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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, September 17, 2001

Defense, penalty problems send Eagles to 25-7 defeat

Staff Writer

When the Pecos Eagles stopped the run, the Alpine Bucks  passed. When the Eagles stopped the pass, the Alpine Bucks ran.

When the Eagles tried to run or pass … they usually got hit with a penalty within the first one or two plays, and the combination of the three things produced a 35-7 homecoming victory by the Bucks in Alpine Friday night.

"I'll tell you the same thing I told you last week. We're not a very good football team on offense right now, and we're not a very good defensive team," said a dejected coach Gary Grubbs, who was hoping to see some improvement after Pecos' 32-8 loss the week before to Fort Stockton.

Unlike that game, the Eagles were still in Friday night's contest through the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, after Peter Juarez broke up a D.T. Dominguez pass to Anthony Ramon, leading to an interception by Sammy Gonzalez at the Bucks' 37-yard line. A facemask call on the tackle moved the ball to the Bucks' 22, giving the Eagles their best shot of the second half at scoring and cutting into Alpine's 21-7 lead.

But quarterback Freddy Torres then tried to force the ball into Ricky Plummer on the next play, and Ramon intercepted it at the 3-yard-line. The Bucks then went on a 97-yard scoring drive _ their second of the game _ which ended with a Ian Leblanc one-yard TD run with 4:58 to play.

"That's the kind of thing we talked about. We've got to be able to capitalize on those things and take advantage of turnovers when we get them, and not give the ball right back," said Grubbs.

While Torres was only 2-for-10 with three interceptions on the night, his running in the first half kept Pecos in the game, gaining 78 yards on 10 carries, including a 33-yard scramble in the second period that set up Matthew Levario's two-yard touchdown run, after Alpine had taken a 14-0 lead earlier in the period.

Dominguez was 12-for-18 in the first half for 156 yards; most of those passes to the sideline, including one 37-yard scoring pass to Brent Mata with 5:48 left in the period. It came after Ramon's first interception of the night on Torres, picking him off on a throw meant for Joey Ortega at midfield, which in turn came after Dominguez found Mata in the back of the end zone for a 21-yard TD pass with 9:20 left in the second period, which capped Alpine's first 97-yard scoring drive.

Torres' interception came after a holding call against the Eagles, one of 15 penalties for 147 yards on the night for Pecos. However, in the first half the penalties for the Bucks were just as bad, as they were flagged seven times for 80 yards, including two that took away first period touchdowns _ a clip on an 83 yard punt return by Robert Rodriguez and a hold that wiped out a 44-yard TD pass from Dominguez to Roman moments later.

The Eagles were able to stop the Bucks on downs after that, and held Alpine to only 71 yards rushing in the first half, as they were able to shut down the runs up the middle that hurt them the previous week against Fort Stockton.

In the third quarter, the Eagles did a better job covering the outside receivers, and Dominguez was just 2-for-8 for 14 yards and two interceptions in the final periods, the other by Richard Rodriguez after a Juarez pick-off had been wiped out by a roughing-the-passer flag midway through the third period. But when the passing was cut off, Alpine just went to the run _ George Keller broke through the right side of Pecos' line for a 63-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the second half, and finished with 114 yards rushing, 100 of that in the second half. Henry Lara, who had one carry for nine yards in the first half, added 60 more in the final two quarters, most of that on the second 97-yard TD march.

Alpine's last score came on a fumbled snap off the shotgun to Rodriguez, who replaced Torres at quarterback for the final two series. The Eagles were forced into the shotgun after getting a clipping penalty on their first play after the kickoff. Terry Muench recovered at the ½-yard-line and Dominguez scored on a quarterback sneak two plays later.

"I thought in the second half we adjusted well against the pass. Defensively the big problem tonight was poor tackling," said Grubbs. Pecos ended up allowing Alpine 439 yards in total offense while collected only 122 yards, 25 fewer than their penalty yardage total.

"We've got to improve in the next two weeks before district starts. That's what non-district games are all about," said Grubbs, whose team will go to Presidio this Friday and then host Monahans on Sept. 28. "We'll come around."

Eagles end pre-district with wins

Staff Writer

The first month of the 2001 volleyball season ended on an  up note for the Pecos Eagles on Saturday, and coach Becky Granado hopes  it will carry over to this week, with District 2-4A play beginning  on Tuesday night in Clint.

The Eagles won their second and third straight matches of the season on Saturday, beating the Kermit Yellowjackets, 15-9, 15-6, and the Presidio Blue Devils, 15-1, 15-11 at the Pecos High School gym. The wins came after a two-game victory on Tuesday over Fort Stockton and mark a turnaround from a week earlier, when Pecos fell to 4-15 on the season with a two game loss to the Class A Wink Wildcats.

"I asked them how it felt, and they said it felt good," Granado said. "Now we have a three-game winning streak going into district play. We're playing much better as a team and are communicating more."

That's not to say everything was perfect for Pecos on Saturday. The Eagles had problems serving the ball in both matches, and ran into trouble handling Presidio's serves in the second game of their match, falling behind at one point 8-1 before scoring 12 straight points against the Blue Devils.

"Rebecca (Wein) got 11 straight points (against Kermit) and in the second game Leslie (Rodriguez) was the one that got us back. She served 12 straight points for us to take the lead."

Wein's streak in Game 2 of the Eagles' match with Kermit closed out a 12-0 run for the Eagles, after the Jackets had taken a 6-3 lead. Pecos also fell behind in the opener, 4-0, before coming back, scoring eight straight points to go from a 6-5 deficit to a 13-6 lead.

A couple of dink shots by Jessica Rodriguez and Wein began the streak, and were followed by a block by Mindi Harrison on a spike by Cassandra Garcia, and spikes by Christina Arenivas and Tiana Terry

Terry also had a kill to open the Eagles' match against Presidio, while Wein had a couple of kills and a block during an 11-0 run to start the game and Arenivas had a pair of kills for two of the Eagles' final three points. In the next games, serves by Monica Arias and Maria Chavez that Pecos couldn't handle got the Blue Devils their 8-1 lead, while the Eagles couldn't get their own serves in play for a while, until finally breaking serve and scoring on a kill by Terry and her block on Veronica Pena.

Then after going up 13-8, the Eagles had problems with Pena's serves. She scored three straight points off aces around a couple of bad relays by Wein, allowing the Blue Devils to tie the score. But Pena's next serve was out, and the Eagles were able to win the game on a net violation by Karla Garcia and a bad relay by Jessica Valdez.

"Our serves are just going to have to improve. I have some pretty good servers, it's just that some times we lose our focus," Granado said.

The Eagles will take a 7-15 record to Clint on Tuesday to face the Lions, who have not played since Sept. 8 due to last week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, but who are favored to battle El Paso Mountain View for the District 2-4A title this season after losing a first place playoff to the Eagles last year. Granado also said this Saturday's game against Fabens, originally scheduled as a road contest, has been switched to the Pecos High School gym.

Pecos' junior varsity volleyball team split their games on Saturday, beating Presidio, 15-4, 15-5, while losing to Kermit, 4-15, 15-10, 15-12. The freshmen Eagles played Presidio and defeated the Blue Devils, 15-4, 15-12.

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Pecos Enterprise
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