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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, October 15, 2001

Eagles attack early, roll by Lions, 36-0

Staff Writer
Just about everything went the way it was supposed to go for the Pecos Eagles Friday night, in their District 2-4A football opener against the Clint Lions.

When the Eagles needed a big play, a key run or a defensive stop they got one, while for the Lions, they missed on two first half chances to stay close to the Eagles and then failed to take advantage of two chances in the third quarter and ended up falling to Pecos by a 36-0 final score.

Peter Juarez opened the first period scoring by tossing a 51-yard touchdown pass to Abel Lopez off an option reverse, and Freddy Torres was able to escape the Clint pass rush and find Matthew Levario with a four-yard TD pass in the closing seconds of the first half, to give Pecos a 21-0 lead. Levario and Torres both ended up running for over 100 yards on the night, with Levario scoring on a 55-yard run in the third period and Torres from 30 yards out in the fourth period for the Eagles' final touchdowns.

"Coach (Elias) Payan made a good call," said head coach Gary Grubbs of the opening score, in which Juarez had enough time to stop, set up and hit Lopez heading towards the right side of the end zone, after Pecos had stopped Clint on its opening series and forced a punt, which only made it to midfield in Friday's strong northerly winds.

"We differed on the coin toss because we wanted to play defense with the way the wind was blowing," said Grubbs, and the wind also kept Clint in a short-yardage passing attack at the outset of the game.

Quarterback Tony Alvarado completed nine of his first 11 passes, but for only 53 yards, with the longest a 13-yarder to tight end Ben Chairez, who also caught a 10-yard pass to get Clint out near midfield after Pecos' first score. But two plays later Alvarado and running back David Fierro missed on a handoff, with Johnny Abila recovering at the Clint 49 for Pecos.

From there, the Eagles stayed on the ground, with fullback Mason Abila running for 32 yards on three carries, 12 following a holding call against Pecos, before Levario finished off the drive with an 18-yard run up the middle into the end zone with 3:24 left in the opening period.

Clint the put together their best single drive of the game, going from their own 35 to Pecos' 16-yard line early in the second period. But on a 2nd-and-3 play fullback Manny Estrada was hit and stripped of the ball, with Ruvel Carrasco recovering for Pecos.

The Lions then forced the Eagles into their only punt of the night, and drove inside Pecos' 35 before an illegal procedure call and a tackle behind the line by cornerback Richard Rodriguez on an Alvarado pass to Fernie Lopez force the Lions to punt again _ but not before Clint blew its second scoring opportunity, when Kenyon Mulli dropped Alvarado's deep pass down the right sideline after getting behind Pecos' secondary.

"That could have been a momentum changer, but I don't think it would have been. That was really the only time they threatened in the game," said Grubbs.

The Eagles then proceeded to hold the ball for the next 4:14 and drive 94 yards for their third score of the night, on Torres' pass to Levario. The two key plays on this drive came early, when Torres hit Joey Oretga for a 12-yard gain, after a pair of holding calls had set Pecos up with a 3rd-and-13 at their own 3, and the following play, when the Eagles opted to go for it on 4th-and-1 and converted, with Levario gaining four yards out to the Pecos 20.

"I think that shows confidence in our kids. They hadn't stopped us for less than four yards on any play, and if we can't make one yard on fourth down…" Grubbs said.

Levario would later run for 32-yards, after an offsides call against Clint kept the Lions from taking over on downs at their own 41, and then with no time-outs remaining, Torres found Levario alone at the goal line with 14.6 seconds left in the half.

Clint would get two more shots at scoring in the third period, the first after the Lions recovered their own onsides kick to start the second half and the second when a David Medeles punt bounds up and hit Jason Gonzales, with Fierro recovering at the Eagles' 45. But after the onsides kick and one first down, the Lions were stopped at the Pecos 33 when Justin Evans blocked a fourth down pass by Alvarado, and on the second the Lions were forced to punt, after a holding call brought back an apparent 30-yard touchdown pass from Alvarado to Royce Hickman, in which the Lions receiver broke a trio of Pecos tackles before reaching the end zone.

In-between Levario's 55-yard touchdown run and his two-point conversion run had put the Eagles up 29-0 with 3½ minutes left in the third period. Torres would score six minutes later after the Lions' TD was called back, and one play after he was able to recover his own fumble for the second time on the night.

The Eagles ended up rushing for 235 yards in the second half and 396 yards in the game, while throwing for another 83 yards including the two scores. Alvarado, meanwhile, was just 4-for-14 passing in the final two periods, and the Lions ended up with only 135 yards in total offense on the game.

"We're getting better defensively," said Grubbs. "They tried to spread out on you and then run a little bit up the middle. We gave up a couple of runs for a little yardage, but when you give up only 135 yards you played great defense."

The win improved Pecos' record to 4-2 and 1-0 in district, while Clint fell to 3-2 and 0-1. The Eagles are home this Friday night to face pre-district favorite Fabens, which remained undefeated at 5-0 with a 14-7 win over Canutillo in their 2-4A opening this past Friday. El Paso Mountain View routed San Elizario, 35-13, in the other 2-4A opener.

Pecos downs Canutillo after early game struggle

Staff Writer
Pulling a bit of a reversal from their usual play in district this season, the Pecos Eagles started slowly and finished fast against the Canutillo Golden Eagles on Saturday at the Pecos High School gym, struggling through their first game before putting Canutillo away, 15-12, then coasting to a 15-6 victory in the second game.

The win, which kept Pecos tied for second with Fabens in the District 2-4A standings, came after the Eagles rallied from 4-0 and 8-3 deficits in the opening game. In the second game, the Eagles ran off seven straight points to break a 4-4 tie, then scored the game's final four points after the visiting Eagles got to within 11-6.

"We just did enough to win. That's what it looked like," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "On the free balls we should have made better passes to the target. When we did pass it to the target it seemed like we got better hits."

Canutillo's Veronica Enriquez had three of her team's first four points off ace serves. A couple of kills by Becca Wein followed and helped get Pecos to within 4-3, but the Eagles then committed a few more unforced errors and trailed by five when Granado called time-out.

The break seemed to turn things around for Pecos. They ran off eight of the next nine points, tying the game on a Sarah Marquez serve and going ahead on another spike by Wein and one by Jessica Rodriguez. But the Eagles would have to rally one more time, after Canutillo scored three straight points and took a 12-11 lead on a spike by Tracy Jeffries.

This time, Pecos didn't have to rely on any kills, just Canutillo mistakes to get them their final four points for the victory, and the problem of unforced errors for the Golden Eagles would get worse in Game 2. Leslie Rodriguez and Wein had a couple of points off kills and Stephanie Herrera dropped a ball in-between a trio of Canutillo players for a point late in the contest, but overall the Golden Eagles caused the majority of their own problems with spikes into the net and mishandled passes.

"We really didn't have to do much. They made a lot of mistakes," said Granado, while adding, "I thought Becca did a good job. J.J. (Rodriguez) did a smart job setting and Becca did a good job putting it down the line."

The win puts Pecos at 5-3 in District 2-4A and 12-18 for the season going into their final regular season home game on Tuesday, against El Paso Mountain View. The Lobos clinched the district title on Friday and knocked Clint out of a tie for second with a 15-7, 15-5 win over the Lions, while Fabens defeated San Elizario, 15-8, 15-11.

Fabens faces Clint on Tuesday wins by the Wildcats and Eagles would put both teams in the playoffs. "It's going to be interesting. We had Mountain View at their house last time and we should have beaten them," said Granado. The Eagles won the first game over the Lobos last month, then dropped the final two games in El Paso.

Bears beat Cougars again for win in district opener

The results didn't change much in the third meeting of the season between the Balmorhea Bears and Dell City Cougars Friday night. But the game meant a lot more for the Bears, who opened District 8-A six-man football play with a 46-0 homefield victory over Dell City.

Balmorhea had won a scrimmage game back in Augusts between the two teams in Van Horn, then took a 48-0 decision from the Cougars last month in Dell City. This time, the Cougars were able to stay close to the Bears through one period, trailing only 6-0 after one period before Balmorhea added three touchdowns in the second quarter.

"It was all right. For the most part we didn't have much problems with it," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson. "It was probably a little bit closer and tougher overall than it was over there."

"Dell City tried a few different things, but they weren't successful overall," he added.

Robbie Mendoza scored Balmorhea's first touchdown just 2½ minutes into the game, and added the second of the Bears' three scores in the second period. Isaiah Rodriguez had a 15-yard run to open the scoring in the second period, then closed things out with a 52-yard TD run 2½ minutes into the fourth quarter, which ended the game under the 45-point rule.

Defensively, the Bears limited the Cougars to only one first down and just 54 yards total offense, while the Bears went for over 300 yards, most of that on the ground after going to the air more the previous two weeks.

"The wind was blowing and it was one of those things where the dust had settled down (by game time), but the wind was still blowing, so we needed to stay on the ground to see what was going on," Erickson said.

Balmorhea did have one touchdown pass, an eight-yard toss from Jerry Mendoza to Logan Humphries late in the first half. Mendoza's extra point kick then gave the Bears a 28-0 halftime lead, which they added to just 29 second into the third quarter on a four-yard run by Reggie Lozano.

Adriel Ramon had the Bears' other touchdown, a 15-yard run midway through the third period that put Balmorhea in front, 40-0.

The win put the Bears at 4-2 on the season and 1-0 in district play going into this Friday's game at Marathon this coming Friday night. The Mustangs won by forfeit over Sierra Blanca on Friday, and are also 1-0 in district, and 4-2 on the season.

Pecos netters down Clint, earn top see at tournament

The Pecos Eagles tennis team earned top seed in this Thursday's District 2-4A team tournament, thanks to a 10-2 win over the Clint Lions on Saturday at San Elizario.

The teams went into the match tied for first in the district standings, and only had to play 12 of the scheduled 19 matches after the Eagles clinched the team victory midway through singles play.

Coach Mike Ortiz said Jay Dannelley's 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Steve Baca clinched the win. "Jay's No. 4 and he's No. 3 for them. He's supposed to be one of their top players, but Jay played awesome," said Ortiz.

Dannelley was moved up one spot in the lineup along with the rest of the Eagles due to the absence of No. 1 singles player Trent Graham. In doubles, Dannelley ended up paired with T.J. Hardwick in place of Graham and lost to Martin Renteria and Alvaro Chacon, but Bobby Sotelo and Steven Lamb and Michael Orona and Joel Sotelo came away with split set doubles wins, Sotelo and Lamb in a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5) game over Hugo Givens and Jonathan Baeza.

"The fact that my No. 1 wasn't there made it even more incredible, because I had to move everybody up," Ortiz said.

"The kids were pumped up. I told them the night before and that day they neede to take it to them, and they did," he said.

The girls swept all three of their doubles matches, though the victory at No. 3 doubles was by default; while Natalia Ornelas, Brenda Fuentes, Kristina Dominguez and Amanda Fleming won in singles play before the match was called when the Eagles reached the 10 victory mark. Clint's other win came in mixed doubles play.

"Clint was very, very dejected after the match because they're not use to losing," said Ortiz. The Lions have won the last two district tournaments, and came back a year ago after losing to Pecos in district play to win in the 2-4A tournament.

The district tournament had been scheduled for Pecos originally, but was moved to Monahans first and then shifted to San Elizario and Fabens, after the date was changed from this Saturday to Thursday, due to a conflict with the UIL area marching contests. Pecos will face El Paso Mountain View at 9 a.m. CDT Thursday at San Elizario, while Clint plays at Fabens. The winners and losers will meet at San Eli and Fabens around 2 p.m. CDT, with the top two finishers advancing to Region I-4A play.

Pecos (10) vs. Clint (2)
Boys Singles
Jay Dannelley defeated Steve Baca, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Girls Singles
Natalia Ornelas defeated Elvia Gonzales, 6-0, 6-3; Brenda Fuentes defeated Stephanie Marmalejo, 6-1, 6-2; Kristina Dominguez defeated Nikki Lozano, 6-2, 6-3; Amanda Fleming defeated Dalia Corrales, 6-2, 6-1.

Boys Doubles
Dannelley and T.J. Hardwick lost to Martin Renteria and Alvaro Chacon, 6-0, 6-0; Bobby Sotelo and Stephen Lamb defeated Hugo Gines and Jonathan Baeza, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5); Michael Orona and Joel Sotelo defeated J. Deharo and V. Candelaria, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

Girls Singles
Ornelas and Fuentes defeated Gonzalez and Marmalejo, 6-1, 6-2; Elizabeth Carreon and Jennifer Rayos defeated Nikki Lozano and Laura Lozano, 6-3, 6-3; Fleming and Chantel Orona won by default.

Mixed Doubles
Orlando Mendoza and Dominguez lost to Daniel Sosa and Bianca Armendariz, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5.

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Pecos Enterprise
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