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Friday, October 13, 2000


Eagles, Lions hunt district-opening win

Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 13, 2000 -- Coming off games they'd like to forget, the Pecos Eagles and  Clint Lions will try for a fresh start tonight, when they meet at Eagle Stadium  in the District 2-4A opener for both teams.

The 2-3 Eagles host the 1-4 Lions in Pecos' 2000 homecoming game, as both teams try to bounce back from bad performances their last time out. Pecos was beaten two weeks ago in Monahans by a 34-8 final score, while Clint comes in off a 46-7 home loss a week ago to El Paso Burges.

No team lost more starters to graduation a year ago than Clint, which handed Pecos a 41-18 loss on the Lions' home field last season. "We're a very young team. We start 6-7 sophomores on offense, and while we've got some upperclassmen on defense, they never played a whole lot last year," said Lions' coach Lloyd Smith.

Smith came over from Clint's sister school, Mountain View, where he was offensive coordinator the past two seasons. And even with all the young players, offense hasn't been the Lions' main problem.

Quarterback Tony Alvarado has completed nearly 50 percent of his passes for 758 yards and six touchdowns this season, while receiver Domingo Lozano is the No. 1 pass catcher in the state right now, with 44 receptions for 492 yards and four touchdowns.

Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs said Alvarado "is pretty good… They run a lot of outs and slants, mostly timing patterns. Nobody really gets much pressure on him, because he takes a three-step drop."

Chris Franco caught seven passes a week ago to Lozano's five, after he snared 17 passes in a loss to El Paso High the previous week.

"I'm pleased with what I'm seeing. This is a growing-up year and our kids here are being asked to grow up faster than most sophomores," Smith said.

Meanwhile, another sophomore, Jesus Grijalva, is second among district running backs with 380 yards, and Manny Estrada has gained just under 200 yards while running the ball in only two games so far this season.

"Estrada is a little bigger than the other, but I think No. 20 (Grijalva) is a little quicker," Grubbs said. "I think they like to rest Estrada to play him more on defense," he added, though Smith said an injury could limit Grijalva's playing time tonight.

Defensively, the Eagles will be trying to improve on their effort against Monahans, when they surrendered over 380 yards and allowed three touchdown passes, including an 87-yarder on the game's first play. Meanwhile, the Lions will be looking to making even more adjustments on the defensive side, after allowing an average of 367 yards and 38 points in their first five games. Against Burges, they allowed 474 yards on defense, 299 of that on the ground.

"A lot of it has come on situation downs, third-and-short or third-and-long," Smith said. "We're not finishing off plays and not finishing off tackles," said Smith. "We're not getting to the right spot at the right time."

However, the Lions did do a better job against El Paso Cathedral than either Fabens, San Elizario or Mountain View did, losing in the closing minutes, 30-27, and Smith went on to say, "I talked to the coach at Bowie, Robert Gomez, and the coach at El Paso, Mickey Rodgers, and they both said by far we were the most physical team they had played so far

"We're trying to teach the kids to play a physical game, the way it's supposed to be played," said Smith, who added linebackers David Herrera and Ray Martinez have played well this season.

"They're a very aggressive team," said Grubbs. "They don't look too bad on defense, but they tend to give the big play up."

The Eagles will be looking to make more plays on offense than they did two weeks ago at Monahans. Pecos has struggled to move the ball in three of their last four games since quarterback Alex Garcia suffered a shoulder injury.

He came back and played some in the second half a week ago when Richard Rodriguez was shaken up on a first half-ending run, and will start tonight for the Eagles, while Rodriguez moves out to flanker. The positions were reversed two weeks ago, when Rodriguez threw a 13-yard pass to Garcia for Pecos' lone touchdown.

"We're going to try and get Richard the ball some," said Grubbs, while Daniel Terrazas and Matthew Levario will start at fullback and tailback.

"Jason (Carrillo) is still a little nicked up, but he'll play some, and we'll probably go with Daniel at tailback and Omar (Luna) at fullback some," Grubbs said.

The bye week did give Pecos a chance to get a couple of players healed up, especially on the offensive line. "Everybody but Sebero (Jaquez) will be back," Grubbs said. "He'll probably be out one more week," after suffering a partial tear in a knee ligament during practice in late September.

Pecos sub-varsity teams get win, loss, tie

PECOS, Oct. 13, 2000 -- Pecos' junior high gold football teams didn't allow a point over  eight quarters against the Fort Stockton Panthers on Thursday, while  the Eagles' junior varsity didn't allow a point over a half, but that came  after a nightmare first two periods against the Crane Golden Cranes.

The seventh grade `B' team played Fort Stockton to a scoreless tie, and the eighth grade squad then defeated the Panthers for the third time this season, this time by a 14-0 final score in games at the Crockett Middle School field.

Over at Eagle Stadium, Crane rolled up 35 first half points on Pecos, which was more than enough to survive a scoreless final two periods, as the JV lost its fifth straight game, by a 35-12 final score.

Crane scored on each of its first four possessions to go up 29-0 before Pecos finally got on the scoreboard, on a two-yard run by Oscar Parada. But the Cranes would add another score just before halftime, while the Eagles' got the lone score of the second half, when Jesus Orosco caught a deflected pass from quarterback John Parent.

The eighth graders scored the first two times they had the ball, and ended the first half inside Fort Stockton's 1-yard-line, while both teams were held scoreless over the final two periods. Quarterback Greg Barrera had a 35-yard TD run and Gabriel Orona scored on a 25-yarder for the `B' team, which is now 4-1 on the season.

The seventh graders tied the Panthers after losing their season opener at Fort Stockton back in September. "We couldn't punch it in when we had the chance," said coach Robbie Ortega, whose `A' team avenged an opening loss to the Panthers with a home victory a week ago.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Pecos' varsity will try to avenge last year's loss at Clint when they host the Lions in their 2000 homecoming game. With a trip to Fabens coming up next week, tonight's game is a slightly bigger one for the Eagles than for the Lions, who play their home opener next week against San Elizario.

San Eli is also on the road tonight, against El Paso Mountain View, while Fabens goes to Canutillo in the other District 2-4A opener.

San Elizario (3-2) at El Paso Mountain View (2-3): The defending district champs were on a roll until the last 5½ quarters of pre-district play. They had outscored Deming, Santa Teresa and El Paso Bowie 117-6 over the previous 10-plus quarters, when Bowie rallied for 26 late points and El Paso Cathedral followed with a 32-7 win over San Elizario. Santiago Elizalde had a big night running against Bowie, but the absence of Mike Tapia showed up in last week's loss to the Fighting Irish.

Cathedral held San Eli to just 96 yards rushing while going for 213 in completing a sweep of `their' 2-4A schedule, having already beaten Clint (30-27), Fabens (19-7) and Mountain View (27-20).

The Lobos played the Bowie role in that game, digging themselves into a 20-0 hole they were unable to climb out of. But last week, despite having their offense contained by El Paso Ysleta, Mountain View was able to post a 7-6 homecoming win over the Indians. Josh Garcia ran for 131 yards and Arturo Muniz had a 20-yard pass to Ebert Munoz for the Lobos' lone score, while the defense limited to Ysleta to only 52 yards rushing.

Fabens (3-2) at Canutillo (1-4): Vicente Macias lost the state rushing leadership this past week, since the Wildcats were idle, after a 330-yard, eight-touchdown effort in their 68-0 win over Santa Teresa. The Wildcats were able to get Macias over the 1,000-yard mark in rushing during pre-district play, though it took a lot of effort despite the lopsided score _ the next-leading rusher in the game for Fabens had 17 yards.

Quarterback Rigo Estrada and the other Wildcats players figure to get more chances to handle the ball tonight at Canutillo, which has lost four straight after blanking Santa Teresa in their opener, 21-0. Quarterback Jason Lopez has seven touchdown passes and 550 yards in the Golden Eagles' first five games, with tight end Eddie Hita his main target recently, but Canutillo is last in the district in rushing, averaging just under 100 yard per game.

Fabens, meanwhile, is allowing just over that amount on the ground so far and overall just over 180 yards per outing. Canutillo backs Jesse Silvas and Noel Rios combined for 99 yards a week ago against Bowie, when a bad punt snap and 100-yard interception return helped the Bears score three times in the final period for a 27-13 victory.

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