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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Thursday, October 24, 2002

Eagles, Loboes playoff hopes hinge on Friday win

Staff Writer

Playoff hopes are on the line for both the Pecos Eagles and  Monahans Loboes Friday night, when the teams play their first district match-up in  six years, at 7:30 p.m. in Monahans.

The Eagles have had a week off to try and fix the problems they've suffered through on both offense and defense in their last five games, but are actually ahead of the Loboes in the District 4-3A standings, thanks to their 2-0 forfeit win last week over Presidio. It put Pecos at 1-1 in district and 2-5 on the season.

Monahans, meanwhile, is 0-2 and 3-4 following their 7-6 loss in overtime at Fort Stockton a week ago. The difference in the game was a missed extra point attempt in overtime, the second time this season a blown extra point has sent the Loboes down to defeat.

"We had blocking problems. We let two guys go through the middle without blocking them," said Loboes' coach Larry Hanna. "We also missed an extra point against Seminole and missed a short field goal," in the Loboes 7-6 loss to the Indians on Sept. 6.

Pecos also lost their last game in Fort Stockton on a botched extra point at the finish, but that was two years ago. Two weeks ago the Eagles managed to score two touchdowns late in the first half through the air against Kermit after falling behind 15-0, but were then held to negative yardage until the closing minutes of the second half and lost to the Yellowjackets, 31-15.

"We've worked on some basic things we do," said Eagles' coach Fred Carter. "I guess we got away from doing some of the things we do well, and the emphasis has been on both sides."

Last season, both teams missed extra points, but it was a converted extra point by the Eagles that proved the difference, as Pecos then stopped a Monahans two-point conversion try and a late scoring threat to defeat the Loboes, 13-12, for the Eagles' first win over Monahans in the past 17 games, covering a period of 19 years.

It's been 22 years since Pecos won at Monahans, back in 1980 by the Loboes' current least-favorite score, 7-6. In their last trip into Monahans, the Loboes scored off an 87-yard touchdown pass on their first offensive play, on the way to a 34-8 victory.

Offensive outbursts like that have been few for Monahans this season, though the defense has played well through most of the Loboes' first six games. "The offense has struggled. We haven't been able to make the plays to keep drives alive," said Hanna. "Our defense has played solid, especially our pass defense, which has given up only about 200 yards."

Monahans did give up one long touchdown pass in their 28-0 loss at Greenwood two weeks ago, as well as a pair of long scoring runs. Against Fort Stockton, the Loboes held the Panthers to 231 yards and stopped three scoring chances by the Panthers in regulation, but could manage just 181 yards on their own.

"They line up quite a bit off the ball," Carter said of the Loboes' defenders. "They're not really coming after you, they're generally a reading defense. They have a number of good players _ there wasn't anybody who was a standout, but they have good players on both sides of the ball."

"Ronnie Robledo has had a superb year so far at defensive tackle. He's played excellent ball," said Hanna. He added that middle linebacker Ben Swanson, end Keith Balderama and defensive back Joey Aguilar also have played well this season.

Offensively, the Loboes improved after two opening losses when Aguilar replaced Noah Miles at quarterback. He led Monahans to wins over Alpine, Lubbock Cooper and Lamesa, but has been held in check by Greenwood and Fort Stockton the past two weeks.

"He's a running threat," said Hanna. He's got a little speed and touches the ball every play, so he can make things happen."

"They want to get the ball into his hands," said Carter, while defensive coach Ronnie Molina said the Loboes like to use four different players at running back.

"They use No. 82 (Grayson Hiers) when they want a big bruiser, No. 32 (Johnny Rodriguez) is their fullback and No. 30 (Adrian Dominguez) is their speed kid," he said. Rodriguez ran for 82 yards last week while in their last win, Dominguez ran for 88 yards against Lamesa.

While the Eagles have the better district record, the Loboes have the better closing schedule. They face Kermit next week and then will get their forfeit win over Presidio on Nov. 8. Pecos hosts Fort Stockton next week then closes their regular season at Greenwood, which is looking to go 8-0 on Friday with a win over the Panthers.

To avoid facing a must-win game against the Rangers, the Eagles need to win over both the Loboes and Panthers to have a shot at the playoffs. "We're capable of beating both teams," said Carter, who said that Pecos' starting lineup for Friday would be the same as in the Kermit game.

JV, junior high teams face Monahans today

The Pecos Eagles' junior high football teams will get their second and third looks at the Monahans Loboes this season, while Pecos' junior varsity will face the Loboes for the first time in 2002 tonight, as the JV hosts the Loboes while the seventh and eighth graders travel to Monahans.

The JV will face the Loboes at 6 p.m. at Eagle Stadium, while the junior highs play in Monahans at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

The JV won their second straight game last Thursday and improved to 5-2 on the season with a 37-6 win at Presidio. Five different players scored for the Eagles after the Blue Devils ran the game's opening kickoff back for a touchdown.

The eighth grade purple team won their first game of the season in six tries last Saturday, using a touchdown pass in the final 10 seconds to defeat Presidio, 16-8. Last month, the eighth graders were beaten by the Loboes, 28-0.

The eighth grade gold team is 2-3 on the season, after a 6-0 win at Kermit two weeks ago. Two of Pecos' losses have been to Monahans, by 14-0 and 34-6 scores.

Pecos' seventh grade purple team played a scoreless tie with Monahans last month, and are 2-3-1 on the season after beating Presidio a week ago, 36-0. The gold team lost two weeks ago at Kermit, 6-0, and are 3-1-1 on the season, including an 8-6 win and 0-0 tie against Monahans in September.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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