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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, September 23, 2002

Eagles crash against Cubs in homecoming game

Staff Writer

The Pecos Eagles were the Dallas Cowboys. The Brownfield Cubs  were the Houston Texans. Cowboy fans know how that one turned out.

Now the Eagles will see if they can play like the Cowboys did against the Tennessee Titans or the way they did against Philadelphia, after an stunning homecoming loss to Brownfield on Friday.

For the second week in a row at home, the Eagles were dominated on the line of scrimmage, this time by the 0-3 Cubs, who took advantage of a quick Pecos mistake to get a touchdown 23 seconds into the game, then stopped two late scoring threats by the Eagles to earn a 13-6 victory.

"Everything we told them they would do, everything we told them they would probably run they did," said a disappointed coach Fred Carter. "We had two really good scouting reports on them, but our guys just did not get the job done.

"But the buck stops here. I guess we just didn't prepare well enough to get ready," Cater added. "We didn't get them to come focused and ready to play."

Dallas bounced back from their embarrassing loss to the expansion Texans to surprise Tennessee, but was routed on Sunday by Philadelphia. Pecos now faces the task of trying to bounce back against 4-0 Crane this coming Friday, and to do so, they'll have to make major improvements in their rushing defense.

The Eagles allowed Lamesa 412 of their 417 yards rushing on the ground in last week's 43-26 loss. On Friday, the Cubs didn't gain as many yards or score as many points, but were able to at least move the ball consistently in their own end of the field, including early in the fourth quarter, when they drove the ball out from under their own goalposts after an interception by Zach Howard at the Brownfield 1.

"It's going to be a long weekend for us," Carter said about his coaching staff. "We're going to have to be here Saturday and Sunday to get them ready. If we come out and play that way against Crane it's going to be a long game."

The tone of the game was set on the first two plays after the opening kickoff. Israel Matta dropped an attempted reverse, which Jeremy Franco recovered at the Pecos 13, and on the next play Franco took a pitch out and went around right end 13 yards for the touchdown.

Coby Jenkins extra point made it 7-0, and the Eagles wouldn't do anything until getting help from Brownfield late in the first period.

Pecos picked up three first downs on a series starting from their own 14, before Freddy Torres was sacked on a 3rd-and-6 play by Caesar Munoz forcing the Eagles to punt. But Abel Lopez kick was short _ so short, the Cubs' Tarin Dever lost track of it, and it hit him in the back, allowing Hector Garcia to recover the ball at the Brownfield 22.

Two plays netted Pecos just one yard, but on third down Torres had one of his rare good chances to throw in the pocket and hit Joey Ortega on a 10-yard gain to end the first period. Pecos was hit with a procedure call to start the second quarter, but Torres was then able to scramble for eight yards, and Levario followed with a four-yard gain, and then three yards over the left side for the touchdown.

Pecos then went for two points on the conversion, but never got the play off, as Torres fumbled the snap, and the Eagles would fail to capitalize on another break from the Cubs' Dever a few minutes later.

Franco was forced out of the game when he slammed his head against the Cubs bench after a 27 yard run following the kickoff. Dever took his place, but on the next play fumbled the ball, with Jose Reyes recovering at the Brownfield 41. Two plays later on 3rd-and-4, Levario went up the middle for 18 yards, and gained seven more on first down, to the Cubs' 10-yard-line.

But on 2nd-and-3 Matta was tackled for a two-yard loss, and on third down he lost the ball on a pitch out, which was recovered by Brownfield's John Hogue, killing the drive. The Eagles then stayed within a point of the Cubs when Booker Fobbs blocked a 30-yard field goal try by Jenkins just before halftime.

The only real scoring drive of the night was by the Cubs in the third quarter, covering 84 yards on 11 plays, all on the ground. Franco had runs of seven, nine and 14 yards on the play, while junior varsity call-up Andrew Cruz broke runs of 16- and 10-yards on the counter play. They set up Howard's two-yard quarterback sneak with 2:31 left in the period, giving the Cubs a 13-6 lead.

Pecos stayed within a touchdown by blocking the extra point kick, and then fooled the Cubs on their first play from scrimmage, sending fullback Will Armstrong up the middle on a fake option play. Armstrong, who had only carried the ball once this season, raced 64 yards from the Eagle 8 to the Cubs 28 yard line.

But that play was wasted, as Pecos was immediately whistled for a motion call on their next play, then were held to only five yards on their next three downs before Howard's interception of Torres to open the fourth quarter.

The Eagles would fool the Cubs one more time, this time on a fourth down play midway through the final period, but again would get nothing out of it. Levario hooked up with Torres on a throwback option pass that covered 33 yards, from midfield to the Brownfield 17.

But Levario was then stuffed at the line for no gain on two straight plays, and the Eagles were then hit with a holding call on third down and a procedure call right after that, for breaking the huddle with 12 men. Forced into a 4th-and-30 situation at the 37, Torres' deep pass to Lopez was knocked away by Javier Molina.

The Eagles had one last chance, after John Parent returned a punt 23 yards to the Brownfield 46 with 2:25 left in the game and Torres then hit Parent on a 10-yard completion. But the Eagles quarterback was then sacked by Rhett Green for a six yard loss, and three more passes fell incomplete, giving the ball back to the Cubs, who ran out the clock.

Franco finished the game with 127 yards rushing and Cruz had an even 100 yards, while Levario managed 91 yards but had to leave the game late after taking a helmet in the back. He returned for the Eagles' final offensive play, a pass from Torres that was knocked away by Howard.

This is the third year in a row the Eagles have started the season 1-2. They won their final two pre-district games a year ago, but have a much tougher schedule this time, with Crane and Lubbock High up next. The Cranes, Pecos' next opponent, defeated Brownfield on Sept. 13 by a 23-6 score, and remained undefeated with a 21-18 win over Seminole this past Friday.

At Pecos

Brownfield 7 0 6 0 —13

Pecos 0 6 0 0 — 6

First Quarter

Brn. _ Franco 13 run (Jenkins kick), 0:23

Second Quarter

Pec. _ Levario 3 run (run failed), 0:58

Third Quarter

Brn. _ Howard 2 run (kick failed), 9:09

Brn. Pec.

First Downs 16 12

Rushes-Yds. 49-287 37-159

Passing Yds 0 94

Passes 0-1-1 7-21-1

Punts-Yds. 4-38.8 4-37.8

Fumbles-Lost 4-2 3-2

Penalties-Yds. 7-58 7-55


RUSHING _ Brownfield, Franco 21-127, Cruz 11-100, Howard 14-51, Dever 3-9. Pecos, Levario 20-91, Armstrong 1-64, Torres 10-11, Matta 6-(-3).

PASSING _ Brownfield, Howard 0-1-1-0. Pecos, Torres 6-19-1-61, Levario 1-1-0-33.

RECEIVING _ Pecos, Parent 3-29, Ortega 2-27, Torres 1-33, Lopez 1-5.

MISSED FIELD GOALS _ Brownfield, Jenkins 30 (blocked).

Pecos closes out pre-district by beating Presidio, Kermit

Staff Writer

With District 4-3A set to begin on Tuesday, the playoff chances  for the Pecos Eagles volleyball team are looking pretty good, so long as  they can follow up this past week's efforts between now and the end  of October.

Pecos completed a sweep of three of their five district rivals in non-district play on Saturday, defeating the Presidio Blue Devils, 15-2, 15-3, and then downing the Kermit Yellowjackets, 15-4, 15-8. Coming off a win last Tuesday at Fort Stockton, it should give the Eagles some momentum going into 4-3A play, which opens with a match in Kermit on Tuesday and continues with another Saturday game against Presidio to close out this week.

"We played a little better. At least they're starting to realize what I'm trying to get them to do," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado, whose team closed out their pre-district schedule with a 7-11 record. They were 6-17 in pre-district a year ago, but finished second in District 2-4A to earn their sixth straight trip to the playoffs.

In both matches on Saturday, Pecos took advantage of mistakes by Kermit and Presidio to get most of their points.

"Presidio seemed like they just had a tough time passing the ball and serving the ball," Granado said. "We served a lot. I think that's about all we did.

When the Blue Devils were able to get the ball back over the net, Granado said she tried to get her players to move the ball away from 5-10 middle blocker Karla Garcia. "Presidio has one big girl, so I was trying to get them to realize if our middle hitter goes in there and fakes, that should leave the outside hitters wide open," she said.

Against Kermit, the Eagles also tried to go around the Jackets' middle hitter, Amber Broadway, though Jennifer Martinez was able to get a couple of blocks on Broadway in the second game. In the opener, Kermit had early success breaking Pecos' serves, but no success at all serving with any consistency, as they tipped the net five times and put several other serves either into the net or out of bounds.

Leslie Rodriguez had a couple of kills for points in Game 1, during an 8-0 run by the Eagles that closed out the game. In the second game, Kermit jumped out early 3-1 on a couple of bad hits by Pecos and a spike by Broadway, before the Eagles rallied to take the lead for good at 4-3 on an serve by Martinez.

Martinez' two blocks of Broadway came after Kermit had cut a 12-6 lead down to 12-8, and Stephanie Herrera was able to finish off the match by dinking the ball over the Jacket's front line for the final point.

"We had a much better transition from practice to the game this time," Granado said. "We'll work out Monday and see if we can transition to the game on Tuesday the same way."

She also hoped the wins wouldn't cause the Eagles to relax for their rematch against Kermit on Tuesday. "I told them we have a game play for Kermit on Tuesday and we'll work on that Monday. I hope we don't get overconfident, but if we just go out there and play, we'll be OK."

Pecos also won Saturday's freshman matches over Kermit and Presidio. The ninth graders beat Presidio, 15-10, 15-12, then downed Kermit in three games, 15-7, 9-15, 15-9.

Jr. high Eagles win volleyball tourney titles

The Crockett Middle School seventh and eighth grade volleyball teams took home first place trophies on Saturday, hosting their own tournaments at the Crockett and Zavala Middle School gyms.

The seventh grade purple team won their second tournament of the season, defeating Fort Stockton, the Eagles' gold team and Fort Davis to win the tournament title. Midland Christian ended up finishing third in the tournament, while Van Horn won consolation.

Pecos gold defeated Van Horn before their loss to the purple team, while the seventh grade green team lost to Fort Stockton and Van Horn in their two matches,

In the eighth grade division, the purple team downed Midland Christian for the title, after wins over Presidio and Marfa earlier in the day. Pecos' eighth grade gold team won consolation after an opening loss to Midland Christian, and Fort Stockton took third place, defeating Presidio. They had downed Pecos white in their first game on Saturday.

Pecos' junior high green teams will be in Fort Davis today to face the Maidens, while the purple and gold teams will take on Monahans this Thursday.

Sands piles up rushing yards in 48-32 victory over Bears

The ground game beat the air attack Friday night in Sands, and the Sands Mustangs jumped out to a big enough early lead on the Balmorhea Bears to carry them to a 48-32 victory, in a rematch of last year's bi-district playoff game.

Sands won in the playoffs last season by jumping out to a 26-point lead in the second period, then holding on for a 60-59 victory. This time, they again jumped ahead by 26 points in the second period, 32-6, before the Bears rallied with two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the half. But after Balmorhea was able to get to within a touchdown midway through the third quarter, the Mustangs added an insurance score and then shut out the Bears the rest of the way.

"We played a whole lot better against Sands than we did against Lueders Avoca," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson, referring to last week's 22-18 win over the Raiders. "Sands is bigger in size. Basically, they just lined up and ran over us.

"They used their size to run over us and we were trying to go around them," Erickson said, as the Bears were forced to go to the air to stage their comeback attempt. Sands ran for over 400 yards and finished with 505 total yards for the game, while Balmorhea had 378 total yards, 301 of that through the air.

The Bears were helped out by the return of end Jourmain Matta, who missed the Lueders Avoca game after having dental surgery. He caught six passes overall, three for touchdowns of 52, 38 and 51 yards from Ivan Rodriguez.

"As much as anything it gave us more of a confidence level. We completed 17 passes, and six were to him, so we completed 11 to other people, and it helped our overall confidence level to have him there," Erickson said.

While Matta had some long receptions, Sands' Nate Looney had some long runs. He scored on runs of 61- and 54-yards in a three minute span at the end of the first quarter and the start of the second, then scored from 41 yards out early in the third period to give the Mustangs a 40-20 lead.

Balmorhea came back moments later on Rodriguez' third TD pass of the night to Matta, and would score again a minute later on a 10-yard run by Urban Baeza, who earlier had scored from 42 yards out after the Bears had fallen behind by 26 points.

Sands, which lost at Sanderson the previous Friday by a 50-40 score, is favored to win the District 5-A six-man title, while the Bears are picked to come in second in District 6-A six-man behind Sanderson, so the teams could face each other again come November. Sands' playoff win last season came after they had dropped their regular season match-up with Balmorhea.

The Bears will play their fourth straight road game to start the season this coming Friday, when they go to Marathon for their district opener against the Mustangs. The Bears' home opener, and homecoming game, is Oct. 4 against Grandfalls.

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Pecos Enterprise
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