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Friday, August 18, 2000

Eagles to give new offense first test

Staff Writer

PECOS, Aug. 18, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles will try out their option offense for the first time  on Saturday, while their defense figures to get an early test of its pass  defense, when they scrimmage the Carlsbad Cavemen at Eagle Stadium starting  at 10:30 a.m.

The Eagles and Cavemen will play three scrimmage series totaling 35 plays, followed by a controlled quarter on the varsity level, then the two teams' junior varsities will scrimmage each other, along with the Loving Falcons and Jal Panthers, beginning at about 12:30 p.m.

Offense is where the Eagles will be seeking their biggest improvement in 2000. Pecos briefly tried the option in 1999, but had trouble scoring both at the start and finish of last season, when they were blanked in their final regular season game and missed out on the District 2-4A title, and were then shut out in their playoff loss to El Paso Ysleta.

This year's team should have more speed in the backfield, but head coach Gary Grubbs said the starters are still not set going into play against the Cavemen.

"We've got a lot of kids in there right now that are listed as starters, but will be trying to get their spots solidified," Grubbs said. "We've got some kids who are No. 1 on the depth chart, and tomorrow will be the opportunity for them to win a job or for someone else to step in."

The Eagles are hoping to run more of an option offense this season, and will have an entirely new backfield starting off on Saturday. Jason Carrillo and Omar Luna are the starting backs _ Carrillo ran for 92 yards in 35 carries as a freshman last year, while Luna carried the ball just once in 1999, gaining four yards.

Pecos also has been looking at senior Daniel Terrazas at running back this year. Terrazas, who won the 400 meter dash at district this past April, split part of last season at linebacker and tight end, but was used mainly on defense during 2-4A play, where he earned Most Valuable Player honors.

Meanwhile, the Eagles do have senior Alex Garcia back, who started all 11 games for Pecos at quarterback last season. But for Saturday, Grubbs said "We'll probably start Richard at quarterback, but Alex is going to get a lot of reps, too."

Garcia threw for 564 yards last year completing just over a third of his passes while throwing for four touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rodriguez, who has a little more speed than Garcia for running the option, completed just one pass last season, for 75 yards and a TD before missing the final six games of the season with a chipped bone in his elbow.

Rodriguez and Garcia also are listed as starters in the defensive secondary, at cornerback and linebacker, and the Eagles will have several two-way players on the first team against Carlsbad. Grubbs said they also brought up a couple of linemen from the JV to the varsity, where some minor injuries have hampered Pecos during the first two weeks of practice.

Carlsbad will be looking to improve on their 3-6 record from a year ago, and unlike the Eagles, have just six days after the scrimmage before they start their 2000 season, against Alamogordo.

The Cavemen return quarterback Pete Subia, who threw for 900 yards last year _ not a big number, compared to the passing stats put up by Pecos' District 2-4A rivals, but better than what the Eagles saw in pre-district last season. Carlsbad is also expected to go with a one-back offense, something they had trouble with last year against Clint. I-backs Ryan French and Travis Gates had a couple of long touchdown runs for Carlsbad in an intrasquad scrimmage last Saturday.

This is the first time the Eagles and Cavemen have faced each other in football since ending their regular season series in 1993. One of the reasons for ending the rivalry _ the difference in blocking rules in Texas and New Mexico _ will continue to be a problem, though more for the Carlsbad on Saturday. Texas rules permit blocking below the waist, something that would draw a 15-yard penalty when Pecos played on the Cavemen's home field.

Grubbs said this past Saturday that the players "have a great attitude," going into Saturday's scrimmage, which will be the only one for the Eagles before their regular season opener, on Sept. 1 at Walton Field in Kermit.

against the Yellowjackets.

While the varsity and JV are at home Saturday, Pecos' freshman team will be up in Carlsbad to scrimmage the Cavemen, Loving and Jal. The JV and freshmen start their seasons against Kermit on Aug. 31.

The Pecos Eagle Booster Club will be selling hamburgers and sodas during Saturday's varsity and JV scrimmages as a fundraiser. Both scrimmages should last until about 2 p.m.

Eagles drop Sandhills opener

PECOS, Aug. 18, 2000 -- The last few years the Pecos Eagles were members of District 4-4A, they had trouble putting away the Andrews Mustangs.

Two years in another district didn't change the problem any this morning, as the Eagles dropped an 8-15, 18-16, 15-11 decision to their former district rivals in their opening round match at the Monahans Sandhills Volleyball Tournament.

The loss dropped Pecos into a loser's bracket game against their current district rival, Clint, in a 2:15 p.m. game this afternoon. The Lions lost to the Eagles in Monahans last season, but then swept Pecos in district to win the 2-4A title.

Both teams still have a chance to win the double-elimination tournament, but will now have to travel through the loser's bracket to do so. Should the Eagles fall to the Lions, they would still be assured of at least one more game in the consolation round on Saturday.

The Eagles came into the game off wins Tuesday over Alpine and Odessa High, while Andrews had beaten El Paso Bowie earlier in the morning at Monahans, after splitting their season-opening matches with Crane and Greenwood on Tuesday.

Big Spring and the host Loboes were the other teams on Pecos' side of the bracket, while the other half of the bracket featured two of the Eagles'  other district rivals, Fabens and Canutillo, both of whom are rebuilding  after last season.

The Wildcats got Presidio in their opening  round match, with the winner facing Class 2A Van Horn, while the  Golden Eagles took on Trinity Christian, with the winner they  meeting Alpine, one of the teams Pecos defeated in their season  opening matches on Tuesday.

The Eagles downed the Bucks, 15-11, 15-8, and then took out Odessa High 15-4, 15-6 for their first 2-0 start to the season in three years.

The tournament title game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start, but for Pecos to come through the loser's bracket and win,  a deciding game would be needed, would begin at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Pecos' junior varsity also began play today in the Sandhills Tournament, with pool matches against Crane and Fort Stockton. Pecos' freshmen, meanwhile, went 5-1 in their pool matches on Thursday in Monahans, splitting with Alpine while sweeping Monahans and Kermit. The Eagles now advance to the ninth grade tournament semifinals Saturday morning at the Walker Junior High gym.

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