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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, October 6, 2003

Lubbock running backs roll

against shorthanded Eagles

Staff Writer

There was a little return to the bad old days of 2002 for the Pecos Eagles on Friday night, in their final pre-district game of the 2003 season.

The Eagles, who allowed a lot of long runs to a lot of running backs last season on the way to a 2-8 record, did so again on Friday at Lowery Field in the final 21/2 quarters of their game with the Westerners. Lubbock High scored their final three touchdowns on runs of 25 yards or more and rolled up 334 yards rushing on the way to a 44-12 victory over Pecos.

The Eagles figured to be at a disadvantage in terms of depth going into the game against the Class 5A Westerners, and that problem was made worse by the absence of defensive end Booker Fobbs and safety Oscar Parada, both of whom were among Pecos' leading tacklers during the first half of the season.

"They hurt us on the back side a lot," said Eagles' coach Patrick Willis. "Not having Oscar hurt a lot and not having Booker hurt, too."

Linebacker Joe Marruffo ended up physically hurt on the Westerners' final touchdown run, a 46-yarder by Michael Castillo in the fourth quarter. Lubbock's Brian King got Marruffo with a blindside block, which left him lying on the field for about 15 minutes, before he was taken by ambulance to Covenant Medical Center for precautionary X-rays.

Marruffo's injury from the hit was determined to be only back and muscle spasms, and he was released to return to Pecos early Saturday morning.

Lubbock converted a 3rd-and-18 situation on their opening drive of the game, as Chandler Bernard hit Juan Garza for a 22-yard completion that set up Castillo's 7-yard scoring run midway through the opening period. The Eagles came close to answering that a minute later, when Saul Pina hooked up on a long completion to Ricky Barreno, who was subbing for Parada at the wingback position. Barreno was behind the defense, but was caught by Byron Bradford at the Westerners' 20-yard line, and Pecos' drive stalled there, when Joel Martinez couldn't pull in a Pina fourth down pass at the goal line.

"Normally we would run that play (Barreno's catch) to Oscar, and he has a little more speed," Willis said. "We had a few opportunities to put points on the board but didn't."

Lubbock High's next series ended near midfield, when Simon Castillo picked off a deflected pass meant for Garcia. But the Eagles were unable to move the ball on their next series, and as the second quarter began the Westerners' runners started getting bigger gains on the Eagles defense.

"They just liked up foot to foot and just wore our little front line out," Willis said. "When you've got a 300 pound lineman landing on you like that, it's tough."

Tony Rioz had the bulk of Lubbock's first half rushing yards, including runs of 11- and 35-yards to set up his own 3-yard TD run four minutes into the second period. Just over a minute later, the Westerners scored again, when Bradford picked off a Pina pass and returned it to the 24, and Bernard went in one play later on a quarterback option run.

Rioz would score on a 25-yard run on Lubbock's next possession, before Pecos finally got on the scoreboard, on a 73 yard drive that involved three passes from Pina to John Parent, including a 46-yard flanker screen and a 22-yard scoring strike.

But after missing a try for two points with 1:13 left in the period, the Eagles allowed the Westerners to drive downfield an set up a 24-yard field goal by Dustin Dooley as the first half ended. A six-yard Bernard run to midfield highlighted the Eagles' frustration, as Bernard was chased inside the 20-yard-line by Pecos' linemen before escaping for a short gain.

"He started scrambling later, but early on we were there," Willis said. "Having Booker there with a little more speed would have helped."

In the second half, the Westerners opened big holes through the right side of their line for Castillo, who scored from 80 yards out on Lubbock's first play of the second half and had 140 yards rushing on only four carries in the final two periods.

Pecos' meanwhile, ran the ball only four times in first half, but did have some success in the third period with Rashad Terry, who got loose for runs of 20, 11 and 12 yards on consecutive plays, which set up Pina's 1-yard quarterback sneak to make the score 38-12. Terry also suffered leg cramps on the touchdown play in which Marruffo was hurt, but did return to the game, while Lubbock coach Joe Laudermilk gave his reserves a chance to see some action over the final nine minutes of play.

The win was Lubbock's fourth straight after an opening loss and the fourth straight game the Westerners have scored 40 or more points on an opponent. The Eagles, meanwhile, fall to 3-3 on the season going into Friday's District 4-3A opener and 2003 homecoming game, against the Kermit Yellowjackets. Kermit routed Odessa Permian's junior varsity on Thursday night, 45-3, while on Friday Monahans was shut out by Lamesa, 7-0, and Fort Stockton was edged by Alpine, 15-14, in the other two district contests.

At Lubbock

Pecos 0 6 6 0 - 12

Lubbock High 7 24 7 6 - 44

First Quarter

Lub. - Castillo 7 run (Dooley kick), 4:14.

Second Quarter

Lub. - Rioz 3 run (Dooley kick), 4:04.

Lub. - Barnard 12 run (Dooley kick), 5:15.

Lub - Rioz 25 run (Dooley kick), 9:47.

Pec. - Parent 22 pass from Pina (pass failed), 10:47.

Lub. - FG Dooley 24, 12:00.

Third Quarter

Lub. - Castillo 80 run (Dooley kick), 2:00.

Pec. - Pina 1 run (pass failed), 6:19.

Fourth Quarter

Lub. - Castillo 24 run (run failed), 2:25.

Pec Lub

First Downs 12 24

Rushes-Yds. 21-55 39-334

Passing Yds. 193 121

Passes 11-28-3 8-16-2

Punts-Avg. 4-35.3 2-23

Fumbles-Lost 3-0 1-0

Penalties-Yds. 3-22 8-55


RUSHING - Pecos, Terry 15-52, Pina 6-3. Lubbock High, Rioz 14-125, Castillo 8-154, Barnard 10-49, Harbison 3-8, Kreck 2-(-2).

PASSING - Pecos, Pina 11-28-3-193. Lubbock High, Bradford 8-15-1-121, Olivarez 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING -Pecos, Parent 4-99, Barrenno 2-74, Muela 3-25, Terry 4-(-1). Lubbock High, Garcia 4-55, Najera 2-28, Lane 1-24, Ruiz 1-14.


Eagles stay tied for second with victory over Prowlers

The Pecos Eagles opened up a little distance between themselves and the Fort Stockton Prowlers in the District 4-3A volleyball standings on Saturday. Now, they'll try and grab a lead over the Greenwood Rangerettes for second place at the midway point of the district schedule.

The Eagles, who needed to win at Fort Stockton late last season to make the playoffs, went down to the Panthers' home court on Saturday, and after losing the opening game to the Prowlers, 25-23, came back to win the next three games, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19, to open a two-game lead over Fort Stockton and remain tied with Greenwood for second in the 4-3A standings.

"I didn't know how they would bounce back after the loss to Monahans," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. The Eagles were swept at home last Tuesday by the Loboes, running into problems not only with Monahans' taller front line but also handling their serves.

Granado said that was a problem at the outset of Saturday's match as well.

"The first game we weren't really into it. It seems like when we lost, that was a wake-up call," Granado said. "We were caught out of position defensively at times. Fort Stockton has two left-handed girls, and I told them to watch the cross-court hits, but we were out of position.

"We also had a tough time passing in the first game, but then we started settling down and were able to run our offense," she added. Pecos jumped ahead of the Prowlers in Game 2, and held off a late rally that saw a 20-14 lead narrowed to 23-20.

In the last two games, the Eagles were able to pull away late for the wins. They broke an 18-all tie in Game 3 by scoring seven of the final eight points, then closed out the match by scoring the final six points in Game 4.

"We picked it up after Fort Stockton made some hitting mistakes. They had some missed serves, and we started taking advantage once they made those mistakes," Granado said.

Saturday's game was also the first with a new front line set-up for the Eagles, who had to play without blocker Brittany Rodriguez. "I had to move Leslie (Rodriguez) to play the middle blocker. She wasn't too happy about it, but she has to realize that's where the team needs her right now."

Rodriguez had eight kills on offense, while Danielle Garcia had 10 kills and Stephanie Herrera had seven.

The win improved the Eagles' record to 3-1 in district and 11-14 on the season, while Fort Stockton falls to 1-3 and 7-9. The Prowlers did take Saturday's freshman and junior varsity matches, winning the ninth grade games, 25-23, 25-19, and the JV contest, 25-15, 25-14.

Pecos swimmers second in season-opening meet

The Pecos Eagles' swimming team opened up their 2003-04 season with a pair of second place finishes on Saturday, in the Odessa Invitational at the University of Texas-Permian Basin pool.

Pecos' boys finished just behind San Angelo Central in the final standings, losing out to the Bobcats for the title by a 364-349 margin. Odessa High was next at 243 points.

In the girls' division, Midland High ran away with the title, scoring 5731/2 points, while Pecos finished with 386 points and Central was third, at 3001/2 points.

"The boys probably would have beaten San Angelo Central, but we had to scratch one of my boys' relays," said Eagles' coach Terri Morse. "Three of my boys had to leave for band, and if we had swum that I think we would have had enough points to beat Central, but no harm done."

The three had to travel to Lubbock for Pecos' Friday night football game at Lowery Field, and as a result the Eagles did not have a relay team in the preliminaries of the 400-yard freestyle relay, the final race of the day.

Morse said overall the relay and individual times "Weren't too bad. Some of them did better than what I expected and some did what I thought they would do."

The boys earned five first place finishes, two by senior Will Ogelsby in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke. He took the 100 fly with a 55.01 time and won the backstroke with a 58.86 effort.

Senior K.W. Winkles won the 200 individual medley with a 2:13.56 time after going three seconds faster in Friday's preliminaries, while Michael Juarez picked up a gold medal on Friday by taking the 1-meter diving competition with a 208.95 score. Senior Max Key had Pecos' other first place finish, taking the 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:03.78 time.

In the two relays the boys' did enter, they placed second both times. Oglesby, Key, Matt Elliott and Daniel Quintana were second to Midland High in the 200 medley relay, and Oglesby, Elliott, Key and Juarez was second to the Bulldogs in the 200 freestyle relay.

In the other individual events, Quintana placed second in the 200 yard freestyle and Kyle Winkles was seventh; Matthew Oglesby was fourth in the 200 individual medley; Key was second and Elliott eighth in the 50 free; Elliott was third and Matthew Oglesby sixth in the 100 fly; Quintana was sixth, K.W. Winkles seventh and Kyle Winkles eighth in the 100 free; Juarez was 12th in the 500 free; and T.J. Hardwick was 13th in the 1-meter diving.

Pecos' girls didn't win any first place medals, but picked up a second in the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay. Ashley Horsburgh, Lindsey Shaw, Catherine Minjarez and Betsy Lujan placed second to Midland High with a 2:06.84 time, while in the 200 freestyle relay, Lujan, Amie Reynolds, Jessica Minjarez and Susan Moore took third, behind Midland High and Odessa Permian, with a 1:53.89 time.

In the 400 freestyle relay, the girls had two teams in the top 6, as Horsburgh, Moore, Teddie Salcido and Catherine Minjarez placed third, behind Midland High's 'A' and 'B' teams, and Jessica Minjarez, Reynolds, Shaw and Sara Wein were sixth. In the 200 medley relay, Pecos' 'B' relay of Salcido, Reynolds, Wein and Ashley Mendoza finished eighth.

Individually, the highest finish for Pecos came in the 200 individual medley, where Catherine Minjarez was second and Shaw placed third. Wein also swam in that race, and finished 10th. In the 100 breaststroke Shaw took second, with her 1:16.47 time just .18 behind Midland's Bryen Ulmschneider, while Reynolds placed fourth.

Moore had Pecos' other medal, placing third in the 100-yard freestyle, while Lujan was sixth and Horsburgh was seventh in that race. In the other races, Salcido and Jessica Minjarez were fifth and sixth and Mendoza was eighth in the 200 free; Moore was seventh, Lujan 13th and Amanda Contreras 25th in the 50 free; Catherine Minjarez was fifth, Wein eighth, Contreras 11th and Cynthia Marmolejo 13th in the 100 butterfly; Salcido was seventh and Mendoza 11th in the 500 free; and Horsburgh was sixth and Marmolejo 20th in the 100 backstroke.

The Eagles are off until Oct. 16, when they'll travel to Fort Stockton for a dual meet against the Prowlers.

Bears open district play with rout of Cowboys

Staff Writer

The Balmorhea Bears mounted a steady offensive attack and backed it up with good defense as the Bears beat the Grandfalls Cowboys Friday night, 52-6, ending the game with 3:27 left in the third quarter on the 45-point rule.

The Bear defense refused to allow a single point in their district opener, with the Cowboys' only score coming when Robby Garcia stripped the ball from a Bear on the Cowboy 30 yard line and ran 50 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter.

For the majority of the game the defense stifled the Cowboys' offense, while Balmorhea's offense marched steadily toward the goal line.

That first drive began early and before the first five minutes had ticked off the clock the Bears had posted three touchdowns and kicked two, two-point conversions to lead 22-0.

The next series the Cowboys mounted a drive from their own 20.

On a 3rd-and-seven the Cowboys went with a halfback pass that fell incomplete but drew a flag for roughing the passer. With a first-and-15 from the Bear 37 yard line Grandfalls ran the exact same play.

This time the Cowboy receiver managed to hang onto the ball long enough for a completion although the ball popped out moments later. Lionel Abila recovered for the Cowboys and at the Bear 22.

Two plays later the Cowboys fumbled a pitch and Barry Bordayo recovered for the Bears, putting an end to the best Cowboy offensive series of the night.

Bordayo put an end to the next Cowboy possession as well when he intercepted a pass on 4th-and-10 and returned the ball up to near midfield. Five plays later Bear quarterback Keith Baeza rolled out away from the fake and found Ismael Rodriguez all alone in the end zone.

Balmorhea successfully kicked the points-after again and led 30-0 early in the second quarter.

The Cowboys had to punt on 4th-and-four and buried Balmorhea back on the 12 yard line. But on the first play from scrimmage Baeza pitched to senior fullback Robbie Mendoza. Mendoza shook off one tackler at the line of scrimmage and ran to the Cowboys 16 yard line.

From there the Cowboys defense stiffened.

After Bear fullback Levon Barragan rambled for 8 yards on first down the Cowboys stopped the next running play at the line of scrimmage A third down pass fell incomplete, and facing fourth-down-and-five Coach Adolfo Garcia called Michael Rodriguez' number.

Rodriguez took the ball off right tackle just managed five tough yards to the one-yard line giving the Bears a first-and-goal from the one. Garcia then went back to Mendoza, and he went up the middle and punched it in for another touchdown. The Bears kicked the points after again and with the score 38-0 and five minutes left in the second quarter it looked like the game might be done by halftime.

Balmorhea came close. After Grandfalls took the ensuing kickoff and used a couple of strong runs to moved the ball to the Bear 22 yard line, the Cowboys fumbled the ball again, and Balmorhea recovered. Four first downs later Baeza rolled out away from the fake and this time found freshman Jonathan Carrasco in the end zone to run the score to 44-0. Any point at all on the conversion attempt and the game would be over but the point after kick attempt failed and at halftime the score stood at 44-0.

On the first series of the second half the Bears managed a first down and then saw the ball stripped away from Robbie Mendoza by Cowboys' end Robby Garcia who ran the ball back 50 yards for the Cowboys lone touchdown.

The Bears were driving again on their next possession when the Cowboy defense stopped the drive in their own end zone when Ryan Marquez intercepted Baeza's pass on first and goal.

Two offensive fumbles later the Bears took the ball back and were looking at first and goal from the 15-yard line. On third and goal Robbie Mendoza took the handoff up the middle and scored.

This time the points-after kick was good and ended the game 52-6 with 3:27 left in the third quarter.

The Bears improved their record to 3-1 on the season and are 1-0 in District 6-A six man, while Grandfalls fell to 1-4 and 0-2 in district. The Bears will now return home to face defending district champion Sanderson, which is ranked No. 2 in the most recent six-man state poll. The Eagles are undefeated on the season after their 62-12 win over Dell City on Friday night.

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