Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, September 16, 2002
Tornadoes' path of damage runs across Eagles' defense
By JON FULBRIGHT
The Pecos Eagles' four losses during the 2001 football season shared two
things in common. In each one of them, the Eagles gave up a lot of rushing
yards and a lot of points.
Eliminating that problem was one of the main goals for the Eagles' 2002
football team, but coach Fred Carter and his staff found out there's still
some more work to do after Friday night's home opener, when Pecos again
gave up a lot of rushing yards and a lot of points in their loss to the
Lamesa Golden Tornadoes.
Lamesa's Brandon McCurley ran for 199 yards and averaged over 10 yards
per carry, while Joseph Hill gained 143 yards and averaged over 15 yards
per carry, as the Tors ran for 412 yards and built up a 26-0 halftime lead,
on the way to a 42-26 victory at Eagle Stadium.
"We gave up so much on the defensive end, and we didn't really execute
our plays on offense, either," Carter said. "We kind of sputtered on offense
in the first half."
Pecos ended the game with 15 first downs, the same as Lamesa, but didn't
get their first until there were 4½ minutes left in the second period
and the Tors held a 20-0 lead.
"We didn't think they were that tough going in, but they were really
quick off the ball," said Carter, as the Eagles were a step behind throughout
the first half, until going to the air to score four times in the final
McCurley and Hill were able to dash quickly through holes for big touchdown
runs _ 68- and 30-yards for McCurley and 70-yards for Hill _ while Pecos'
first run for over 10 yards didn't come until Freddy Torres scrambled for
a 28-yard gain as time expired in the first half.
There were also several other little things that cost Pecos. They helped
set up Lamesa's first touchdown with a pair of offsides penalties, and later
would miss chances at interceptions and fumble recoveries that could have
stopped scoring drives by the Tors.
Hill got Lamesa' first two scores on their first two possessions, the
first on a 1-yard dive and the second through the right side of the Tors'
line from 68 yards away. Pecos stopped Lamesa's third series, but on the
fourth McCurley and then Hill went around the ends for 18- and 19-yard gains
to start things off, before Hill went over from 7-yards out five plays later.
That came after quarterback Bryan Nowlan broke a tackle behind the line
of scrimmage on a 4th-and-1 play.
The Tors' next series started with a 27-yard run by Hill and ended with
McCurley's 30-yard TD run 51 seconds before the half, which upped the lead
The Eagles did stop Lamesa on their first series of the second half,
and then took advantage of a 31-yard punt return by Matthew Levario to set
up their first score, a 16-yard run by Torres on a naked bootleg to the
Torres also ran in the two-point conversion to make it 26-8 with just
over three minutes gone in the third period, but a minute later Hill broke
through the right side of the line and dashed 70 yards for a score. That
came two plays after Pecos knocked a fumbled kickoff by Jeremiah Guerra
out of bounds, losing a chance to get the ball back deep in Lamesa territory.
Aside from several good punt and kickoff returns, if there was anything
positive to take out of the game, it was the second half passing attack
by the Eagles. They threw for 169 yards over the final 1½ quarters
of play, with Torres completing 11 out of 15 passes for 144 yards in the
second half and Levario also connecting on a halfback option pass to tight
end Joey Ortega, who finished with five catches for 109 yards.
None of the passes went for touchdowns, but a 32-yarder to Ortega set
up a 1-yard dive by Torres for a score late in the third quarter, and a
34-yard hookup between the two got the ball to the 1-yard-line, where Levario
scored on the next play.
That made the score 34-20 with 8:35 left in the game, and a Pecos comeback
was still possible. But that hope was ended when the extra point kick was
snapped over Levario's head and picked up by Chris Sambrano, who knocked
Levario out of the way and ran 72 yards for a rare two-point score for Lamesa.
The Tors then recovered Pecos' onside kick and went 58 yards in two minutes
for the clinching touchdown, with Nowlin scoring on a 15-yard quarterback
keeper with 6:31 to play. Torres got the Eagles' final points with his third
touchdown of the night, a 10-yard run with 2:16 to play to close out the
"I was pleased we didn't lie down in the second half. We put together
some drives and came back, but as they say, `too little, too late'," said
Carter, who said he and the other coaches would be making some changes over
the weekend to prepare for this Friday's homecoming game against the Brownfield
Cubs. The Cubs fell to 0-3 with a 23-6 loss to the Eagles' opponent two
weeks from now, Crane.
Lamesa 14 12 8 9 —43
Pecos 0 0 14 12
Lam. _ McCurley 1 run (Miers kick), 7:26
Lam. _ McCurley 68 run (Miers kick), 9:58
Lam. _ Hill 7 run (pass failed), 5:38.
Lam. _ McCurley 30 run (kick failed), 11:09.
Pec. _ Torres 16 run (Torres run), 3:04.
Lam. _ Hill 70 run (Nowlin run), 4:05.
Pec. _ Torres 1 run (pass failed), 10:11.
Pec. _ Levario 1 run (run failed), 3:25
Lam. _ Sambrano 72 extra point fumble return, 3:25.
Lam. _ Nowlin 15 run (Miers kick), 5:29
Pec. _ Torres 10 run (pass failed), 9:44.
First Downs 15 15
Rushes-Yds. 43-412 32-121
Passing Yds. 5 187
Punts-Yds. 3-36 4-22.5
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 3-1
Penalties-Yds. 9-75 9-68
RUSHING — Lamesa, McCurley 19-199, Hill 8-143, Nowlin 4-42, Carbojal
3-14, Guerra 2-11, Iglesias 6-4, Hernandez 1-(-1). Pecos, Torres 10-70,
Parada 8-27, Levario 14-24.
PASSING _ Lamesa, Nowlin 1-5-0-5. Pecos, Torres 13-23-0-162, Levario
RECEIVING _ Lamesa, Addison 1-5. Pecos, Ortega 5-109, Lopez 3-39,
Parent 3-33, Natividad 1-14, Carrasco 1-12, Levario 1-(-1).
MISSED FIELD GOALS _ None.
Bears get scare, but escape with 22-18 victory
By JON FULBRIGHT
It may not have been a work of art, but Saturday's game for the Balmorhea
Bears also wasn't a loss, despite a lot of problems along the way against
the Lueders-Avoca Rangers.
Playing in Loop, south of Lubbock, the Bears had to rally from 12-0 and
18-14 deficits to defeat the Rangers, 22-18, on Keith Baeza's 20-yard touchdown
pass to Sammy Dominguez on the first play of the fourth quarter. But the
Bears then failed to take advantage of two chances later in the period to
put an insurance touchdown on the board, and had to survive a late threat
by the Rangers that moved the ball inside Balmorhea's 10-yard-line.
"We just played terrible overall," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson.
"We had the effort; it wasn't that we weren't trying. We just weren't doing
at time what we should be doing."
The absence of senior end Jourmain Matta from the lineup contributed
to Balmorhea's problems. Matta was not suited up after having wisdom teeth
removed the previous week.
"We had people who were basically inexperienced, and they were confused
about what they were supposed to be doing in some instances," Erickson said,
while adding, "We really can't use that as an excuse. We've been practicing
all week without him. He had those wisdom teeth pulled out last Friday,
so everybody knew he wouldn't play."
At the start, the Bears didn't look like they would have problems with
the Raiders. They stopped Leubers Avoca on downs after the opening kickoff,
and Urban Baeza ran for 17 yards on the Bears' first play from scrimmage.
But the drive stalled at the 30 yard line when Ivan Rodriguez was sacked
on fourth down, and on the next play Ernest Gentry burst through the middle
of the line and raced 50 yards for a touchdown.
The Bears' next series ended with another loss, and this time Lueders
got the ball at the Balmorhea 35-yard-line. Six plays later, quarterback
Chad Estes found Bradley Hughes in the end zone for a score, and the Bears
were down 12-0.
The Rangers missed the extra point kick again, but the Bears would then
miss the ensuing onsides kick, which Estes recovered at the Balmorhea 25.
Faced with the possibility of falling behind by three touchdowns, the Bears'
defense tightened, and stopped the Rangers on downs at the 25.
Balmorhea finally got their offense going as the first period ended.
Rodriguez hit Dominguez with a 32-yard completion, and then, facing another
fourth down play, the Bears went to a double-reverse pass, with Rodriguez
finding Stoney Iniguez alone in the end zone to cut the deficit to 12-6.
Lueders then gambled and lost on offense, as Baeza deflected a deep pass
from Estea to Hughes on fourth down, giving Balmorhea the ball at the Rangers'
32. Robbie Mendoza then gained 26 yards after catching a dump-off pass from
Baeza, and after a facemasking penalty was added onto the play, Alexis Lozano
scored from one yard out to tie the game.
Baeza then added the two-point kick to give the Bears a 14-12 lead, which
is where the score stayed for the rest of the half.
In the third period, the Bears turned the ball over on downs on their
first series, but the Rangers then were able to drive the ball downfield,
staying mostly on the ground, and retook the lead. Brandon Wingrove went
over on a pitch-out from the two-yard-line, and despite another missed extra
point, Lueders still had an 18-14 lead.
Balmorhea's next series ended with Baeza's deep pass to Iniguez picked
off by Evans at the Bears' 19-yard-line. Wesley Price ran for 11 yards on
the next play, but the Bears were able to hold to just one yard on the next
three downs, and took over at the Lueders 32. Rodriguez then connected with
Michael Dominguez on a first down pass across the middle as the third period
ended, and on the first play of the final quarter Baeza came on an lofted
a pass to Dominguez, who got behind the Rangers defense for the touchdown
that put Balmorhea back in front.
The Bears made the extra point, but would then miss two chances to put
the Rangers away. Balmorhea forced a punt which Barry Bordayo returned 35
yards to the Lueders 15, but Rodriguez underthrew Iniguez in the end zone
on the next play, and the ball was intercepted by Josh Kitchens at the 5-yard-line.
Evans then completed a long pass to Hughes, but it was knocked loose
by the Bears and recovered by Rodriguez at the Balmorhea 27. One play later
Baeza found an opening along the right sideline and dashed 53 yards for
a touchdown, but it was wiped out by an illegal procedure call.
"The touchdown that was called back was because our guy didn't line up
on the line of scrimmage. That's something they should know because we go
out and do that every day," Erickson said.
Rodriguez would be picked off on a deep pass two plays later by Hughes,
and two plays later he held onto the ball after pulling in a 41-yard pass
from Evans. That set the Rangers up at the Bears' 20, but after a 5-yard
run by Price Evans missed on two passes, and Josh Jodran was then stopped
four yards short of a first down, giving the Bears the ball back at their
Baeza was able to roll out and find Kevin Machuca with a 37 yard pass
two plays later to get the Bears out of a deep hole, and while Balmorhea
eventually lost the ball on downs at the Lueders' 12-yard-line, they left
the Rangers with only 1:12 to play to go 68 yards. The managed just four
on their first three downs and then a desperation pass on fourth down was
picked off by Baeza, and Balmorhea was able to run out the clock.
"Our defense, when we had to have a stop, was able to get it," Erickson
said. "When the score was 22-18 if they had scored, with the problems we
were having I don't know if we would have had enough time to score with
the way we were playing. But they came up and made the stop."
The win improved the Bears' record to 2-0 going into their final pre-season
game, this Friday in Sands. The Bears defeated the Mustangs in regular season
play a year ago, but lost to Sands in the bi-district round of the six-man
playoffs. Sands lost to Balmorhea's district rival, Sanderson, by a 50-40
score this past Friday.
Lueders-Avoca 12 0 6 0 —18
Balmorhea 0 14 0 8
Lue. _ Gentry 50 run (kick failed), 3:20.
Lue. _ Hughes 23 pass from Estes (kick failed), 7:03.
Bal. _ Iniguez 25 pass from Rodriguez (kick failed), 0:30.
Bal. _ A. Lozano 1 run (U. Baeza kick), 3:03.
Lue. _ Wingrove 2 run (kick failed), 5:11.
Bal. _ Dominguez 20 pass from K. Baeza (U. Baeza kick), 0:08.
First Downs 7 8
Rushes-Yds 36-174 26-10
Passing Yds. 112 224
Passes 5-20-1 15-28-3
Punts-Yds. 2-35.5 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 1-1
Penalties-Yds. 5-29 3-15
RUSHING _ Lueders-Avoca, Gentry 12-102, Price 12-48, Kitchens 5-20, Sweet
3-4, Wingrove 4-0. Balmorhea, Mendoza 5-14, Bordayo 7-14, U. Baeza 8-0,
A. Lozano 4-(-2), Beltran 1-(-2), Rodriguez 1-(-14).
PASSING _ Lueders-Avoca, Estes 4-19-1-117, Wingrove 1-1-0-(-5). Balmorhea,
Rodriguez 8-15-2-127, K. Baeza 4-7-0-67, U. Baeza 2-4-1-30, Bordayo 1-1-0-5,
A. Lozano 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING _ Lueders-Avoca, Hughes 3-111, Jodran 1-6, Gentry 1-(-5).
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 2002 by Pecos Enterprise