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Monday, September 11, 2000

Panthers down Eagles in OT, 26-20

Staff Writer

FORT STOCKTON, Sept. 9, 2000 — In a game of mistakes, the  team that made the last ones figured to lose, and unfortunately for the  Pecos Eagles, those mistakes belonged to them.

After suffering through a disastrous final 5 1/2 minutes of the first half, the Eagles battled back from a 20-7 deficit to tie the game on Jason Carrillo's one-yard touchdown run with no time remaining in regulation. But with a chance to win the game, Pecos botched the extra point effort, and then in the overtime period, allowed Fort Stockton to score on their first series, while putting themselves in a hole on their offensive series with their seventh penalty of the night, as the Panthers came away with a 26-20 victory.

"We killed ourselves with our mistakes and our 15-yard penalties," said coach Gary Grubbs. "We had a turnover they turned into a touchdown and our kids realize they can't do those things and win."

"It really hurts to lose a game that's that close, but I assure you we'll bounce back next week," he said.

Pecos barely got off their last play in regulation, as Richard Rodriguez was stopped at the 1-yard-line on a quarterback sneak with 26 seconds left, and the pile at the goal line was picked apart so slowly by the officials the clock was down to one second when Rodriguez was able to spike the ball, giving the Eagles time to set up Carrillo's second touchdown of the night, over left tackle.

But with a chance to win, the extra point snap was high and holder Peter Juarez was stopped short trying to bootleg into the end zone. Given new life, the Panthers needed just five plays to score from 25 yards out in overtime, the key one a 12-yard pass from quarterback Blake Yarborough to tight end Orlando Yanez that threaded the needle between two Pecos defenders. Yarborough then ran for six yards on the next play and two runs by Ben Barron then got the ball into the end zone.

Fort Stockton missed their extra point kick, but before they could even snap the ball, the Eagles were flagged for an illegal motion call. A keeper by Rodriguez, who came on to replace Alex Garcia in the first period, lost two yards, and three passes then were incomplete, the last a option throw by Juarez to Ricky Plummer that was knocked away by Ralph Rodriguez in the end zone.

The game included 10 fumbles and nine 15-yard penalties, seven of them by the Eagles, though one mysteriously disappeared after Fort Stockton's second touchdown. Pecos was flagged for five personal foul penalties in the first half, three for unsportsmanlike conduct. Combined with two fumbles in a span of 45 seconds, they helped the Panthers score 20 points in just under five minutes, after Pecos took a 7-0 lead early in the second period.

"One thing about our kids, there's no quit in them," said Grubbs. "We're going to have a great season because of the attitude the kids have."

Rodriguez took over at quarterback after Garcia suffered a dislocated right shoulder late in the first period, when he was fallen on by Fort Stockton's David Jepson while trying to get off a desperation pass at the Panthers' 11-yard-line. Rodriguez had his ups and downs on the night, with a key first down run and 26-yard pass to Ricky Plummer on the game-tying touchdown drive, but a couple of bad pitches off the option, one of which led to the Panthers' first score of the game, when Javier Mendoza picked up the ball and ran 38 yards for the touchdown.

"I thought Richard came in and did a good job. When you're playing defensive back and have to come in an play quarterback, that's a sudden adjustment," Grubbs said.

Rodriguez scored Pecos' first touchdown on a 1-yard quarterback sneak early in the second period, after a 62-yard punt return by Jason Gonzales and a 21-yard run by Omar Luna got the ball down to the goal line. Matthew Levario added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Overall on the night, the Eagles out-gained the Panthers, 246-176 in total yards, and had just two turnovers to the Panthers' four. But they managed to get just seven points off those turnovers, as big plays on offense were often offset by the Panthers' key plays on defense, including the play that injured Garcia, which was ruled as a five-yard sack. Levario then came up just short on his 29-yard field goal attempt.

Rodriguez had the first fumble recovery for the Eagles, falling on a bad pitch from Yarborough at the Panthers' 34-yard line. But the Eagles could manage just three yards on four downs. The second recovery came just after Pecos' first touchdown, when Yarborough was hit on a scramble and fumbled, with Daniel Terrazas falling on the ball at the Pecos 41.

Rodriguez picked up 15 yards on a quarterback keeper, but then the wheels fell off for the Eagles. They were hit with their first 15-yard penalty, setting them back into their own territory, and two plays later Mendoza picked up the loose ball and ran it into the end zone.

Fort Stockton missed their extra point try, but up 7-6, Pecos fumbled the ball away again two plays after the kickoff, giving it up at their own 45. They then picked up another personal foul on the next play, moving the ball to the 30.

Barron then got loose for one of the few times on the night, going 25 yards down to the Pecos 6. He would score from two yards out two plays later, giving the Panthers a 12-7 lead with 2:15 left in the half.

Pecos' third unsportsmanlike penalty arrived on the first offensive play of their next series, and pushed them back to their own 16. That forced Terrazas to punt from deep in Pecos territory and two plays later, Yarborough hit Shane Sheehan across the middle for 38 yards to the Pecos four. Out of time outs and with 22 seconds left, the Panthers went with a quarterback keeper, and Yarborough broke two tackles at the line and walked into the end zone.

Fort Stockton then botched their extra point try, but holder John Paugh was able to run the ball to the left pylon, where at first it was ruled he did not make the end zone before the call was changed to what turned out to be a critical two-point conversion 17 seconds before halftime.

"I don't know what the deal was there, but I know the back judge was the one who changed the call. The side judge was right in front and he said he didn't get in," Grubbs said.

Pecos regrouped at halftime and held Fort Stockton to just 45 yards offense in the third and fourth periods, but had problems of their own sustaining a drive until critical mistakes by the Panthers help them get back into the game.

The one Fort Stockton turnover the Eagles did score on came in the third period, when Carrillo went in from five-yards out after Tye Edwards recovered a Yarborough fumble at the Panthers' 24-yard-line. This time, it was an unsportsmanlike penalty on Fort Stockton that kept things going, when Rodriguez was speared at the end of a 10-yard run on a 3rd-and-14 play.

The Eagles couldn't take advantage of Yarborough's next fumble moments later, gaining just seven yards after Frankie Alvarez fell on the ball at the 36. Pecos would turn the ball over on downs once more in Panther territory early in the final period, and with five minutes left got one last chance at their own 20.

Luna broke a 17-yard run before the Eagles were stopped cold on three running plays. They faced a 4th-and-8 at their own 39 when they pulled off a fake punt play for Levario, who ran up the middle for 32 yards after taking the short snap.

A 16-yard run by Rodriguez got the ball to the 15 with 1:35 left in regulation, but Edwards couldn't hang onto a pass over the middle, Terrazas was then dropped for a two-yard loss by Joseph Lauderdale and Rodriguez was sacked on third down for a 10-yard loss by Mendoza and Orlando Yanez.

That made it 4th-and-22 and a pressured Rodriguez was barely able to get off a toss to Terrazas at the line of scrimmage that should have ended the game. But Jeff Hickman bumped Terrazas just before the ball arrived, giving Pecos a first down at the 27 with 40 seconds to play. Rodriguez then found Ricky Plummer on a deep fade pattern to the 1, setting up the final 37 seconds that ended with Carrillo's touchdown.

The loss dropped Pecos to 1-1 on the season going into their 2000 home opener on Friday night against Alpine. Fort Stockton won their season opening game, and have now won three of their past four meetings with Pecos, all on the Panthers' home field.

Trainer Joel Birch said Garcia would go to the hospital for tests on his shoulder Saturday, and he is likely out at least until the Eagles' District 2-4A opener on Oct. 13 against Clint. "Now we'll have to look at depth in our secondary," said Grubbs, who also lost Garcia from his starting safety position. "We may have to move some kids around or move some up from the JV."

In other District 2-4A games, Fabens improved to 2-0 with a 46-20 win at Deming, N.M., while Canutillo fell to 1-1 with a 40-17 loss to El Paso High. San Elizario blanked Santa Teresa, N.M., 38-0, and Clint won their season opener against Anthony, by a 46-28 final score.

at Fort Stockton
Pecos                           0    7    7    6    0    -20
Fort Stockton                0   20    0    0    6    -26

Second Quarter
Pec. - Rodriguez 1 run (Levario kick), 3:18.
Ft.S - Mendoza 34 fumble return (kick failed), 6:59.
Ft.S - Barron 2 run (run failed), 9:45.
Ft.S - Yarborough 4 run (Paugh run), 11:43. 

Third Quarter
Pec. - Carrillo 5 run (Levario kick), 7:24.

Fourth Quarter
Pec. - Carrillo 1 run (run failed), 12:00.

Ft.S - Barron 2 run (kick failed).

                              Pec            FtS
First Downs                    11              9
Rushes-Yds                 45-220         38-109
Passing Yds                    26             67
Passes                     2-13-0          4-9-0
Punts-Yds                  4-31.4         5-31.2
Fumbles-lost                  5-2            5-4
Penalties-Yds           7-95           7-48     

- Pecos, Luna 9-78, Terrazas 10-68, Levario  1-32, Rodriguez 11-24, Carrillo 9-15, Herrera 1-2, Juarez  1-2, Garcia 3-(-1). Fort Stockton, Barron 25-94,  Yarborough 10-31, Sheehan 3-(-16). 
Passing - Pecos, Rodriguez 2-10-0-26, Garcia  0-1-0-0, Levario 0-1-0-0, Juarez 0-1-0-0. Fort Stockton,  Yarborough 4-9-0-67
Receiving - Pecos, Plummer 1-26, Terrazas 1-0.  Fort Stockton, Sheehan 3-55, Yanez 1-12.
Missed Field Goals: Pecos, Levario 29 (short).

Pecos rallies to sweep Greenwood

PECOS, Sept. 11, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles' volleyball team picked up where they left off  last Tuesday, when they hosted the Greenwood Rangerettes on  Saturday morning, which was not what they wanted to do. But the Eagles  dropped that plan in time to rally from a big first game deficit to  defeat Greenwood, and then swept past the Rangerettes in Game 2 to earn  their 15th win in 20 matches this season.

Pecos fell behind Greenwood 5-0, tied the score at 5-all, and they trailed by 10-5 and 14-9 scores before coming back for a 17-15 win in the opener. The 8-1 run to close out the game was followed by a 9-1 streak to start the second game, which Pecos ended up winning by a 15-5 final score.

"We finally did wake up in the second game, but we were still dragging a little bit," said coach Veronica Valenzuela, who was in charge of the varsity again on Saturday while head coach Becky Granado had a doctor's appointment for a shoulder injury she suffered in early August. "They don't like to show emotion out there, but I think they looked better than they did Tuesday, though."

The Eagles breezed through their Tuesday match with Dell City and then through Game 1 against Van Horn, a team they had swept twice this season, before falling apart and losing their final two games of their match with the Class 2A Eagles. Pecos had problems getting their spikes inbounds in those games, and suffered through similar problems at the start of Saturday's match against Greenwood.

Four of the Rangerettes' first five points came on bad spikes by Pecos before the Eagles' finally got on the scoreboard. They would tie the game at 5-5, but then starting having problems on the back line, allowing Greenwood four points off a pair of ace serves and two bad relays, as the Rangerettes went back out to a five-point lead.

They got to game point on a net violation by Michelle Saenz when the Eagles were able to break serve and finally get things going.

Philly Fobbs scored off a pair of blocks and two spikes to cut the lead to 14-13, and the Eagles then took a 15-14 lead on a bad spike by Lindsey Lansford and a bad relay by Alicia Scott. Greewood would tie the game after a bad serve by the Eagles, off a kill by Emma Alka, but the Eagles would then regain service and win off an ace by Fobbs and a bad dink attempt by Shanna Zachary.

Fobbs would have a couple more spikes and one block during the Eagles' 9-1 run to start Game 2, and were helped by problems the Rangerettes had setting up their own shots. Greenwood had one small run of their own, narrowing the gap to 9-5 on a Alka spike, but then lost serve and gave Pecos two more points on unforced errors.

A spike by Alexa Marquez made it 12-5, and after two more Greenwood mistakes, the Eagles finished things off with a block of Amy Barber by Saenz and D'Andra Ortega.

Pecos has run a slightly different lineup in their last few games, with Sanez seeing more time as Granado sought to get a taller blocker on the front line. Valenzuela said that may have caused some of the early problems.

"We had a little trouble with our switching. But we've been working on that in practice, so I don't know what the deal was," she said. "We started playing a little bit smarter and were less confused at the end, and when we get more comfortable with it, we should do better."

The Eagles will be at home again on Tuesday, facing Presidio and Fort Stockton as part of a four-way match that will also include Monahans. Pecos' junior varsity team was off on Saturday after being ousted from the Crane Tournament, while the freshman beat Greenwood in three games, 11-15, 15-11, 15-7.

Netters place fourth in El Paso tourney

PECOS, Sept. 12, 2000 -- The seedings were pretty accurate for the Americas High School  Tennis Tournament in El Paso this past weekend. The Pecos Eagles went  in seeded fourth, and ended up there when it was all over, following  win over El Paso Hanks and a loss to the top seeded Americas squad on  Friday and a loss to No. 3 seed El Paso Bel Air on Saturday.

The Eagles downed Hanks by a 10-4 score then were blanked by Americas, 10-0 before falling to Bel Air by a 10-7 margin.

"There were four split set matches (out of six) we lost in the third set," said coach Bernadette Ornelas, who was happy with her team's better finish this year, even if they didn't surpass their pre-tournament seeding.

"I'm seeing a lot of improvement. We're not getting beaten 15-3 like we were last year," she said. "We got next-to-last out of seven teams here a year ago, this time we were fourth out of 12 teams."

The Eagles played six singles and three doubles matches on the boys and girls sides, along with a mixed doubles match, though they didn't complete all of them in singles play. "Once a team reaches 10 total games, they're declared the winner and the match is over," Ornelas said.

The boys got through all of their singles matches against Hanks, splitting them 3-3 after sweeping the Knights in doubles play. The girls won two of their three doubles matches and ended things with victories by Rebecca Wein and Natalia Ornelas in singles play.

Against Americas, the closes matches were a 6-3, 10-8 loss by Brenda Fuentes to Amanda Bastidas, and a 6-3, 6-4 loss in doubles by Ornelas and Kristina Dominguez to Alonda Rodriguez and Joxanna Coria.

In the loss to Bel Air in the third place match, the boys won two of their matches, with Stephen Lamb taking Cesar Esconedo, 0-6, 6-4, 7-6, and teaming with Orlando Mendoza to down Esconedo and Augustin Barajo, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. On the girls' side, Wein defeated Michelle Payan, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 and teamed with Fuentes to beat Payan and Bernice Beltran, 6-2, 6-2, while Ornelas and Dominguez defeated Janice Garcia and Aileen Rodriguez, 6-1, 6-2, and Elizabeth Carreon downed Yvonne Gonzales, 8-6.

Ornelas said the boys had to play their final two matches without No. 2 seed Bobby Sotelo due to injury. "We had to move some people up against Americas, and he wasn't able to come back and play (singles) against Bel Air," she said.

The Eagles are off this week, with their next match scheduled for Sept. 19 at Monahans.

Americas Tournament

Pecos (10) vs. EP Hanks (4)

Boys Singles

Trent Graham lost to Edward Sandoval, 6-0, 6-3; Bobby Sotelo lost to Marcus Ceneceros, 7-5, 6-2; Jay Dannelley lost to Daniel Bujando, 6-3, 6-0; Jerry Orona defeated Eric Rayan, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4; Orlando Mendoza defeated Enrique Lopez, 6-2, 6-1; Stephen Lamb defeated Alex Gonzales, 6-3, 6-2.

Girls Singles

Rebecca Wein defeated Alexis Kaltenbach, 6-2, 6-1; Natalia Ornelas defeated Amy Plummer, 6-3, 6-2.

Boys Doubles

Graham and Sotelo defeated Ceneceros and Bujando, 6-4, 7-5; Dannelley and Orona defeated Sandoval and Rayan by default; Mendoza and Lamb defeated Gonzales and Lopez, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Girls Doubles

Wein and Brenda Fuentes defeated Kaltenbach and Ashley Sander, 7-5, 6-1; Ornelas and Kristina Dominguez defeated Amy Crumber and Hernandez, 6-0, 6-0; Prescilla Levario and Elizabeth Carreon lost to Andra Tam and Kelly Lyma, 6-3, 7-5.

Pecos (0) vs. Americas (10)

Boys Singles

Graham lost to Sergio Acosta, 6-0, 6-2; Dannelly lost to Javier Saenz, 6-0, 6-0.

Girls Singles

Wein lost to Shannon Bailey, 6-2, 6-0; Fuentes lost to Amanda Bastidas, 6-3, 10-8; Levario lost to Shanty Rodriguez, 6-0, 6-2; Carreon lost to Jenny Sida, 6-0, 6-0.

Boys Doubles

Graham and Dannelley lost to Acosta and Saenz, 6-3, 6-0; Orona and Mendoza lost to Mark Martinez and Alan Powell, 6-3, 7-6.

Girls Doubles

Wein and Fuentes lost to Bailey and Bastidos, 6-1, 6-2; Ornelas and Dominguez lost to Alonda Rodriguez and Jexanna Coria, 6-3, 6-4; Levario and Carreon lost to Rodriguez and Sida, 6-0, 6-2.

Mixed Doubles

Beatrice Villarreal and Michael Orona lost to Serna and Javier Rodriguez, 6-3, 6-1.

Pecos (7) vs. Bel Air (10)

Boys Singles

Graham lost to Danny Gonzales (no score available); Dannelley lost to Roman Provencio, 6-3, 6-2; J. Orona lost to Leo Camargo, 6-3, 7-5; Lamb defeated Cesar Esconedo, 0-6, 6-4, 7-6; Mark Carrasco lost to Augustin Berajo (no score available).

Girls Singles

Wein defeated Maribel Payan, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2; Fuentes lost to Bernice Beltran, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Ornelas lost to Janice Garcia, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3; Dominguez lost to Aileen Rodriguez, 8-6; Levario lost to Adriana Acosta, 6-3, 6-1; Carreon defeated Yvonne Gonzales, 8-6.

Boys Doubles

Graham and Sotelo lost to Provencio and Gonzales, 6-3, 6-3; Dannelley and J. Orona lost to John Mendoza and Camargo, 6-3, 6-3; Mendoza and Lamb defeated Esconedo and Berajo, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.

Girls Doubles

Wein and Fuentes defeated Payan and Beltran, 6-2, 6-2; Ornelas and Dominguez defeated Garcia and Rodriguez, 6-1, 6-2; Levario and Carreon lost to Acosta and Gonzales, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Mixed Doubles

Villarreal and Carrasco won 6-2, 6-3 (opponents not available).

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Pecos Enterprise
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