Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise

Site Map
Pecos Gab

Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000
Photos 2001

Archive 2001

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Friday, November 16, 2001

Eagles looking to slow down Jefferson, Matadors

Staff Writer

Michael Jefferson can fly. And so long as he only does it  on Saturday, the Pecos Eagles will be happy.

Jefferson, the El Paso Parkland Matadors' star wide receiver, will be flying to Lubbock on Saturday from El Paso to attend Texas Tech's game against the Oklahoma Sooners, one of several recruiting trips the 6-foot-3 senior will be taking as he prepares for a college football career after high school.

The Eagles, meanwhile, would like to help Jefferson wrap up his high school career tonight, when they host the Matadors for the second year in a row in the bi-district round of the Class 4A, Division II playoffs, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Jefferson figures to be the key player on offense for Parkland, and is rated as one of the top college prospects in the El Paso area this season. "We put him anywhere we can. He's a talent and we can't waste it," said Matadors' coach Jerry Walker. "He's got 22 scholarship offers already."

This season, Jefferson has caught 28 passes. While that's half of the number District 2-4A-leading receiver Royce Hickman pulled down, Jefferson averages better than 26½ yards per catch, and just under one out of every three of his receptions has gone for a touchdown.

"He's got 4.2 speed and they try and get him the ball as much as possible," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs. "They put him in motion a lot and sometimes they put him in the backfield."

Last week against El Paso Burges, Jefferson caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Melvin Lucas, ran an option pitch from Lucas 35 yards for another score and then scored the Matadors' final TD on a 42-yard toss from Lucas in Parkland's 29-8 win that put them in the playoffs for the third straight season.

Last year in Pecos, Jefferson was quiet until the second half, when he out-jumped a pair of Eagles to catch a 19-yard pass from Lucas to keep a drive alive, and then pulled in a two-yard TD pass from Lucas, after the Eagles had grabbed a 22-14 lead. On the next series, Lucas evaded Pecos tacklers 13 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and found Jefferson for a diving 12-yard reception that set up a go-ahead field goal for the Matadors, in their eventual 31-23 victory.

While the pressure will be on the Eagles' secondary tonight, the defensive line will also have to contain Lucas. He ran for a 38-yard run for a touchdown in last year's game, though Grubbs said, "On the film we've seen, he hasn't been running the ball as much, other than the boot(leg) and the waggle. But if we lose containment he's going to find Jefferson, because we can't defend somebody like that all night."

"That was only his second start at quarterback last year, and he's a little bit more mature at this point," said Walker. "He runs it once in a while, but he's pretty much been throwing the ball."

While Lucas and Jefferson are back, Parkland did graduate their running backs, Artise Cheeks and Matt Austin, who both ran for over 100 yards in last year's playoff win. David Henderson and Cedric Sanchez are the runners now for the Matadors, with Henderson gaining over 700 yards this season.

"Truthfully, I'm more worried about Sanchez. He's a small back, but he's a good runner," said Grubbs, whose team was burned for over 200 yards by El Paso Mountain View's small sophomore back Joey Amaya two weeks ago. "I don't think their backs are as explosive as the two they had last year, but they're still pretty good."

"It's hard to say we're slower, but we are," said Walker, "But we're still pretty fast. Our quarterback, wide receiver and both backs aren't slow."

Still, Parkland did slip to 5-5 this season after going 7-3 a year ago, including a 34-21 loss to Fabens back in September. The Matadors also allowed 60 points in a loss last month to District 1-4A champ El Paso Riverside, a game where Walker said, "We just didn't play."

"We had to play around a lot of injuries to the defensive line and we lost both linebackers from last year, so we had to try and find some linebackers," said Walker, who was sidelined himself for several weeks during the middle of the season for heart surgery. "We were having to play around and see who's going to play this position and that position. Plus, we had a lot of people playing out of position."

He said the injuries have healed up in recent weeks, and that 6-2, 270-pound tackle David Brown has been a standout on the defensive line for Parkland.

Jefferson and Lucas also play on defense for the Matadors, at cornerback. "They've got about four kids who play both ways all the time," said Grubbs. "They've still got a good defense, but they miss Matt Austin on defense at linebacker. He made a lot of plays for them."

The Eagles got to rest many of their starters a week ago in the second half of their 54-0 win over San Elizario. Matthew Levario ran for 219 yards in the first half on only 11 carries to go over 1,000 yards for the season, though Grubbs said things won't be as easy this week for the junior. "It's going to be tough to break any long runs on them with Jefferson and Lucas playing the corners," he said. "Lucas was one of the fastest kids in the region (in the 200 meters) and their other kid is even faster, but he just doesn't run track."

One thing that could slow the Matadors down some is the on-and-off rain that has been in the area the past two days and is supposed to continue through Saturday. "If the field's slow it slows them down, and that's to our advantage," said Grubbs. "If we have a wet, sloppy field it will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes."

The winner of tonight's game will face the winner of Saturday's Hereford-Frenship game Thanksgiving weekend. The Eagles had a chance to face Hereford two years ago, but lost to El Paso Ysleta, 18-0. Hereford then defeated Ysleta and went on to win the Class 4A, Division I football title.

Ysleta, the only team to defeat Mountain View during the regular season, did it again on Thursday, winning their Class 4A, Division I playoff game over the Lobos, 33-9. Tonight, Fabens will play in the other Division II bi-district game, as they take on Riverside on the Rangers' home field, starting at 8:30 p.m. CST.

Pecos boys take on Stockton in Saturday game

The Pecos Eagles basketball team will be getting in their game against the Fort Stockton Panthers a day later than planned, when the Eagles travel to Fort Stockton on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game.

The teams were both scheduled to play their second games of the season tonight, but that was changed because Pecos and Fort Stockton both have football playoff games _ the Eagles at home against El Paso Parkland and the Panthers in Odessa versus Lamesa, their first playoff game in football in 23 years.

The Panthers have done better over that span in basketball, while the Eagles are hoping the 2001-2002 season is better for them than the past several years have been. On Tuesday night, the Eagles allowed Monahans to score 23 points in the second quarter, and then saw a couple of fourth quarter comebacks fall short, as the Loboes won by a 61-55 score.

Jason Sanchez came off the bench to score 18 points for Pecos, several off turnovers, but the Eagles were hurt by their own turnovers in the first half, when Monahans jumped out to a 13-point lead.

"We're going to be a pressing ballclub and defense, and we'll live by the press and die by that," said Eagles' coach Tino Acosta.

Fort Stockton opened their season Tuesday night in Del Rio, where they came out on the short end of a 76-36 final score. The Rams used a 22-1 second period to break the game open, after leading 14-10 after one quarter.

Pecos' junior varsity and freshmen teams will also play at Fort Stockton on Saturday, both starting at 11:30 a.m.

Swimmers to face district rivals in Monahans

The Pecos Eagles swim team won't be sending any divers to Monahans tonight, and will have a few less entries in the pool on Saturday, when they compete at the Monahans Invitational.

The swimming finals start at 11 a.m., and coach Terri Morse said all of the Eagles' District 3-4A rivals, plus one of their main Region I-4A rivals, will be at the meet. "(Abilene) Wylie will be there and Pampa will be there," she said. "I know Lubbock and Hobbs will not be there and Midland won't be there, but Carlsbad and Hobbs are supposed to come, and Wylie and Pampa will be the two new ones at the meet."

Pecos faced all of their district rivals but Wylie at home last week, along with Lubbock and Midland swimmers, with the boys edging Carlsbad and Big Spring for the meet title while the girls won by almost 90 points over Carlsbad.

Morse said all her girls would be out this week, but because of grades the Eagles wouldn't be able to field more than one team in each of the three boys relays, while Pecos also will not have any divers this afternoon.

"We lost our boy divers and Cheyenne (Grice) is hurt. She split her chin open again yesterday afternoon, and I don't know how long it will take to heal."

Saturday's meet is the final one before Thanksgiving for the Eagles. They'll take a two week break and then compete at Seminole and Fort Stockton before the Christmas holidays.

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
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