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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, November 4, 2002

Second half mistakes costly for Eagles

Staff Writer

For the fourth time in eight games this season, the Pecos Eagles put themselves in a hole almost immediately after the start of their football game. But for the first time, the Eagles were able to climb out, taking a lead after falling behind in the opening minutes to the Fort Stockton Panthers.

Unfortunately, the Eagles took the lead early in the second period, and in the time that remained, a bad call, a bad penalty, some bad luck and a bad trick play allowed Fort Stockton to score four more times, on the way to a 33-24 win over Pecos Friday night at Eagle Stadium.

The Eagles made critical mistakes to fall behind Brownfield, Lubbock High and Monahans in the opening minutes of their games this season. On Friday night, they set up Fort Stockton a quick touchdown when they failed to fall on Adam Elrod's short opening kickoff, which the Panthers recovered at the Pecos 27 yard line. Three runs by Joseph Lauderdale got the ball into the end zone, the last a 14-yarder up the middle.

The Eagles then drove the ball inside Fort Stockton's 30-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs when Bino Barreno was stopped a yard short on a 4th-and-3 run. Three plays later, Logan Hamm would fumble the ball away to Hector Garcia at the Panthers' 40, but the Eagles managed to get themselves penalized back to the 50 on a personal foul and then lost three more yards, so a 20-yard completion from Jose Reyes to Joey Ortega still wasn't enough to get Pecos a first down.

Reyes started in place of Freddy Torres at quarterback, after Torres was hurt in the previous week's loss at Monahans. "Freddy hadn't practiced all week," said Eagles' coach Fred Carter. Torres did enter the game in the final period and led Pecos to their last two scores, and the Eagles offense had their best night since the second half of the season's second game, against Lamesa.

"After watching (Odessa) Permian's sophomores against Stockton, we were pretty convinced we could go out and play with these guys," said Carter, as the Eagles were able to move the ball in the first quarter, though it took a big play in the second period to finally get Pecos on the scoreboard.

Rashad Terry, who had trouble with the opening kickoff, got his first carry of the night one play after the Eagles got a gift first down, when the Panthers were called for roughing punter Trey Edwards, nullifying a 43 yard return for a touchdown by Wayne Jefferson. This time, the ball ended up in the other end zone, as Terry found a hole on the left side and dodged three tacklers along the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown run.

Matthew Levario's extra point try was blocked, but on the ensuing kickoff it was Fort Stockton's turn to set Pecos up for a touchdown, when Jefferson fumbled an attempted handoff on the "starburst" return play, with Roy Juarez recovering at the Panthers' 18. Three plays later, Levario went up the middle for a 12 yard score, and the Eagles had their first lead in a game since the first quarter of their Sept. 27 loss to Crane.

Pecos missed on a two-point try, but a few minutes later appeared to have scored again, when Reyes found Levario on a pass across the middle that the senior turned into a 52-yard touchdown. But Levario was called for pass interference, even though the taped replay appeared to show defensive back Andrew Heredia fell down when he bumped into Levario.

"It was two guys standing next to each other, and one jumped up and caught the ball," said assistant coach Brian Gibson. But given their own break at having a touchdown called back, Fort Stockton took advantage just before halftime. Jefferson returned an Edwards punt to the Pecos 35, and Hamm went up the middle on the next play 27 yards to the Eagles' 8. Three plays later, Hamm scored from two yards out to give the Panthers a 13-12 halftime lead.

In their district opener against Kermit, Pecos trailed by two points at halftime, and appeared ready to stop the Yellowjackets on their opening drive of the second half, before a roughing the passer call gave Kermit new life and set up their third touchdown of the game on the way to a 31-13 victory.

When the second half opened on Friday, the Eagles proceeded to do the exact same thing. This time, the Panthers were facing a 3rd-and-17 from the Pecos 36 when quarterback Cyril Ward was hit late by linebacker Eric Fuentes, resulting in a first down. Four plays after that Lauderdale scored his second touchdown of the game, from seven yards out, and Elrod added the extra point for a 20-12 Panther lead.

The Panthers' next score was the combination of a bad play by Pecos and a bad break. The bad play was a fake punt attempt on fourth down which ended in disaster, as Reyes pitched the ball past Levario, who ended up falling on it for a 25 yard loss at the Pecos 23. The bad break came after the Eagles held the Panthers at the 19, and forced a 35-yard field goal try by Elrod that was blocked.

But the ball bounced back to the line and was picked up by Joseph Alvarez, who was able to run just past the first down marker. "When we blocked it they (the officials) said it was behind the line of scrimmage so they were able to advance it," said assistant coach Junior Williams.

Given new life, Lauderdale ran for 11 yards on the next two plays and Ward scored on a four-yard run to put the Panthers up by two touchdowns late in the third period.

Torres replaced Reyes at quarterback on the next series and had runs of 18 and 22 yards as part of a 64-yard scoring drive. The last gave Pecos a 1st-and-goal at the Fort Stockton 1, but it took four plays before Torres was able to just get the ball into the end zone. Pecos' try for two failed again, leaving the Eagles down by nine with 9:23 to play.

Pecos' defense then stopped Fort Stockton, and got the ball back at their own 38, but after a 12-yard run by Terry Torres fumbled the snap two plays later, with Ricardo Flores recovering for the Panthers. Two plays later Ward faked the Eagles' defense out, handing the ball off to Lauderdale on an apparent quarterback option, and Lauderdale ran 47 yards to the end zone to cap off his 149-yard rushing night.

The Eagles would get one last score in the game's closing seconds, a 1-yard run by Levario set up by his own 60-yard run on the previous play. Levario ended up with 96 yards rushing on the night, losing a chance at his first 100-yard rushing game of the season due to the 25-yard loss on the fake punt. Terry, meanwhile ended up with 97 yards rushing for the Eagles, who outgained the Panthers 265 yards to 258, but still fell to 1-3 in District 3-4A play and 2-7 on the season.

The Eagles will end their 2002 season this Friday against undefeated Midland Greenwood, which picked up a 2-0 forfeit win over Presidio on Friday and clinched the district title in the process with a 4-0 mark, 9-0 on the season.

At Pecos

Fort Stockton 7 6 14 6 — 33

Pecos 0 12 0 12 — 24

First Quarter

Ft.S _ Lauderdale 14 run (Elrod kick), 1:13.

Second Quarter

Pec. _ Terry 67 run (kick failed), 1:49.

Pec. _ Levario 12 run (run failed), 3:12.

Ft.S _ Hamm 2 run (run failed), 11:16

Third Quarter

Ft.S _ Lauderdale 7 run (Elrod kick), 5:19.

Ft.S _ Ward 4 run (Elrod kick), 10:53.

Fourth Quarter

Pec. _ Torres 1 run (kick failed), 2:37.

Ft.S _ Lauderdale 47 run (kick failed), 7:34.

Pec. _ Levario 1 run (run failed), 11:33.

Ft.S Pec.

First Downs 11 14

Rushes-Yds. 44-258 46-227

Passing Yds 0 38

Passes 0-2-1 3-7-0

Punts-Yds. 4-28.8 2-26

Fumbles-Lost 3-2 6-2

Penalties-Yds. 7-80 5-35


RUSHING _ Fort Stockton, Lauderdale 20-149, Hamm 13-95, Ward 5-7, Alvarez 1-6, Ramirez 1-2, Velasquez 2-2, Heredia 1-0, Lujan 1-(-2). Pecos, Terry 8-97, Levario 13-95, Torres 7-35, Parada 5-13, Barreno 1-2, J. Reyes 1-(-6).

PASSING _ Fort Stockton, Ward 0-2-1-0. Pecos, J. Reyes 2-6-0-32, Torres 1-1-0-6.

RECEIVING _ Pecos, Ortega 1-20, Carrasco 2-18.

MISSED FIELD GOALS _ Fort Stockton, Elrod 35 (blocked).

Shorthanded Eagles pull out win over Maidens

Staff Writer

Lineup changes created some problems for the Pecos Eagles' volleyball team on Saturday, in their playoff practice match against the Fort Davis Maidens. But after struggling at times throughout the afternoon, the Eagles were able to pick up a 15-11, 12-15, 15-11 win over Fort Davis at the Pecos High School gym.

The Eagles, who will face Lamesa in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs on Tuesday, were playing without back line defensive starter Victoria Gomez, out with a bad knee, and minus hitter/setter Leslie Rodriguez, who was at the Region I-3A cross country meet in Lubbock. "We had a different defense and a different lineup," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "We worked on it for one day, so I think they did a good job considering the time we had."

Mistakes made the difference for both teams most of the time. The Eagles did get kills from Jessica Martinez and Stephanie Herrera, while the taller Maidens scored at times off spikes by Chelsey Boswell and Charlotte O'Brien. But defensive problems helped Pecos jump out to a big lead in Game 1 and Fort Davis to do the same in Game 2, with both teams surviving late game comeback attempts.

The Eagles jumped ahead 8-0 and 12-4 in the opener, before Fort Davis narrowed that gap to 13-11. Pecos was able to then break serve and win the game on a defensive error by the Maidens and an ace by Danielle Garcia.

In Game 2 it was Fort Davis jumping ahead 14-6 and then surviving a Pecos rally. Missed serves by the Maidens allowed the Eagles to come back, getting as close as 14-12 on a kill by Martinez before Pecos missed a serve and lost when Herrera was called for going into the net on a tip attempt.

Martinez had problems with net violations at the outset of Game 3, as the lead changed hands four times in the early going. The Eagles finally went ahead to stay at 5-4 on a tip by Garcia that went off Boswell, and would go up 10-4 after a tip and two kills by Martinez.

But the Maidens would come back, cutting the margin to 11-10 before the Eagles finally were able to break serve and score off bad hits by O'Brien and Suzanne Slover. Boswell cut the lead to 13-11 with a kill, but the Eagles were able to regain serve and win, off a Martinez spike and a bad pass by Boswell on a Garcia serve.

The win improved Pecos' season record to 13-14 going into their bi-district match with the Tornadoes, who the Eagles lost to 15-6, 15-12, in pool round play in September at the Seminole Tournament. The Eagles are the No. 3 seed out of District 4-3A, while Lamesa is No. 2 seed in District 3-3A after winning a playoff for second place over Seminole on Saturday.

Granado said Tuesday's match is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Ector Junior High School gym in Odessa, following San Angelo Lake View's playoff match against El Paso Riverside.

Cross country runners miss 3A state spots

Panhandle teams dominated the Region I-3A cross country boys' meet at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock and teams from the eastern part of the region took top honors on the girls' side, as none of the Pecos Eagles runners or any others from District 4-3A could advance onto state competition on Saturday afternoon.

Rainy conditions and temperatures around 40 degrees hampered all of the runners, said Eagles' coach Rudy Jurado. "We didn't get our best times, which we needed to get into the Top 10," he said. "Some of our runners said they had a hard time getting a grip going uphill and downhill."

Pecos' boys, who won the regional titles, ended up 19th out of the 22 teams entered with 485 points. Two teams more used to cold weather in early November, Perryton and Canyon, took the top two spots in the meet, with 61 and 93 points.

Individually, district champion Genaro Mendoza finished 48th overall, with an 18:28 time. "That wasn't his best time of the year. He ran 18:13 earlier in the year, and I knew Genaro would have to run in the low 17s to have a chance at going to state," said Jurado. "I think 17:08 was the 10th place time."

Mendoza was followed by Jay Dannelley, 76th with a 19:03 time for the three-mile Lubbock course, while the Eagles' other three runners, Joshua Cobos, Jeremiah Mora and Raul Garcia, placed 121st, 151st and 152nd with times of 20:06, 21:22 and 21:34. A total of 162 runners competed in the boys Class 3A division.

On the girls' side, Leslie Rodriguez was the Eagles' lone entry, after placing fourth at district on Oct. 21 in Monahans. She ended up 67th overall, also with a slower time than at earlier meets in better weather.

"She ran a 14:11, and her fastest time was a 13:36 at district,"Jurado said. The best time for any district runner was a 13:44 by Greenwood's Kara Nelson, who placed 42nd, while Meagan Kukyendall of Glen Rose was first with a 12:17 time, and Jamie Burkkemper of Ballinger was second with a 12:25 time for the two-mile course.

Brownfield's Gary Lackey won the boys' meet with a 15:49 time, while Brett Shephard of Canyon was second with a 16:02 time. Lamesa's Casey Sumpter took third with a 16:08 time, even though as a team the Tornadoes placed 20th, one spot behind Pecos.

Ballinger won the girls division with 47 points to 89 for Decatur. Kermit placed 20th and Monahans 23rd in the final girls' standings, while Fort Stockton was 21st and Midland Greenwood 22nd on the boys' side.

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