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Friday, September 8, 2000

Eagles look to stop Panthers' runners

Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 8, 2000 -- New coach, new offense, but the Pecos Eagles will be trying to  stop the same player tonight in Fort Stockton they couldn't stop a  year ago, when the teams meet in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Ben Barron ran for 193 yards last season against the Eagles, including several key runs for first downs in the final quarter, when the Panthers were able to play `keep away' against the Eagles' defense after Pecos had drawn to within 17-14 earlier in the period.

That ended up as the final score of the game, but it was also one of only two games the Panthers won in 1999, leading to the resignation of coach Phillip Lopez and his replacement by Gary Roan, who took Aspermont to the Class A state championship game a year ago.

Roan takes over a team whose playoff fortunes have improved, thanks to their shift down to Class 3A, where they're expected to battle Crane, Monahans, Alpine and Kermit for the three available playoff berths. And while he did lose all-district tight end Luke Groth _ who the Panthers ran behind throughout last year's game _ Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs doesn't expect Fort Stockton's game plan to change much tonight.

"They're going to be like Kermit. They're going to try and line up and run over us," Grubbs said. "We've got to be able to withstand them in the first part of the game, and then I think we'll be all right."

Even with out the 6-5, 240 pound Groth, Fort Stockton still returns all-district lineman David Jepson, and will average over 230 across the front line, including new tight end Orlando Yanez, who comes in a 250 pounds.

They'll be trying to open holes in the Eagle line similar to the one Kermit's Norman Castillo went through last week, for a 75-yard touchdown run in the first half of the teams' season opener. But the Eagles defense allowed just 73 other yards rushing on the night, in their 25-6 win over the Yellowjackets.

"We've got to keep him (Barron) down…on 3rd-and-4 or 3rd-and-5, we've got to be able to stop him," Grubbs said.

Barron almost stopped himself this week after getting stopped by local law enforcement officials in Pecos County for driving while under the influence, and earlier suffered a broken finger in the team's preseason scrimmage. But neither problem is expected to keep the senior out of tonight's game, which is the season opener for the Panthers.

Grubbs said Roan has changed Fort Stockton to a veer offense. "They run the option like we do, so our kids should be used to it, since that's what they see in practice."

Aside from Barron, Shane Sheehan is the Panthers' other running back, while Blake Yarborough takes over as Fort Stockton's quarterback.

"He's pretty quick, and played a little against us last year," Grubbs said. "He gives them an added running threat."

Running the ball was a big problem for Pecos against Fort Stockton last season. The Eagles picked up just 42 yards on 33 carries, and got both their scores on touchdown passes from quarterback Alex Garcia.

Last week, Garcia came on at quarterback after the Eagles' first two series and went 8-for-11 passing, including a touchdown pass to Tye Edwards, and ran for 67 yards, as part of the Eagles' 223 yards rushing in the game.

"Alex is going to start, but we're going to utilize Richard (Rodriguez) some, and also at the wide out position," Grubbs said. "I know if Alex has some problems Richard can get the job done."

Fort Stockton also changed their defense up this season, to a 50-defensive formation, and will be using several offensive starters both on the line and in the secondary tonight.

The Eagles will make one change on their offensive line, with Adan Salgado starting at guard, a spot normally held by Micah Huffman, who missed last week's game. "Adan will start at left guard, but Micah will play some. He's looked real good in practice this week," Grubbs said.

Pecos gets early start on halting slump

PECOS, Sept. 8, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles volleyball team figures to be wide-awake Saturday,  even with an early morning start to their match against the Greenwood Rangerettes.

The Eagles and Rangerettes will play freshmen and varsity matches starting at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Pecos High School gym. The matches were moved up from their original 2 p.m. start, and will not include junior varsity games, due to this weekend's Crane JV Tournament.

The Eagles haven't made things very enjoyable for coach Becky Granado since she returned to the team after the death of her father. Pecos has dropped three of their last four matches following a 13-2 start, the latest coming on Tuesday at home against Van Horn.

The Eagles already had scored a two-game win over Dell City and blew out Van Horn in the first game of their match, 15-3. But the visiting Eagles, who had been swept by Pecos twice in the first two weeks of the season, came back to win the final two games by 15-8, 15-5 scores.

"If they think they're going to get away with just going through the motions, they're going to have to learn the hard way," Granado said following the loss. "If they keep playing like that, it's going to be tough to win, and if that's what they're going to be satisfied with, it's going to be a long season."

Granado said "We're going to go back to fundamentals" in workouts following the loss, which left Pecos with a 14-5 season record.

Greenwood is down a little bit this season, after being a Class 3A regional finalist contender in recent years. The Rangerettes come into the match also off a Tuesday split, losing to Alpine, 14-16, 15-8, 15-4, while beating Marfa, 10-15, 15-10, 15-7.

Sub-varsities teams struggle with offense

Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 8, 2000 -- Offense was at a premium for all but one of Pecos'  sub-varsity football teams Thursday night. But another was able to come up  with just enough offense just in time to get their second win of the season.

Pecos' JV used an 8-yard touchdown pass from Freddy Torres to John Saenz with 3:33 to play to beat Fort Stockton by a 15-8 score at Eagle Stadium to go 2-0 on the season. Crockett's eighth grade `B' team also went 2-0 with their 28-0 win over Fort Stockton, but the four other Pecos teams all suffered shutout losses _ the eighth grade `A' team at home by a 6-0 score, the seventh grade `A' and `B' teams by 30-0 and 14-0 scores and the freshmen by a 34-0 score in Fort Stockton.

The JV scored on their opening series, on a touchdown run by Barney Rodriguez, with Roger Gutierrez adding the extra-point kick. But a long punt return set up a Fort Stockton scoring pass late in the second period, and a two-point conversion pass then gave the Panthers an 8-7 lead.

Bobby Valenzuela had the two-point conversion run for the Eagles after their go-ahead score, and Pecos' defense then stopped Fort Stockton on downs, after the Panthers drove inside the Eagles' 15 with under two minutes to play.

The eighth graders lost in the closing minutes for the second week in a row, this time on a reverse pass by Fort Stockton in the closing minutes. "They got us just like Kermit did when Adam Ybarra had to come out," coach Barry Truelove said. The linebacker was out late in the game for the second straight week, this time after spraining an ankle.

In the `B' game four different players scored for Pecos. Jacob Marquez had a 22-yard touchdown run, quarterback Greg Barrera scored from 68 yards out and Mark Navarette and David Ramirez had 61- and 18-yard scoring runs. Navarette and Marquez also added two-point conversions for the Eagles.

Both freshman coach Tino Acosta and seventh grade coach Robbie Ortega said their teams came out flat in their games at Fort Stockton.

"We sleepwalked through the first quarter, and when we woke up it was too late," said Acosta. "They just took the ball and ran it down our throats."

"We just came out so flat yesterday. We were out-hustled pretty much," said Ortega. "The defense didn't do that bad, but we had a couple of breakdowns."

The losses came in the season openers for the seventh graders, while the ninth graders fell to 0-2. "We get them two more times, and we plan to get after them the next two times harder than we did last night," Acosta said.

Tonight Pecos' varsity is at Fort Stockton in one of five District 2-4A games on the schedule. Clint opens up its 2000 season against Anthony, while San Elizario hosts Santa Teresa, N.M., El Paso High is at Canutillo and Fabens goes to Deming, N.M. El Paso Mountain View, which suffered a turnover-filled 27-20 loss to El Paso Cathedral last week, is idle tonight.

Clint (0-0) at Anthony (0-1): Opening up against the Wildcats has seemed like a little overkill for the Lions the past couple of seasons, but with D.J. Check, Jeremy Arnold and most of their other starters from last year gone, this is probably as good a way as any for new coach Lloyd Smith and his new starters to break in the 2000 season.

Quarterback Tony Alvarado will probably get as much of a chance to throw as Check did, since Smith was the offensive coordinator for pass-oriented El Paso Mountain View the last two seasons. Anthony, meanwhile, comes in looking for some kind of offense, after last week's 33-0 loss to Pecos' next opponent, Alpine. The Bucks held the Wildcats to just 32 yards, though Anthony's defensive stats weren't all that bad, allowing just 217 yards despite the 33 Alpine points.

Santa Teresa (0-1) at San Elizario (0-1): Things get a lot easier for the Eagles this week, after falling to El Paso Parkland, 35-15, in their season opener. The Desert Warriors were shut out by Canutillo last week, 21-0, gaining just 63 yards in total offense.

San Eli was held to just 24 yards passing a week ago, while Canutillo got all three of their scores against Santa Teresa through the air. The defending District 2-4A champs also hurt themselves with 11 penalties on the night, but did hold the ball enough to get off 47 running plays in a losing effort.

El Paso High (0-0) at Canutillo (1-0): The season opener for the Tigers, who are picked last in District 1-4A this season, after going 1-4 a year go. El Paso should be better on defense than offense, where six of their 11 starters return from a year ago.

Canutillo will be looking to improve to 2-0 after a winless pre-district record last season. Quarterback Julian Lopez debuted as a starter by going 7-for-14 with three TD passes, two going to wide receiver Oscar Renteria.

Fabens (1-0) at Deming (0-1): Last year's district-leading rusher, Vicente Macias, picked up where he left off in Fabens' opener, running for 203 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Tularosa, N.M. He should add big time to those numbers tonight in Deming _ that group of Wildcats dropped their season opener last week to Hot Springs, N.M., 47-27, a week after Hot Springs was shut out by Tularosa.

Quarterback Rigo Estrada also had a good opening game, throwing for 89 yards and a TD on 11-for-18 passing, while the Wildcats' defense limited Tularosa to just 69 yards in total offense

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Pecos Enterprise
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