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Friday, September 16, 2005

Pecos looking to slow down Crane’s offense

The Pecos Eagles allowed almost 500 yards in their season-opening football loss to Midland Christian. But they cut that total by 200 yards the following week against Denver City, despite falling by a 21-7 score, and cut that total by another 150 yards last week, in getting their first win of 2005, 7-0 over the Kermit Yellowjackets.

Friday night at Eagle Stadium, Pecos will try to continue their defensive improvement against a team that has averaged almost 500 yards on offense the past two weeks, when the Eagles host the Crane Golden Cranes in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Crane outscored Pecos last year, 34-28, taking advantage of eight Eagle turnovers during the course of the game. Pecos also took advantage of one turnover by the Cranes in that game to get a touchdown, and coach Randy Doege said turnovers were what did his team in three weeks ago, in a season-opening loss to Wall.

“We just turned the ball over seven times in the game, and at crucial times,” he said. “That’s not going to win many games at all.”

However, Doege added that his team “has gotten over its first-game jitters,” and has rolled to impressive wins the past two weeks, over Grape Creek, 55-0, and last week over Colorado City, 28-7. The Wolves were playing minus their regular quarterback, Brik McGuffin, but started the season ranked No. 7 in Class 2A and were touched up on defense for 517 yards by the Cranes.

“They looked danged good last week, but I think we can play with them. We just need to execute,” said Eagles’ coach Patrick Willis, whose team survived four first have turnovers a week ago to win when Sammy Urias picked up one of Pecos’ seven first half fumbles and ran 16 yards for the only touchdown of the night.

Pecos has scored one TD in each of their first three games, but figures to need more than that if they’re to get their first home win since beating Midland Christian to open the 2003 season. The Eagles are averaging just under 240 yards per game on offense, most of that on the ground, with fullback Luis Ortega gaining 318 yards and quarterback Eddie Vela 204 yards so far this season.

Crane’s offense has been more varied and is led by Doege’s son Seth, a sophomore who begins his second season as starting quarterback. He had the job a year ago and went 6-4, including a 175-yard passing night against Pecos, including several plays in which Pecos’ linemen and linebackers were unable to bring down the 6-2, 190-pound freshman.

Doege had 297 yards passing and two touchdowns last week against Colorado City. “He’s a year older and knows this system,” his father said. “He’s been by my side for many years and knows where we are.”

Doege is also one of several rushing threats for Crane, though Willis said Adrian Galindo is the team’s top back. He’s ran for almost 300 yards this season, but Randy Doege said, “We’ve got five with other 200 yards, and we’ve got four who have caught eight balls or more.”

“Galindo, No. 21, is their best back. They’ve got No. 4 (Travis Lee) and No. 7 (Chad Aguilar), but 21’s their best back.”

As far as receivers go, Stephen Galindo is the main worry for Pecos on Friday. He caught 11 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown last week, and a year ago had three catches for 46 yards and a TD against the Eagles.

“I see some things we can do that Colorado City didn’t do,” said Willis, who added the Wolves left the middle open often for Doege to hook up with Galindo.

Defensively, Crane held both Grape Creek and Colorado City to under 200 yards in offense. Doege called it a “straight team effort” and said there hasn’t been any one outstanding player so far this season.

“We’re just relying on our quickness so far,” he said. “We’re not very big, but we’re quicker than last year. We’ve got more team speed, and that’s what we’re relying on.” “Their middle linebacker (Casey Johns) is good, and we’re going to have to block him,” Willis said. (Adrian) Galindo is their defensive end, and he’s fast off the edges. Their secondary is also aggressive. They get after it and play good team defense.

“I just hope we can get a body on their bodies, in order to let our guys run,” said Willis. “We looked fine (against Kermit) when we knew who to block and took care of our assignments.”

Ortega ran for 156 yards last week, but never could get a sustained drive going against a Kermit defense that put nine on the line much of the time. Pecos’ only two pass completions were on back-to-back plays in a 2nd-and-29 situation in the first half, and the Eagles gained 218 of their 233 yards on the ground.

Friday’s game begins a stretch in which the Eagles will play four of their next six games at home, including three of their first four district games. But before that they’ll travel to Sweetwater next week, to face the fourth-ranked Mustangs. District play opens for the Eagles on Oct. 7 at home versus Lamesa.

Starting Lineups Crane Pecos Offense Defense QB ( 2) - Seth Doege 195 DE (50) - Edward Valencia 190 HB ( 4) - Travis Lee 160 DT (56) - Ruben Salgado 245 FB (21) - Adrian Galindo 170 DT (55) - Julio Orosco 285 WB (47) - Justin Beall 195 DE ( 8) - Justin Hannsz 180 TE (80) - Jared Eyler 190 LB (44) - Sammy Urias 180 RT (78) - Johnny Tavarez 250 LB ( 6) - Joenell Garcia 160 RG (63) - Avery Rigg 205 LB (76) - Lamberto Herrera 165 C (58) - Daniel Blue 195 CB (30) - Eli Hinojos 150 LG (51) - Casey Johns 180 R ( 9) - Miguel Estrada 140 LT (79) - --- S ( 2) - Robert Nunez 185 SE (24) - Stephen Galindo 190 CB ( 3) - Andrew Grant 150 Defense Offense DE (75) - James Hawks 210 QB ( 7) - Eddie Vela 170 DT (47) - Justin Beall 195 RB (31) - Luis Ortega 190 DT (55) - Manuel Fox 190 SE (13) - Luis Licon 150 DE (21) - Adrian Galindo 170 WB (22) - Javier Terceo 160 LB (80) - Jared Eyler 190 LT (50) - Edward Valencia 190 LB (51) - Casey Johns 180 LG (52) - Michael Lee 220 LB (62) - Home r Marquez 200 C (56) - Ruben Salgado 245 CB ( 4) - Travis Lee 160 RG (55) - Julio Orosco 285 FS ( 7) - Chad Aguilar 155 RT (62) - Bill Moody 200 SS (19) - Tyler Esparza 155 TE ( 2) - Robert Nunez 185 CB (10) - Jesse Cruz 155 SE ( 3) - Andrew Grant 150 K (30) - Daniel Lorean 185 P ( 7) - Eddie Vela 170 P (24) - Stephen Galindo 190 K (55) - Julio Orosco 285

Eagles struggle in sweep by Golden Cranes

The Pecos Eagle volleyball team struggled at home on Tuesday night, losing a three-game match to the Crane Golden Cranes by 25-22, 25-16, 25-23 scores.

“We just didn’t play well overall,” said Eagles’ coach Debbie Garcia, whose team will play the Comstock Panthers at 10:15 a.m. on Friday in the opening round of the Sul Ross Tournament in Alpine.

Crane didn’t overpower Pecos, but took advantage of the rotations when the Eagles’ top hitter, Brittany Rodriguez, was out of the game, and also got some key spikes from Kaleigh Fox, Chelsea Eaton and Jasmine Fowler down the stretch in Game 3, when they rallied from a 17-11 deficit.

“We should have dinked when we had open spots, and our back line had trouble picking up their hits,” Garcia said. “We did have some good hits, but we didn’t play as well as we could have.”

Pecos tried to rally late in Game 1 on hits by Rodriguez and Amalie Herrera, after Crane had taken a 23-19 lead, and cut the margin to one before losing serve and then the game. In Game 2, Crane went out to 12-6 and 17-9 leads, then held off a Pecos comeback that got the Eagles to within four, at 18-14.

In Game 3 the Eagles went on an 8-3 in mid-game to grab a six-point lead, with Rodriguez and Bianca Baeza coming up with kills in that stretch. Crane then rallied and took the lead for good at 19-18 on a bad hit by Jasmine Rayos. Crane would go up 23-20 before Pecos rallied to tie the game at 23-all, but after a time out Rodriguez missed on a kill attempt, to make it 24-23, and Fox finished off the match with a spike.

Rayos and Gabi Garcia were part of the regular rotation on Tuesday, after the two freshmen were moved up to the varsity squad 10 days ago to help with front-line blocking and hitting. “The freshmen are still holding back a little bit. They need to come out and play the way they do in practice,” Debbie Garcia said. “The two of them did get some good blocks, but they’re still hesitant with their passing.”

The loss dropped Pecos to 8-12 on the season going into this weekend’s tournament, which was added to the schedule late to replace the Labor Day weekend Seminole Invitational. After their trip to Alpine, the Eagles will have a rematch with Crane next Tuesday on the Golden Cranes’ home court.

Crane also won Tuesday’s freshman match, 25-23, 25-12, while the Eagles took the junior varsity contest, 25-23, 5-25, 25-20. The sub-varsity teams are off this weekend after participating last weekend in the Fort Stockton Tournament, where the Eagles’ JV squad won consolation.

Martinez gets 6th at Water Valley x-country

Pecos Eagles’ senior Jennifer Martinez placed sixth this past weekend in the Class 2A-3A division of the Water Valley Invitational Cross Country meet.

Martinez was one of nine Eagle runners overall to compete at the meet, which saw Pecos’ boys place 12th overall in their division with 303 total points. The Eagle girls did not have enough entries to earn a team score.

“I thought we looked a little better at this race than we did at Seminole,” said Eagles’ coach Rudy Jurado. “AS long as we cut our times a little bit, we’ll be all right.”

Martinez ran the two-mile course in a time of 14:20.6, while the race was won by Wall’s Kendra Glass, with a 13:44 time. She was one of four Pecos girls entered in the meet, with Heather Lamka finishing 87th with a 17:30.3 time; Kathryn Lamka 89th with a 17:37.2 time, and Ashley Ornelas 127th, with a time of 21:39.5.

The best finish for Pecos’ boys over the three-miles course was Jeremiah Jurado, who came in 56th with a time of 21:07.4. Ray Lee Gonzales was 70th, with a time of 21:45.5; Jesse Juarez was 77th, with a 22:01.7 time; Billy Garcia was 92nd, with a time of 23:02.8; Javier Mendoza was 96th, with a time of 23:27.6; Jeremy Ramirez placed 126th, with a 26:44.9 time, and Austin Vernon was 127th, with a time of 27:41.

“Fort Stockton was the only other district team there, and their kid (David Palma) finished third,” Jurado said. Palma, the defending District 3-3A champion, had a 17:42.6 time in the boys division, which was won by Wall’s Blaine Thompson with a 17:03.4 time.

Wall won the boys division title as well with 48 points, while Ozona was second, Abilene Wylie third and Fort Stockton was fourth. Wall beat out Ballinger for the girls’ division title, with Fort Stockton placing ninth in that division.

Pecos has another cross-country meet scheduled for this coming Saturday, the Reagan County Invitational at Big Lake.

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