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Friday, November 3, 2000 

Eagles battle Lobos for first place, playoff spot

Staff Writer

PECOS, Nov. 3, 2000 -- One team will be in the playoffs after tonight's game between  the Pecos Eagles and El Paso Mountain View Lobos. The other … well,  they might be in the playoffs too, depending on what happens in  the other District 2-4A games this evening. But both the Eagles  and Lobos will be trying to keep their destiny firmly in their own hands  and take sole possession of first place in the district standings when they  meet in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Pecos and Mountain View will face each other for the second year in a row at Eagle Stadium, and like their home rematch last week against Canutillo, Pecos will be hoping for a repeat of their 1999 results, when they came away with a 28-20 victory over the Lobos.

The winner will secure a trip to the Class 4A playoffs _ it would be the third straight for Pecos but the first ever for Mountain View, which was eliminated the final week of the season each of the past two years by Clint.

Both teams come in with 3-0 district records and 5-3 season marks, the Eagles after a 24-6 win at home over Canutillo while the Lobos avenged those losses to Clint with a 55-6 home field thrashing of the Lions. Both teams have also come up with strong defensive efforts to get their recent wins, but while Pecos has rolled up its points mainly on the ground, Mountain View has hurt teams both running and passing the ball during their current four-game winning streak.

"We've always bee a passing team for the last three years, but this is the first time we've gotten the running game going," said Lobos' coach Mike Jackson. Senior Jose Garcia is second in the district in rushing with 715 yards, while Arturo Muniz leads the district in passing with 1,182 yards, including 11 touchdowns and six interceptions.

"Garcia is a tough running back. He's got a little quickness," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs. "He's mostly a straight-ahead runner, but he's got some speed."

"He didn't play against Parkland," Jackson said of Garcia. "Against Santa Teresa he had a big game, and that's what got us on track." Last week, Garcia ran for 128 yards in the win over Clint and scored the game's first touchdown his seventh of the year.

"He's not the fastest person in the world, but he's not slow," said Jackson. "He's more of a power runner."

Muniz has hit on 70 of 156 passes this season, and his six completions a week ago went for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Last season, Muniz was 13-for-26 for 188 yards and two TDs against Pecos.

"In the past we probably worked about 80 percent on passing and 20 on the run. Now it's more balanced," Jackson said. Muniz' favorite targets are Ebert Munoz and Isaac Andizola.

Munoz has caught 18 passes for 350 yards and a TD, while running for another 210 yards and four scores, while Andizola had two touchdown catches last week and leads all 2-4A receivers with seven, out of 20 catches for 415 yards. "He's pretty tough. If you get it close to him, he's going to catch it," Jackson said.

Andizola had two catches for 46 yards and Munoz caught four passes for 51 yards against Pecos last season.

"Andizola is their main receiver, and No. 22 (Munoz) is solid," said Grubbs. "Muniz is not throwing the ball as much as he did last season, but when he does, he's a threat."

A forecast of showers for tonight could hamper any passing efforts, which Grubbs said "is to our advantage if it does that. … That hurts their passing game, and I don't think they can run over us."

While the Lobos' offense is more balanced this year, it's the improvement in the defense that's made the biggest difference. Mountain View went into El Paso Ysleta four weeks ago and came out with a 7-6 victory, and have allowed only 18 points in three district games.

"We've been giving up about one touchdown a game lately. It's really been a pleasant surprise," said Jackson. "We've been a team that bends but doesn't break. There have been some series where we've given up a few more yards than we'd like to as a team, but we've been holding them."

He said linebackers Carlos Gonzales and Eric Contreras "have played exceptionally well," and Mountain View has also gotten good play out of their secondary this season.

But the Lobos figure to be focused mainly on Pecos' running attack tonight. Daniel Terrazas ran for 114 yards and three scores last week, and Pecos gained all but 14 of their 193 yards against Canutillo on the ground.

"They've got good team speed, but Canutillo out-gained them, so we know the ball can be moved on them, because Canutillo doesn't have a high-powered offense," said Grubbs, who'll have all of his linemen healthy for the first time this season.

As far as the playoffs go, the Lobos could survive a loss tonight in slightly better shape than the Eagles, while Pecos would have an easier road to an outright district title with a win tonight, since Mountain View closes next week at home against 2-1 Fabens, while the Eagles end up at 1-2 San Elizario.

The worst the Lobos could do right now would be to finish in a three-way tie for the final two playoff berths, which could knock them out on a tiebreaker. Pecos could still be eliminated outright if they were to lose their final two games, while Fabens and San Elizario won their final two contests. Even with a loss, both the Eagles and Lobos would clinch playoff berths tonight if Canutillo wins at home over San Elizario.

Sub-varsity gridders end with losses

Staff Writer

PECOS, Nov. 3, 2000 -- The 2000 football season ended with losses for each of Pecos'  sub-varsity football teams on Thursday, though things went better on the  road for the Eagles' seventh graders than they did at home for the eighth  grade squads against the Andrews Mustangs or for the junior  varsity team against the McCamey Badgers.

Pecos' seventh graders dropped a 24-14 decision at Andrews, while the eighth graders were beaten at home in their `A' and `B' games against the Mustangs, 51-0 and 30-0. Meanwhile, the JV, which lost three weeks ago at McCamey by six points, was beaten by 12 last night, 18-6.

McCamey took a 12-0 lead at halftime on a pair of short touchdown passes, the second coming after the second straight bad punt snap by the Eagles set the Badgers up inside the 10-yard-line. The JV's lone score came in the third period, on a 30-yard pass from Jose Reyes to John Parent.

The JV ended the season with seven straight losses after opening up with a pair of wins in September.

The eighth grade `A' team finished with a 1-5 mark and the `B' team ended up 4-2 after their losses to Andrews. "If this had happened earlier in the season it might have helped us, because our kids need to see they have to take their practices more seriously," said coach Barry Truelove. "We've got to be able to go out there an execute our plays the way we're supposed to."

The seventh graders did execute their plays better after a slow start in Andrews, coach Robbie Ortega said. "They just jumped out on us early 16-0 in the first quarter. We were able to make it 16-14, but I think the two weeks off hurt us," he said. "It made us a little sluggish at the end and that's when they put the game away on us."

Josh Anchondo and Eddie Vela had four-yard touchdown runs, and Vela also had a two-point conversion run for Pecos, which finished with a 3-2 season record.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the 5-3 Eagle varsity hosts the 5-3 El Paso Mountain View Lobos, with the winner clinching a Class 4A playoff spot. Based on the current standings in District 2-4A and District 1-4A, the Eagles will face either El Paso Burges or El Paso Parkland in the playoffs if they win tonight, while Mountain View will play either Riverside or El Paso Ysleta, a team they beat back in September by a 7-6 score.

The district playoff representatives could be decided tonight if Canutillo defeats San Elizario, while Fabens will tie the loser of tonight's Pecos-Mountain View game for second place if they win their home game against Clint.

Clint (0-3 in district, 1-7 for season) at Fabens (2-1, 5-3): Based on the way Vicente Macias has run the ball this season, the way coach Ronnie Hernandez has used him and the way Clint has played defense, there is an outside chance Macias could go over the 2,000 yard mark in rushing for the season in tonight's game. He would need to gain 370 yards, but the junior ran for 317 yards last week against San Elizario and gained 330 earlier this year against Santa Teresa. However, with Mountain View coming up next week, Hernandez may not want to risk a late-game injury to his star.

Clint is allowing over 390 yards in total offense per game, and the Lions were actually below that number last week, in their 55-6 loss to Mountain View. Domingo Lozano caught a touchdown pass for Clint's only score and remains among the state leaders in pass receptions, with 52 for 629 yards.

San Elizario (1-2, 4-4) at Canutillo (0-3, 1-7): The Golden Eagles' defense has played well in all three of their district games, but has gotten no help from the offense. Canutillo was held to just 66 yards in total offense by Pecos a week ago, while increasing their turnover total to 13 in their three district games.

San Eli, on the other hand, has seen its defensive numbers slide, allowing Fabens 474 yards a week ago, while their offensive stats have picked up since their opening district loss. Rene Solis threw for 295 yards on 23-for-35 passing a week ago, but how he does this week will depend a lot on how well the Eagles' offensive line can block the Golden Eagles' pass rushers, who put good pressure on Pecos quarterback Alex Garcia last Friday.

Swimmers to compete at Abilene meet

PECOS, Nov. 3, 2000 -- Pecos Eagles swimming coach Terri Morse doesn't know  which teams her squad will be facing Saturday at the Abilene  Invitational, but she does know there are going to be a lot of them.

"There are going to be about 29 teams, mostly 5As from around the region," Morse said of the Eagles' second invitational meet of the 2000-2001 season, which will hold its timed finals starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The meet actually starts tonight with diving competition, but Morse said because of the 240-mile drive to Abilene, Pecos' divers would skip tonight's event. "We're not spending the night, and it's just too far to go there, turn around and come back and then get on the bus early the next day to go back."

Some of the Eagles figure to be a little tired anyway, since Morse said the team would be leaving Pecos about 5 a.m. Saturday for the long drive to Abilene. And aside from the divers not going on Friday, several swimmers will skip this weekend's m

eet as well.

"We have several people not going because of the SAT test, most of those on the girls' side," Morse said. "The boys' relays will be basically the same, and I've actually added some. The `A' relays will be the exact same as in Big Spring (last week), and the `B' relays will be the same. What I added is a couple of `C' relays.

"The girls are where I've had to change things up. What I decided was the medley will look like our `B' relay, and I'm stacking the (200 and 400 yard) free relays."

With so many teams from the region competing in Abilene, Morse said "I'm going to put most of the kids in the events they'll swim at district to just see what they're going to do.

"There may be a few more changes on the girls side than on the boys side," she said "The No. 1, 2 and 3 people in each event are probably where they're going to swim at district," which will be in Big Spring at the end of January.

After this week, the Eagles will come home for the Pecos Invitational next Friday and Saturday at the Pecos High School Natatorium. It will be the last of three home meets for the Eagles this season.

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