnovers in the final two minutes of the half, on a 16-yard pass from Maurice Johnson to Alex Dominguez. The two then connected on a 56-yard TD pass in the third period to cut the lead to 24-12, but Greenwood needed just two plays to get that score back, and added the only TD in the final period after Johnson made it 32-18 with an 11-yard run. The loss left the eighth graders with an 0-6 record.
The seventh grader purple team is 4-2 after their win. Greenwood led in the first period, 8-6, after scoring their lone TD following a 19-yard run by Arturo Munoz. He then put Pecos ahead to stay in the second period with a 38-yard score and appeared to score again just before halftime, but was ruled down at the 2-yard-line and Pecos then was hit with a penalty and two fumbles that stalled the drive.
The purple team did get their third touchdown late in the third period, on a 13-yard run by Mark Martinez. Brian Levario and Isaiah Patino had two-point conversion runs for Pecos.
The gold team improved to 4-1 with their victory at the Crockett Middle School field. Dylan Garcia had a pair of scores while Donovan Rodriguez and Arthur Navarette had the other touchdowns for the Eagles.
Pecos’ junior high teams are home again this Thursday against Monahans, at 5 and 6:30 p.m., while the freshman Eagles go on the road to face the Loboes, at 6 p.m.
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