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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Thursday, September 19, 2002

Eagles look to shut down Cubs for homecoming

Staff Writer

Two teams that haven't faced each other in 41 years, the Pecos  Eagles and the Brownfield Cubs, will both be trying to improve on their  recent efforts Friday night, when the Eagles host the Cubs in their  2002 homecoming game, starting at 7:30 p.m.

It's the first meeting for the teams since 1961, when Pecos dropped a 22-6 decision to Brownfield. That's almost the same score as the Cubs lost by at home this past Friday. They fell 23-6 to Crane to drop to 0-3 on the season, while the Eagles saw their record evened at 1-1 after losing their home opener to Lamesa, 43-26.

The Cubs were seemingly on their way to a win in their last road game, having jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead at Kermit two weeks ago. But the Jackets took advantage of a series of Brownfield fumbles in the second half to rally for a 22-21 victory.

"We've still got a couple of holes to fill right now, and against Kermit we just did ourselves in," said Cubs' coach Mark Howard. "I'd rather be 3-0 right now, but we're still working towards our district season."

Brownfield was in with Lamesa, Greenwood and Denver City the past two years. They struggled in district play but were 5-5 in 2001 and this year are in a Lubbock-area Class 3A district, which has several other teams off to slow starts.

"I think our former district, with Sweetwater, Snyder and Merkel now is very, very competitive, and I think our district is very competitive, but at a different level," Howard said. "Our teams haven't fared as well against other teams, but I think once we get to district everyone will feel like they have a chance to make the playoffs."

One thing Howard is hoping for is the return of tailback Adrian Hines by the time District 2-3A play begins. Hines was a two-way all-district player a year ago, and the Cubs' coach said, "He had high hopes for this season, but he's out with a knee injury right now."

In his absence, fullback Jeremy Franco ran for 106 yards against Crane last week, 67 of that on a first quarter touchdown run. The Cubs had only 194 total yards last week, but went for 332 in their game with Kermit.

Most of that came through the air from Howard's son, quarterback Zach Howard. "He's doing real well, especially for being no bigger than he is," his father said. "He's been running the offense since seventh grade."

"They've got a couple of good-sized kids, and some real good athletes for them, No. 75 in particular," said Eagles' coach Fred Carter, in singling out Cubs' lineman Rhett Green. However, overall, Howard said the line has struggled for Brownfield this season.

"We're a veer team and try to do some of the stuff Lamesa does and Alpine does, but we haven't been able to do it," he said. "We've mainly had to rely on our power game."

Pecos' running game had a lot of success against Alpine, but only a little success in the first half against Lamesa, when the Tornadoes built a 26-0 lead. The Eagles ended up with over 300 yards in offense on the night, most of that in the second half and most of that through the air. But Carter thinks his team will do better this week against Brownfield.

"I think we can run on them," he said, though like Lamesa, Pecos will be shorthanded at tailback. Oscar Parada will miss the game after suffering a concussion in the first half of last week's loss, while Bino Barreno reinjured his ankle during the second half of play.

"Matthew (Levario) is still healthy, and Israel (Matta) can step it up," Carter said. Levario ran for over 1,000 yards a year ago, but has seen less action this season while starting in the defensive backfield.

"They run pretty much a `50' base defense. They do some different things and stunt a lot, but I don't think that will be a problem for us if we execute our game plan and take care of business," he added.

Despite the first half offensive problems, the defense was Pecos' biggest sore spot a week ago, allowing Lamesa 412 yards rushing. "We've made some adjustments and moved some people around," Carter said, with the biggest change coming at the linebacker position.

"We moved one kid up from the JV, Eric Fuentes, and he's going to start at Mike (middle) linebacker for us," the Eagles' coach said.

This is homecoming week for the Eagles, but Carter said for at least the first couple of days of workouts, the events surrounding it haven't caused any problems.

"We're pretty much just taking things regular as clockwork. Probably today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) things will pick up, but we had mostly regular workouts on Monday and Tuesday."

JV, 9th graders in Brownfield, junior high host Loboes

The Pecos Eagles' sub-varsity football teams will be heading to the South Plains for the second straight Thursday, while Pecos' junior high gold football teams will be hosting the Monahans Loboes for the second Thursday in a row, as the Eagles' seventh and eighth grade purple teams face Monahans for the first time this season.

The junior varsity and freshman teams, both of which won games in Lamesa last week, are headed to Brownfield this evening for games at 5:30 and 7 p.m. The junior high teams will be at home, with the purple teams at Eagle Stadium to face Monahans and the gold teams at the Crockett Middle School field against the Loboes, starting at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

The JV will be looking to go 3-0 on the season after rallying for a 20-14 victory over the Tornadoes. Tito Gonzales scored on a reverse from 14 yards out with two minutes to play to give the JV their win, while Rashad Terry had a pair of touchdown runs for the Eagles.

The ninth graders led throughout their game against Lamesa, winning by a 14-8 score to improve their record to 2-1 on the season. Josh Anchondo scored both touchdowns for the ninth graders.

The purple teams were idle last week after opening the season on Sept. 5 in Alpine. The seventh graders won their game 34-8, while the eighth graders are 0-1 after a 22-6 loss to the Bucks. The gold teams will be playing their third games of the season today, with the seventh graders at 1-0-1 after a scoreless tie against Monahans last week, and the eighth graders are 1-1 following their 14-0 loss to the Loboes.

Bears face Mustangs in rematch of 2001 playoffs

The Balmorhea Bears are starting to develop a bit of a rivalry with the Sands Mustangs.

The Bears and Mustangs, playoff opponents a year ago and possible playoff rivals again this November, will meet in Sands Friday night, in the final pre-district game for Balmorhea. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The Bears jumped out to a big lead early on Sands a year ago in Balmorhea, going up 38-6 before Sands rallied late in an eventual 46-33 loss. But the Mustangs reversed that result a month later when the teams met in the bi-district round, as they jumped out to a 34-8 lead in the second period, then withstood a Balmorhea comeback to win, 60-59, as the Bears missed a chance to win the game after getting the ball back in the final 30 seconds of play.

Balmorhea comes into Friday's game with a 2-0 record after their 22-18 victory in Loop on Saturday over Lueders Avoca, while Sands dropped a 50-40 decision to the Bears' main District 6-A six-man rival, Sanderson, last Friday.

Sands won its district title a year ago, while Balmorhea finished second to Sanderson, and the teams are picked to finish the same way this fall, which would set up another bi-district match-up in November. Sands has most of their starters back from a year ago, including running back Nate Looney and quarterback Jeremy Renteria.

"Sands is coming off a 10-point loss to Sanderson, so they're going to be ready to go. We're not going to be able to go through the motions and win," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson following last Saturday's victory. "Our kids need to realize this and step it up."

The Bears were without one of their two returning starters from last year in their win over Lueders Avoca. Senior end Jourmain Matta was out after having some wisdom teeth pulled, and his absence caused problems for Balmorhea on offense, where the Bears ran into problems running their pass patters against the Rangers.

Friday's game is the third of four straight on the road for Balmorhea to open the 2002 football season. They'll start district play next week in Marathon, and they play their home opener against Grandfalls on Oct. 4.

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Pecos Enterprise
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