Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, November 09, 2001
Eagles prepare for playoffs against struggling San Eli
By JON FULBRIGHT
Last week, whatever could go wrong for the Pecos Eagles pretty much
did for most of their game against the El Paso Mountain View Lobos. But
that was for only one week. For the San Elizario Eagles, the whole 2001
season has pretty much been a series of bad news events.
San Elizario, which was hoping to field an improved offense this season
to offset losses on the defensive side, saw their best defensive player,
Santiago Elizade, lost for the season with a neck injury in the opening
game, while their leading receiver, Jaime Reyes, also was hurt in the team's
loss to El Paso Parkland. Elizade was also supposed to be the team's leading
rusher, but in the last two weeks his replacement at fullback, Arturo Hernandez,
and the team's quarterback and leading runner, Bo Solis, also have seen
their seasons ended by grades and injuries.
So tonight, when San Eli travels to Pecos, the 0-8 Eagles will bring
only about 17 players for their final regular season game, while the host
Eagles will carry almost that many extra players from the junior varsity,
when the two teams meet in a 7:30 p.m. start.
Pecos is already assured of a playoff spot, and will be trying to win
seven games in the regular season for the first time since 1986. Last week,
they missed a chance to win their first outright district title in 26 years
by losing 23-6 at Mountain View, and as a result will be pulling for the
Lobos to defeat Fabens tonight. That would keep Pecos from getting a share
of the 2-4A crown with a win over San Eli, but it would also guarantee
the Eagles a home playoff game next week against either Parkland or El
"We had a lot of injuries starting with Game 1," said San Eli coach
Joe Carrillo. "We've lost about seven players and lost four offensive starters
in two games, which just threw everything out of whack."
After winning the district 2-4A title in 1999 and winning four of their
first seven games last season, San Eli has dropped 12 games in a row, and
this season, the shorthanded Eagles have been giving up an average of 41
points a game while scoring only 6½ per contest.
"They didn't play too bad in the last game we saw on film," said Eagles'
coach Gary Grubbs. "But of course, I don't know who's going to be there."
Last week, they lost to Canutillo by a 48-6 final score. Rod Esparza
had the Eagles' lone touchdown and is their main running back, after Hernandez
lost his eligibility, while Solis suffered a knee injury in the previous
week's 75-0 loss to Fabens, with Angel Muela taking his place. He was 0-for-6
with an interception a week ago.
"He's done a good job for what we've asked him to do and with little
experience, but it's been tough with all the things we've had to change
around," said Carrillo, who only has two seniors in his starting lineup.
Esparza has run for 130 yards in the last two games, and Hernandez and
Solis were accounting for the bulk of San Eli's offense before that. "They're
running a lot more this year than they have been," said Grubbs, whose team
won at San Elizario last season by a 48-12 final score.
Daniel Terrazas became the first Pecos running back in nine years to
rush for 1,000 yards in that victory. Tonight, Matthew Levario has an outside
chance of reaching the 1,000 mark. The junior has run for 804 yards this
season and would need to gain 196 yards to reach the 1,000 mark.
How long he and the rest of the Eagle starters stay in the game will
depend on how close the game is. "It just depends on how it goes. We're
going to play our starters, because we have to win this game to have a
shot at home field (in next week's playoffs)," Grubbs said, though the
Eagles have brought up 15 players from the junior varsity, who could see
some late game action depending on the closeness of the game.
Aside from the injuries, a lack of participation also has hurt San Eli
this season. Carrillo said the school turned in 1,012 students for the
UIL bi-annual realignment numbers, about 200 more than Pecos, but has far
fewer students participating in football.
"The ones who have stayed out are doing a good job and coming to practice
every day," said Carrillo. "That's what keeps it from being a long year.
We've got some great students out here, and that's kept us from totally
losing it this year."
On defense, while San Eli is giving up over 450 yards per game, Carrillo
said defensive end Rene Perez and tackles Manny Aguilar and Tony Ontiveros
have done good jobs under the circumstances. "Everybody's going both ways,
and we're getting tired, but at least the young kids are getting a chance
to play," Carrillo said.
"Defensively they've struggled. They've had a hard time stopping the
pass and run," said Grubbs. "They just don't look like they're as fast
as they've been the last couple of years."
If the district standings end up in a three-way tie after tonight, Grubbs
said Pecos, Fabens and Mountain View would probably flip coins for seeding
Saturday morning in Van Horn. Mountain View will face El Paso Ysleta in
the bi-district round next week no matter what the outcome of the coin
flip, but if the Lobos win the flip a second flip will be held between
Pecos and Fabens. The loser will have to play on the road next weekend
at El Paso Riverside, which scored 60 points on Parkland last month and
set a state single game rushing record the previous week in their win over
"We're going to send four scouts to go look at the Burges-Parkland game,"
said Grubbs, while the Eagles won't have anyone scouting tonight's Riverside-El
Pao Ysleta contest. "We've got to have two scouts each for Parkland and
Ysleta, so we don't have enough to send anyone to Riverside. Odds are we're
going to play one of those two unless things go real wrong."
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
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise