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Monday, November 6, 2000

Eagles suffer third overtime loss, 27-21

Staff Writer

PECOS, Nov. 4, 2000 -- Live by the run, die by the pass.

That's the way it's been in overtime for the Pecos Eagles this season, as for the third time the Eagles couldn't move the ball on the ground in the extra session, saw a last-chance pass on fourth down fall incomplete, and then watched their opponent complete a key pass to earn the victory.

This time, it was a spectacular diving catch by Ebert Munoz from a scrambling Arturo Muniz on a 3rd-and-11 play that went for a 26-yard touchdown and gave the El Paso Mountain View Lobos a 27-21 win in a showdown for first place between the teams Friday night at Eagle Stadium.

"I feel like somebody pulled my heart out and stepped on it," said coach Gary Grubbs, whose team actually fared better after the game was over than they did on the field. Pecos clinched a playoff berth despite their loss, when Canutillo downed San Elizario, 9-6, and then found out they may not have to face defending District 1-4A champ El Paso Parkland in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, after the Matadors were upset by El Paso High on Friday, 17-14.

Still, the game was a disappointment for the Eagles, who rolled up 405 yards total offense, 343 of that on the ground, only to see it offset by Mountain View's 389 yards in offense, 345 of that through the air by Muniz, who was 15-for-25 passing on the night.

"We gave them too much time to throw in the second half, and that hurt us," said Grubbs. Muniz was forced out of the pocket and was near the left sideline when he threw the winning pass to Munoz, who made a full-body extension to catch the ball five yards deep in the end zone.

But most of the time, the Lobo quarterback was able to stay in the pocket in the second half and find open receivers across the middle. "They just had a good scheme, and their quarterback did a good job throwing the ball," Grubbs said.

What also probably helped Mountain View in overtime was their depth. Coach Mike Jackson said on Thursday his team only had a couple of two-way starters, far fewer than Pecos’ group, which included running back/linebacker Daniel Terrazas.

He had his second 200-yard rushing game of the season, finishing with 25 carries for 217 yards, but playing both  ways cost Terrazas a step or two in overtime. That allowed Mountain View's Abe Mendoza to catch him from behind on a 3rd-and-5 pitch out from the 20-yard line, turning what looked to be a first down run into a no-gain. The Eagles then attempted a halfback option pass on fourth down by Richard Rodriguez, but Mountain View's rush blew up the play, and Rodriguez' pass fell incomplete.

"That was a big advantage for them," said Grubbs. "We don't have all 11 playing both ways, but they had the chance to pull all 11 of their off to the sidelines and give them a rest and make adjustments on defense and offense."

Isaac Anatolia was one of the few two-way players for Mountain View, and he figured in the game's two most controversial plays at his wide receiver spot, from where he caught six passes for 179 yards.

On the first, the senior broke free for a 79-yard touchdown pass from Muniz in the third period, after the Eagles appeared to let up after going offsides just before the snap. "We made contact on the play, and their quarterback was bobbing his head, so it should have either been illegal motion or offsides on us, because we did make contact," Grubbs said.

The second play may have been even bigger, as it came after Pecos had taken a 21-14 lead on Alex Garcia's six-yard touchdown pass to Trent Riley with 4:39 left in the fourth quarter.  Matthew Levario had just missed intercepting a Muniz pass meant for Munoz with a clear field to the end zone, but the incompletion still left the Lobos facing a 3rd-and-10 from their own 33 when Muniz went to Andazola near midfield.

He and Rodriguez both went up and appeared to come down with the ball together, before it came loose and bounced out of bounds. The pass was ruled a 24-yard completion, and two plays later Muniz found Munoz over the middle for 38 yards after Levario slipped and fell. Two plays after that Muniz went up the middle for the second time in the game, scoring from the five with 3:08 to play. Jesus Villanueva's extra point made it 21-all.

"There are always plays you can point to in the game that turn the tide, but we just didn’t make those plays," Grubbs said.

Villanueva almost beat Pecos as time expired, going just wide with a 46-yard field goal attempt after a motion call pushed the kicker five yards back. Had Munoz not caught the winning TD pass, Villanueva would have had a 43-yard field goal attempt on fourth down to win it.

Pecos had three scoring chances in the first half, but came up with points on only one, and missed one other chance inside the Lobos' 40 in the third period.

The Eagles were driving after the opening kickoff, when Terrazas was hit and fumbled, with Aaron Garcia recovering at the Lobo 15. Muniz then found Gilbert Lopez with his first completion of the night, a 15-yarder on a 3rd-and-13, which began an 85-yard touchdown drive, all but 20 of that through the air.

Pecos came right back on their next series and went 79 yards on 10 plays, the last a 34-yard quarterback option run by Garcia, who finished with 93 yards on 17 carries. The key play there was a 4th-and-1 run by Terrazas from Pecos' 28 that netted seven yards and a first down. "They weren't stopping us for any gains less than a yard," Grubbs said. "We felt like we could get it and the kids felt like they could get it, and you've got to have faith in your kids."

The Eagles' defense was able to get to Muniz for sacks on the next two series, but Pecos missed another chance to score when Omar Luna fumbled a pitch from Garcia on a 3rd-and-2 at the Mountain View 19. Terrazas recovered the ball at the 27, but a fourth down scramble by Garcia netted only six yards.

In the second half it was Mountain View that missed a couple of chances. Andazola nearly broke loose after taking a pass from Muniz early in the third period, but was stripped of the ball at midfield, with Riley recovering. Terrazas then broke free for a 31-yard gain two plays later, and that set up Garcia's second score, on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.

The second Lobo chance came after a failed Pecos gamble, when Garcia was stopped on a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1 from the Eagle 38. Muniz got the ball down to the 25, but then tried to hit Munoz in triple coverage and was picked off by Rodriguez at the Pecos 13. On the next play Terrazas got around left end for a 69-yard gain, then picked up another seven on a 4th-and-5 play at the Mountain View 14, which set up Garcia's TD pass to Riley, a floater he caught at the two and then bulled his way over Aaron Garcia and into the end zone.

Three of Pecos' four losses this season have come in overtime, and the Eagles are now 1-3 all-time in overtime games. They fell to 5-4 on the season and 3-1 in district, and can clinch the No. 1 seed out of District 2-4A with a win next Friday at San Elizario. Mountain View improved to 6-3 on the season and 4-0 in district, and can clinch the 2-4A title with a win in their final game over Fabens.

The Wildcats held off Clint on Friday, 27-17, as Vicente Macias ran for 365 yards to bring his total to 1,995 yards for the season. Fabens will be hoping for a win and a Pecos loss next week to get the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A small school playoffs, and avoid a likely matchup against current 1-4A leader El Paso Riverside (4-0), while Mountain View is locked in as the Class 4A big school representative from the district, and will face either El Paso Ysleta (currently 3-1 in district) or Riverside in the playoffs.

at Pecos
EP Mountain View         7    0    7    7    6    - 27
Pecos                       0    7    7    7    0    - 21
           First Quarter
Mt.V - Munoz 7 run (Villanueva kick), 9:08.
              Second Quarter
Pec. - Garcia 34 run (Levario kick), 2:07.
          Third Quarter
Pec. - Garcia 1 run (Levario kick), 3:40.
Mt.V - Andazola 79 pass from Muniz (Villanueva kick), 10:04.
           Fourth Quarter
Pec. - Riley 6 pass from Garcia (Levario kick), 7:21.
Mt.V - Munoz 5 run (Villanueva kick), 8:52.
Mt.V - Muniz 26 pass from Munoz (no kick attempted).

                            Mt.V          Pec.
First Downs             17          14
Rushes-Yds        21-44    56-343
Passing Yds            345          62
Passes               15-25-1     3-8-0
Punts-Yds          3-35.3     2-33.5
Fumbles-lost          2-1         2-1
Penalties-Yds      4-30        3-21    

RUSHING - Mountain View, Garcia 11-39, Muniz 9-9, Munoz 1-(-4). Pecos, Terrazas 25-217, Garcia 17-93, Luna 13-30, Lara 1-0.
PASSING - Mountain View, Muniz 15-25-1-345. Pecos, Garcia 3-7-0-62, R. Rodriguez  0-1-0-0.
RECEVING - Mountain View, Andazola 6-179, Munoz 6-112, Lopez 3-54. Pecos, Juarez 1-36, Montoya 1-20, Riley 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS - Mountain View, Villanueva 46 (WL).

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Pecos Enterprise
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