Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Eagles look to stop more versatile Wildcats
By JON FULBRIGHT
Going into the 2001 football season, if the Pecos Eagles had known
they would have not one, but two rushers with more yardage than Fabens'
Vicente Macias, the Eagles would probably be feeling pretty confident about
their district home opener against the Wildcats.
That's the way things have turned out, but so far this season, Macias'
slow start and then absence from Fabens' last two games hasn't done much
to slow down the Wildcats, who'll bring a 5-0 record into Pecos on Friday
to face the Eagles, in a 7:30 p.m. start
Macias led all class 4A rushers a year ago during the regular season
with 2,154 yards and 26 touchdowns, but in three games this season ran
for just 440 yards, less than both Eagles' halfback Matthew Levario and
quarterback Freddy Torres. Most of Macias' yards came in the Wildcats'
win over Deming, N.M., but while he's been ineligible for the last two
games, Fabens still came up with a 63-0 win over Santa Teresa, N.M., and
then beat Canutillo in their District 2-4A opener last Friday, 14-7.
"We've got four good backs, which makes it tougher for the other team,"
said Fabens' coach Ronnie Hernandez. "We're a little more versatile. We
throw the ball better now, and we're a little more well-rounded team."
Macias was one of four players caught by grades three weeks ago. They
could become eligible again in time for Friday's game, but Hernandez said,
"We may not get them back, so we'll just have to go with what we've got."
"We're not preparing for their players, we're preparing for their system,"
said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs. "Their personnel doesn't matter to us.
We're preparing for their scheme."
Tury Cleto gained 152 yards and scored one touchdown last week while
carrying the ball 36 times, nearly doubling the number of carries the junior
had in the first four games of the season.
"He's picked up the load for us," Hernandez said. "He doesn't have the
power Vicente does, but he's really quick and finds the hole, and catches
the ball real well."
"Cleto's real quick and it's tough to get a good shot on him," said
Grubbs, whose team held Clint to just 60 yards rushing in last week's 36-0
victory. It put the Eagles at 1-0 in district and 4-2 on the season.
Cleto ran for 37 yards last season and scored a touchdown in Fabens'
21-20 home loss to Pecos, a game in which Macias ran for 135 yards, but
was held to just nine yards in the final period.
Quarterback Rigo Estrada also had a rough night, with three interceptions.
Last week, Estrada had a touchdown pass to receiver Eric Garcia, his third
of the season to go along with just three interceptions. Estrada had only
four touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season.
"That really helps for us not to throw interceptions and we're not putting
the ball on the ground. As long as we do that, we're all right," the Wildcats'
Estrada is also a running threat. "They run the bootleg and the waggle
a lot. He's a great threat to run the ball, but he has thrown the football
better this year," Grubbs said.
Hernandez said the biggest surprise so far for Fabens has been the team's
offensive line. "When we had our first game against Tularosa, N.M., I thought
`oh no.' We have only one senior in the line and the rest are juniors,
but they went undefeated on the JV last year and are used to winning, and
they've molded into a pretty good offensive line the last couple of weeks.
Hernandez said the one senior, 305-pound guard Albert Portillo, is still
Fabens' best lineman. "He kind of looks like the same kind of player are
(Tony) Trujillo is for Pecos. He's the anchor of the team," he said.
"Their line looked real aggressive, but I thought Canutillo did a good
job after the first quarter. Fabens scored the first two times they had
the ball, and then they shut them down after that," Grubbs said.
On defense, both Fabens and Pecos gave up a lot of yards in their first
three regular season games, though the Wildcats avoided allowing the points
the Eagles did in beating Tularosa, Deming and El Paso Parkland, the team
that eliminated Pecos from the playoffs a year ago.
"We're basically a junior club there. We've only got three seniors on
defense, and I knew it would take a little time for them to get together,
but when it came time to buckle down we bent, but we didn't break," Hernandez
"They've got a couple of good looking linebackers," said Grubbs. "They
did some good things on defense. Canutillo is a very large team, and their
defense did a good job shutting them down."
Along with Cleto, who continues to start at cornerback, Hernandez said
Garcia at linebacker has been his strongest player on defense. "He makes
a whole lot of plays and has the quickness to cover the tight end or the
backs out of the backfield."
Fabens held Canutillo to less than 100 yards rushing a week ago. Hernandez
said left guard Omar Moreno has been the best player there so far. "He
was one of the sophomores who was pulled up last year, and he's playing
real, real well. He didn't play until the third ballgame because he had
fractured his ankle, but he's been rehabbing real well."
Grubbs said the Eagles would get back two starters tonight, in fullback
Oscar Parada and defensive end Sammy Gonzales, who missed last Friday's
game at Clint. "Sammy's injury was probably the main one going into last
week. He hyperextended his knee, but he should be able to play."
Friday's game is the only home game for Pecos in their first four district
contests. They'll go to Canutillo and El Paso Mountain View the next two
weeks, and then finish regular season play at home against San Elizario.
Eighth graders add McCamey to schedule
The Pecos Eagles have only one sub-varsity football game scheduled this
week, as the Eagles' five other teams take Thursday off.
Pecos' eighth grade purple team will play at 6 p.m. tonight at home
against the McCamey Badgers, in a game added to the Eagles' schedule. Meanwhile,
Pecos' scheduled junior varsity game in McCamey tonight has been canceled,
coach Brian Gibson said. Both the JV and freshmen teams already have played
seven games this season, while the varsity squad will play their seventh
game on Friday, against Fabens.
The eighth grade purple team played a split game with the Eagles' seventh
grade purple squad this past Saturday, and beat a combined Van Horn team,
30-24. Tonight's game will be at Eagle Stadium, while Pecos' seventh grade
squads are scheduled to play an intrasquad scrimmage this afternoon.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise