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Thursday, September 28, 2000

Eagles resume rivalry with Loboes

Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 28, 2000 -- After a two-year break for the series and a two-week break for  the Monahans Loboes, the Pecos Eagles will resume their  longtime rivalry against Monahans Friday night at 8 p.m., and they'll  be looking to end a losing streak that stretches back almost two decades.

Few of the players on either team were even born the last time the Eagles defeated the Loboes in football. They came close in 1997 at Monahans, when a questionable roughing the punter call turned the game around for the Loboes, who went on to score a 27-13 victory. The last two years have been limited to only scrimmage games _ a 1-1 tie in 1998 and a 5-0 win by the Loboes last season.

"It's a great rivalry for us, and I we've missed it the last two years," said Monahans' head coach Larry Hannah. "We had a scheduling conflict the last go-round, but I'm glad it's back on the schedule. It's always a tough game for us."

"Our kids are real focused. They're excited about playing Monahans. I know none of the kids on our team right now have ever played them on the varsity level," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs, who was at the last game the Eagles won over the Loboes, 18 years ago.

Grubbs didn't graduate from either school, but "I was there for that game. I was dating a girl in the Monahans band," when Pecos scored a 32-16 victory over Monahans back in 1982.

The Eagles used 10 Lobo turnovers that night to win, and turnovers are something both teams will be trying to cut down on Friday.

Pecos comes into the game with a 2-2 record off their 37-8 victory over Presidio, but have lost the ball 14 times in four games, 12 of those coming on fumbles. Monahans, meanwhile, fumbled away a couple of chances two weeks ago, in their 42-6 loss to Greenwood, which dropped them to 1-2 on the season.

Monahans has graduated most of the starters from the last two seasons, a group that reached the Class 3A semifinals in 1998 before falling in the opening round to 3A semifinalist Lamesa a year ago. The Loboes started this season with a 28-0 loss at Snyder, but defeated Seminole at home the on Sept. 8 by a score of 28-20.

Not coincidentally, Hannah said it's the only game they've had full use of running back Chris Smith. "He got injured in the first half against Greenwood, and came back for only a little bit," the Loboes' coach said. "He was bothered by a migraine in the first game so we've really only had him for one full game so far."

Smith ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Seminole, and the Loboes picked up 245 yards on the ground that night, while quarterback Scott Moore threw for just under 100 yards and two TDs.

"They're pretty balanced. They run right, left and middle and throw the ball pretty good and have got a big tight end (Josh Melius). To me, this is the best team we've played so far this season," said Grubbs.

Moore was the Loboes' backup quarterback last season as a junior. "He's a talented quarterback and he can throw the ball well if we give him some time," Hannah said, as the Loboes are going with a young line this season that features only one returning starter, in center Chad Ewbanks.

Moore's TD throws went to Melius and running back Sha Barnes, and on Friday, Hannah's hoping his quarterback will have another target.

"Lucas Ramos was a two-way starter for us last season, but he's been recovering from (knee) surgery and hasn't been in the lineup yet," he said. Ramos are Smith are two of several Monahans players who figure to have benefited from last week's open date.

Pecos will get a couple of players back for Friday, in seniors Chris Deishler and Alex Garcia. Deishler has been out since injuring an ankle in pre-season drills, while Garcia hurt his left shoulder when he was sacked three weeks ago while trying to pass in Pecos' 26-20 overtime loss at Fort Stockton.

"Alex will play some cornerback for us this week," said Grubbs, who will keep Richard Rodriguez in at quarterback on Friday. Rodriguez will also remain at cornerback, where he picked off two Presidio passes last week, returning one for a touchdown.

Deishler's return will cause some major moves in the right side of Pecos' offensive line. "We'll probably start Chris at center and move Jose Loa to right guard and put (Micah) Huffman at tackle and rest (Gilbert) Rodriguez for defense," Grubbs said.

The Eagles will also try to spot their two fullbacks, Matthew Levario and Jason Carrillo, again this week. Levario gained 34 yards in the Eagles' opening touchdown drive last Friday, and Carrillo ended up running for 104 yards and a TD playing most of the final three quarters.

"Jason's still kind of knicked up. He's having some problems with his hip and knee, so we'll start Matthew and bring him off the bench," Grubbs said.

Aside from being the renewal of the rivalry, Friday's game is also homecoming for Monahans. "It can be a distraction, but I've seen it work both ways depending on the maturity of the kids," Hannah said. "We'll see how it goes."

"I always look at homecoming to be a distraction for your team, but I'm sure they're excited about playing Pecos again. It's a great rivalry," said Grubbs, whose team will also play their homecoming game after a two-week break, on Oct. 13 when the Eagles host Clint in their District 2-4A opener.

Bears-Cowboys may be playoff preview

PECOS, Sept. 28, 2000 -- The Balmorhea Bears' game last Friday against Dell City was the first  of two contests this season between the teams. This Friday, the Bears will  close out pre-district play against the Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys, in a  game that may also be the first of two this season for Balmorhea against their  former District 8-A six man football rivals.

The 2-2 Bears take on the 2-1 Cowboys at home Friday starting at 7:30 p.m., with Balmorhea seeking its first victory since 1995 over Grandfalls. The Cowboys won the District 8-A title in 1996-97-98, and last season placed second in the district to Sanderson.

This year, the Cowboys and Buena Vista Longhorns were moved over to District 7-A, which also features Grady, Klondike, Loop and Sands, a team the Bears lost to in overtime two weeks ago. Grandfalls is favored to win the district title there, while Balmorhea is picked to finish second to Sanderson in District 8-A, and if that works out, the Bears and Cowboys will be facing each other again on Nov. 17, in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

Balmorhea got a little bit of a leg up on their district rival Dell City last week, with a 46-6 non-district victory at home. However, the game was scoreless for the first 17½ minutes, and the big matchup will be in two weeks, when the Bears travel to Dell City for their 8-A opener against the Cougars.

Grandfalls suffered a setback last Friday, when they were upset at home by Floyd, N.M., 44-42 on the final play of the game. The week before, the Cowboys won a battle of Top 10 teams, defeating Strawn by a 42-24 final score, as they jumped out to a 20-0 first half lead then scored 22 points in the final period, after Strawn grabbed a 24-20 lead.

James Stocks will be the main concern for the Bears' defense on Friday. He had 44- and 23-yard touchdown runs last week against Floyd, and caught a 47-yard pass from Ricky Martinez for another. Against Strawn, Stocks also scored three times while rushing for 180 yards. In the air, Jose Ramirez has caught three touchdown passes in the past two weeks for the Cowboys.

The Bears broke their two-game losing streak last Friday when Jesus Flores scored twice and Kevin Baeza scored once in the final 2 ½ minutes of the first half, turing a scoreless tie into a 20-0 Balmorhea lead. The Bears ended up scoring six times in just over 10 minutes, to hand Dell City its first loss of the season.

Sub-varsity teams take on Monahans

PECOS, Sept. 28, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles' sub varsity football teams will all be in  action today, with the seventh and ninth grade teams going to Monahans  while the eighth graders and junior varsity host the Loboes this afternoon  and evening.

The junior high games in both towns will begin at 4 and 5:30 p.m., with the eighth grade games set for the Crockett Middle School field, while the JV takes on the Loboes starting at 6 p.m. at Eagle Stadium. The freshmen will also start at 6 p.m. at Lobo Stadium in Monahans.

The JV will be trying to snap a two-game losing streak today against the Loboes. Pecos beat Kermit and Fort Stockton at home to open the season, then fell to Alpine on the road before getting beaten last Thursday by Odessa High's sophomores, 40-6.

The Eagles' freshmen dropped their season openers to Kermit and Fort Stockton, then took a week off before going to Presidio and ending up in an 8-8 tie with the Blue Devils.

For the junior highs, this will be the first time in three weeks both the `A' and `B' teams have played the same day. The eighth grade `A' team is 1-2 on the season and were idle last week, after a 34-6 victory over Alpine, while the `B' team is 3-0 this season, and come off a 44-8 victory last Thursday against Van Horn.

Both of Pecos' seventh grade squads are 1-1 going into their games with Monahans. The `A' team was off last week after a 58-6 win at home over Alpine. The `B' team beat Van Horn a week ago, 28-8.

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Pecos Enterprise
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