Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, November 5, 2001
Eagles hurt by Amaya, Lobos in first district defeat
By JON FULBRIGHT
Joey Amaya hurt the Pecos Eagles. Now the Eagles have to hope they
didn't hurt Amaya badly enough for him to not hurt the Fabens Wildcats
this coming Friday night.
With the exception of a few minutes of the second quarter, Amaya and
the El Paso Mountain View Lobos dominated the Eagles this past Friday night
in El Paso, with Amaya running for 221 yards and three touchdowns, as the
Lobos took sole possession of first place in the District 2-4A standings
with a 23-6 victory.
But just before Amaya's final touchdown, on a three-yard run late in
the third quarter, the sophomore suffered a sprained ankle trying to cut
at the line of scrimmage. It one play after a 58-yard run which put him
over the 200-yard mark and over 1,500 yards rushing for the season, and
while he was able to go back into the game three more times, he ended up
with his ankle wrapped in ice during the latter half of the fourth quarter,
as the Lobos' defense went to work securing their team's seventh victory
in eight games.
"They put us in a hole where we had to do stuff that was not our strong
suit," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs, as Mountain View intercepted quarterback
Freddy Torres four times in the second half, after the Lobos had taken
a 13-6 halftime lead. The Eagles' quarterback ended up throwing for exactly
100 yards, including a diving 28-yard touchdown catch by Matthew Levario
in the back of the end zone midway through the second period, but was under
pressure from the Mountain View pass rush most of the night, while the
Eagles' running game only had a few bright spots in managing just 104 yards
total on Friday.
Amaya had more than that by halftime, but how his ankle is this Friday
may mean as much to Pecos as how they do in their final regular season
game at home against San Elizario. The Eagles clinched a playoff spot even
with their loss, when Fabens defeated Clint, 42-28, and could still end
up in a three-way tie for first if they beat San Eli and the Wildcats win
over Mountain View. But that would also force a coin-flip for seeding in
the playoffs, Grubbs said, and Pecos could end up having to make another
trip to El Paso on Nov. 16 to face El Paso Riverside, instead of staying
home that night to host El Paso Burges or El Paso Parkland.
Whichever team the Eagles face, they'll have to play far better than
they did on Friday. From the opening play on offense _ a bad pitch by Torres
to Levario for a four-yard loss _ not much went right for Pecos, while
on the other side, things went so well for Mountain View that their junior
varsity call-up, sophomore kicker Ricardo Grajeda, booted a 40-yard field
goal on the opening drive of the second half, which gave Mountain View
a 16-6 lead and forced Pecos to start throwing the ball more, leading to
the four interceptions.
Also hurting Pecos was senior Daniel Hernandez. After the Eagles' first
drive stalled, he returned an Abel Lopez punt 28 yards to the Pecos 31-yard-line.
Amaya then carried the ball four straight times for 22 yards, setting up
a 1st-and-goal at the 10, and then on 4th-and-goal
from the 1 just barely got into the end zone, with the side judge signaling
a delayed touchdown call.
The Eagles and the officials would have more problems in the second
period, when Pecos decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 from their
own 21. Torres appeared to make it on a quarterback sneak, but the official
then nullified the play, saying Mountain View had called time out, and
when play resumed, Torres fumbled the ball back to the 18, which gave the
Lobos back the ball and set up Amaya's second score a few moments later.
"You can't call time out when the ball is snapped," Grubbs said. "He
told me their middle linebacker called time-out, but no one on the field
did. Their coach called it from the sidelines, but that's the way it was.
"On the fumble on the snap we were running a hard count and trying to
draw them offside and had one of their players jump between the tackle
and the guard. It was clearly offside, but it wasn't called and that hurt
us," he said.
Mountain View also ran some strange multiple-motion plays, with two
and sometime three players moving just before the snap that seemed to be
illegal motion violations, but which also weren't called. One of the plays
came just after the turnover on a run by Amaya that helped set up the score,
while the other plays came on the Lobos' final TD drive, following Hernandez'
interception of a Torres pass in the third period.
Pecos' lone scoring drive covered 66 yards and took less than 90 seconds
after the Lobos' second score. Along with Levario's diving TD catch, the
big play was his 34-yard run, as he was just tripped up by Hernandez to
prevent a touchdown.
Aside from their two scores, the Lobos missed two other scoring chances
in the first half. Gilbert Lopez dropped a first down pass from quarterback
Eddie Gonzalez after a short punt by Abel Lopez gave Mountain View the
ball at the Pecos 44 as the first period ended, and later Richard Rodriguez
would intercept a Gonzalez pass at the Eagles' 17-yard-line late in the
But both times, the Eagles' offense was not able to do anything to change
the momentum of the game, while the defense had its own problems with missed
tackles, both on Amaya and on fullback Sergio Vasquez, who broke two tackles
on a 10-yard run in the third period that set up the Lobos' last touchdown.
"We just didn't execute well enough to win," said Grubbs. "We broke
down in all three areas _ offense, defense and special teams, and like
I've talked about before, if you do those three things good you win and
if you don't do them well, you don't."
The loss leaves Pecos with a 6-3 record and a 3-1-district mark going
into their game this Friday against San Elizario, which is 0-4 and 0-8
after their 48-6 loss this past Friday to Canutillo. Mountain View has
now won nine straight district games over the past two seasons, and is
4-0 in 2-4A play going to Fabens this Friday.
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