Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
Late defensive stand earns Eagles 15-8 win
By JON FULBRIGHT
A football game that originally was scheduled as a scrimmage ended up looking
a lot like one at times Friday night. But succeeding on a goal-line defensive
effort at the end of Friday's game against the Midland Christian Mustangs
was a much bigger boost for the Pecos Eagles than any similar effort in
a scrimmage game would have been.
The Eagles and Mustangs combined for eight fumbles, four interceptions
and 20 penalties in their season opener, which initially had been scheduled
as a scrimmage game on Saturday. There also was one blocked punt in the
game, by the Mustangs that set Midland Christian up with a 1st-and-10 from
the Pecos 12-yard-line, trailing 15-8 with 2:11 to play.
In a similar situation at the start of the final period, the Eagles had
allowed Midland's Thomas Minihan to break three tackles on the way to a
7-yard touchdown run, after Pecos had taken a 15-0 lead early in the third
period. This time, the Eagles allowed Minihan a 3-yard gain on first down,
pressured quarterback Corey Culp into an incomplete pass on second down,
and then - despite a couple of broken tackles - held Minihan to a four-yard
gain on third down.
That brought up a 4th-and-3 play with 1:12 remaining, and Culp attempted
to pitch the ball out to Minihan on the left side. But the Mustangs' quarterback
was hit as he tried to make the throw and the ball bounced off Minihan's
shoulder and back past the 10-yard-line, where Oscar Parada recovered the
ball with 15 seconds to play. Pecos was then able to run out the clock and
preserve their 15-8 victory, their first home victory since the end of the
2001 season, and the first-ever victory as a head coach for Patrick Willis,
"We just put that in last week," Willis said of his goal line defense.
"If we had given that game away, I'd have been sick. We tried everything
to give it away, but we did come through at the end."
The Eagles, who have had troubles stopping anyone running the ball the
last two seasons, had problems at times with Midland Christian, especially
in the first half. Parada and the Eagles' other defensive backs ended up
having to make several touchdown-saving tackles, but in the end the Eagles
were able to shut out the Mustangs for three quarters, and held Midland
to just 154 yards in total offense.
Midland's offense did threaten once in the first half, but Culp's pass
to Dillon Evans in the back of the end zone was overthrown and intercepted
by Parada to kill the threat. "The defense played pretty well, but we missed
some assignments," Willis said. John Parent also picked off Culp in the first
half, while Booker Fobbs and Joe Marruffo had fumble recoveries, with Fobbs'
setting up Pecos' first score.
Meanwhile, the Eagles' offense racked up 322 yards overall against Midland
Christian, but hurt themselves with a couple of key turnovers and a series
of penalties. That included one wiping out an 11-yard touchdown run by Fobbs,
though the Eagles were able to come back and score on a fourth down pass
by Saul Pina to Bino Barreno from 5-yards out, the last of three fourth
down conversions on the drive by Pecos. The others were a 4th-and-5 pass
from Pina to Parent for 11 yards, and a 4th-and-10 completion to Parent
for 14 yards one play before Fobbs' score was called back.
Fobbs ended up with 87 yards rushing on the night, while Rashad Terry
ran for 54 yards and had another 70 receiving, 58 of that on a screen pass
from Pina that set up Fobbs' 7-yard TD run in the third period. Fobbs also
had a couple of long gainers that he almost broke for scores, as overall,
the Eagles spent much of the night alternating big plays with near-disastrous
Along with the blocked Eddie Vela punt, which a stumbling Shane Horner
was unable to corral before getting tackled at the Pecos 12, Midland Christian
blew two other scoring chances on defense. Brian Heineman intercepted a
screen pass meant for Terry but fell down at the Pecos 40-yard-line in the
second period, and Josh Solansky couldn't pick up a Fobbs fumble in the
fourth quarter on the bounce, and had to settle for recovering it at the
Mustang 33, one play after Pina had hit Parada with a 32-yard completion
deep into Midland Christian territory.
Aside from the blocked punt, the Eagles' other special teams problems
came on the returns. They almost allowed Clay Hantz to break the opening
kickoff of the second half, hauling him down near midfield after he took
a handoff from Minihan, and then allowed Minihan to return a Vela punt 26
yards to the Pecos 31, setting up his score to open the final period.
"Penalties and return yardage. We can't play like that in a big game,"
said Willis, while adding, "I'm very happy to get any win."
Minihan ended up with 92 yards rushing for Midland Christian, benefiting
from seeing limited action defensively on the hot, humid night. Terry, Fobbs,
Parada, Parent and Victor Reyes all had to leave the game at one point due
to leg cramps, though Pecos overall suffered no serious injuries.
The Eagles won their season opener last year, then proceeded to lose
all of their remaining games on the field, on the way to their worst record
since 1965. That one win came by a 35-10 score at Alpine, who'll be in Pecos
this coming Friday. The Bucks started off their 2003 season in strong fashion,
putting up five touchdowns in a 3514 win at home over Sonora on Friday night.
Mid. Christian 0 0 0 8 - 8
Pecos 7 0 8 0 - 15
Pec. - B. Barreno 5 pass from Pina (A. Barreno kick), 11:37.
Pec. - Fobbs 6 run (Marruffo run), 4:55
MC - Minihan 7 run (Minihan run), 0:08
First Downs 9 15
Rushes-Yds. 35-117 37-174
Passing Yds. 37 148
Passes 4-11-2 7-14-2
Punts-Avg. 3-44 3-29.3
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 4-1
Penalties-Yds. 6-40 14-108
RUSHING - Midland, Minihan 20-92, Kait 7-26, Hantz 1-13, Culp 8-(-14).
Pecos, Fobbs 13-87, Terry 12-54, Pina 12-36.
PASSING - Midland, Culp 4-11-2-37. Pecos, Pina 7-14-2-148
RECEIVING - Midland, Hantz 2-34, Evans 1-5, Minihan 1-(-2). Pecos, Terry
2-70, Parada 2-46, Muela 1-16, Parent 1-11, B. Barreno 1-5.
MISSED FIELD GOALS - None.
Eagles go to Alpine after tourney struggles
By JON FULBRIGHT
TGIF? Not this past Friday, as far as the Pecos Eagles' volleyball team
was concerned. But Saturday turned out better and they'll be hoping to improve
on things tonight in Alpine, against two teams they lost to earlier this
After winning their first three games in pool play at their own Cantaloupe
Classic Tournament, the Eagles proceeded to drop their final seven, splitting
with Kermit and then losing to Fabens, El Paso Ysleta and Snyder, which
dropped them into the consolation bracket of the tournament on Saturday.
Going up against the Anthony Wildcats, the Eagles posted a 25-8, 25-16
win to earn the tournament's consolation trophy, while snapping a two-game
losing streak in regulation play. Their last loss before that was to the
Midland Christian Mustangs, who the Eagles will play tonight along with
the host Bucks, who defeated Pecos on the opening night of the 2003 season
two week ago.
"I'm hoping once I get everyone back healthy we can come up with a lineup
I can stick with, and the girls can get comfortable playing with the same
people," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado, who got senior hitter Stephanie
Herrera back for the first time this season on Friday from an ankle injury,
but was still without senior hitter Bre'Ann Windham, who injured her ankle
a week earlier at the Sandhills Tournament in Monahans.
The Eagles survived those absences, plus two other injuries to place
fifth at Monahans, but on Friday after beating Fort Hancock and splitting
a pair of 15-13 pool round games with Kermit, they lost to Fabens, 16-14,
15-5; Ysleta, 15-13, 15-1, and Snyder, 18-16, 15-9.
"Up until this week we did a good job adjusting. I feel like as we get
everybody back we can work on our offense and defense and be a much better
team," Granado said.
Herrera had a couple of kills in the opening win over Anthony on Saturday,
while Vanessa Garcia and Cassandra Terrazas each had a pair of ace serves
in the opening game win. In Game 2, Leslie Rodriguez had two aces and four
kills, including one midway through the match, after the Wildcats had cut
a 9-2 Eagle lead down to 9-8.
"Some of the girls in the dressing room sat and watched Friday's matches.
They wanted to see what they were doing wrong, and they said it helped them,"
Granado said following Saturday's victory. "We played much better than we
did on Friday. We just have moments when we're not mentally prepared."
The four teams Pecos tied or lost to on Friday ended up taking the top
four spots in the tournament. Fabens captured the championship, beating
Kermit, 25-23, 25-16, after downing Snyder in the semifinals, while the
Tigers beat Ysleta for third place, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17. Van Horn defeated
Presidio to earn fifth place, 25-11, 23-25, 25-16.
Eagles' back line player Martiza Sandoval was named to the all-tournament
team, where Ysleta's Brenda Solis was chosen tournament MVP, Van Horn's
Vivian Anchondo as Outstanding Hitter, and Fabens' Jennifer Ramos and Lilly
Castro were named Outstanding Setter and Outstanding Defensive Player. Stacy
Macias of Fabens also earned an all-tournament spot, while Kermit's Amber
Broadway and Danielle Pando, Snyder's Sara Thornhill, Ysleta's April Martinez,
Van Horn's Sara Davis, and Presidio's Lina Coffman were the other all-district
Pecos' junior varsity also struggled through their weekend at the Cantaloupe
Classic, losing to Odessa High's sophomores and Fort Stockton on Friday,
and to Alpine Saturday morning, before downing Van Horn in the 11th place
match, 25-14, 25-17. The freshman Eagles ended up third in their eight-team
tournament, losing to Monahans in the semifinals, 25-23, 25-19, then beating
Alpine, 25-18, 25-14. Both the freshmen and JV teams will also travel to
Alpine for matches tonight.
Bears pull away in second half for 70-44 win
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
Friday night was a good opening night for the Balmorhea Bears but not the
easy blowout that many expected, as the Sierra Blanca Vaqueros traveled
to Balmorhea for the season opener.
When the final whistle blew the Bears led 70-44 but several times the
Vaqueros made a game out of it, and the Bears only led by two points at
the end of the first half.
Balmorhea got off to a quick start under first-year head coach Adolfo
Garcia who took over the reins from Ennis Erickson and scored twice in the
first quarter to lead 16-0. But the Vaqueros came back strong in the second
quarter, however with three touchdowns of their own answered by only 6 points
by the Bears.
At least for the night the Bears did improve on what has been a regular
problem - the point-after kick. Urban Baeza kicked five of five attempts
through the goal posts for ten total points before he was injured.
"We're working on our kicking game every day," Garcia said. "In the past
we only worked on it on Thursdays."
Six-man football is exactly opposite 11-man football when it comes to
extra points after a touchdown. In a six-man contest a team can pickup two
points by kicking but only one point by running or passing the ball into
the end zone.
For the past several seasons Balmorhea has failed more often than not
when it went for two after a touchdown.
The kicking game is not the only place Garcia is making a few changes.
Garcia said that on offense he is not rotating the backs after each play
"I'm leaving them in for two to three plays depending on how they look,"
Garcia said that the defense has a new look as well.
"In the past several years we have run a 2-3-1. This year we are running
a 3-1-2 which gives us more players up front to stop the run and two safeties
so hopefully we won't give up as many big plays," he said.
The Bears kicked off to the Vaqueros to start the second half and brought
it back to their own 27-yard-line.
On the first play from scrimmage the Vaqueros ran a dive up the middle,
but Baeza stripped the ball from the runner on the 30-yard-line and ran
the ball into the end zone. He then kicked the points-after conversion and
the Bears were on their way to a 36-point third quarter the Vaqueros could
The Bears then scored three more unanswered touchdowns before the Vaqueros
managed to find the end zone again with 35 seconds left in the third period.
Both teams still managed to score one more touchdown in the final 30 seconds
of the quarter leaving the score 58-32 going into the final period.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter and neither was
able to convert on the point-after attempts.
Statistically the game was closer than it looked with Sierra Blanca gaining
342 yards to Balmorhea's 317. The Vaqueros' ground game was steady and gained
254 yards on 34 rushes while the Bears only managed 183 yards on 33 rushes.
The Bears made up the difference in the passing game going 9 for 15 for
a total of 134 yards while the Vaqueros could only manage 84 yards on 17
The Bears did a good job of spreading the ball around with three rushers
gaining 40-plus yards and three backs tossing at least two passes.
Barry Bordayo led the Bears' rushing attack with 72 yards on 6 carries
while Urban Baeza gained 47 yards on 6 carries and Robbie Mendoza racked
up 43 yards on 8 carries.
Keith Baeza did the lion's share of the passing going 7 of 10 for 88 yards.
Michael Dominguez and Urban Baeza also tossed passes for completions.
Six Bear receivers had at least one catch with Ismael Rodriguez leading
the pack with four receptions for 31 yards.
The Bears and Vaqueros will meet again in October, during District 6-A
six man play. Balmorhea will play a neutral site game at 5 p.m. this Friday
against Bryson, in a game that replaces Marathon on the regular season schedule.
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise