Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, October 13, 2003
Sanderson pulls away from Balmohrea, 78-54
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
The Balmorhea Bears gave the Sanderson Eagles a scare on Friday, but
the Sanderson offense proved too much for the Bears to handle, as the
second-ranked Eagles turned a 34-32 lead just before halftime into a
The Bears' offense kept up with the Eagles for most of the game,
with short screen passes and strong running contributions by Urban
Baeza and Robbie Mendoza. The Balmorhea defense just couldn't stop the
well-disciplined running and passing attack of the Eagles.
Balmorhea had kept up well for a majority of the second half keeping
within one touchdown until the Eagles started to pull ahead mid way
through the second half.
Sanderson took possession on the Balmorhea 35 yard line, and on the
first play of the drive threw a short pass to Eagles' Geo Estrada who
then broke three tackles and ran the ball in for the score.
Balmorhea answered back to the score with one of their own on the
next drive with a series consisting of a well-timed halfback pass to
start it off with and followed up with a strong run from Robbie
Mendoza, Brandon Mendoza and a surprise run by Robert Vasquez, the
center, all for good gains. Robbie Mendoza would take the ball in for
the score on the final play of the drive.
This drive and subsequent series by the Eagles would bring the
Balmorhea crowd to its feet.
Sanderson took the touch back on the kickoff and lined up to answer
the Balmorhea score. The Bear defense would prove to be the stronger of
the two in this situation, however, holding the Eagles to one series of
downs and forcing the punt.
The Bears took over on their own 32-yard line with 3:28 left in the
half, after a bobbled catch on the return that would roll out of
Balmorhea posted short gains with quick handoffs to Robbie Mendoza
and a short pass to Keith Baeza, but would punch it in on a pass from
Keith Baeza to Urban Baeza after some good running after the catch
along the weak side.
This would tie the game at 34-34, but the point after was blocked
foreshadowing many-missed point after to come.
The Bears kicked off, and Sanderson returned the ball for 30 yards
to the Balmorhea 35. Two strong runs by the Eagles later, the bears
would have a personal foul called against them for a late hit, putting
the Eagles nine yards away form the goal line with four downs to use to
It would only take one; however, as the Eagles would score on the
very next play using a counter to the strong side that sucked the
defensive ends in enough to allow the Eagles to slip into the end zone
for the score. Sanderson would follow that up with a good point after
bringing the score to 42-34 Eagles, with 1:26 left in the half.
The Bears would try to score once more before the end of the half
but would fall short as the Sanderson defense held its ground against
The Eagles received the kickoff to begin the second half, and on
their first play from scrimmage, Sanderson ran the ball into the end
zone on the same counter play that had worked so well for them in the
first and second quarters.
The point after was good, bringing the score to 50-34 Eagles, after
burning only 11 seconds off of the clock in the second half.
Sanderson then kicked an onsides kick and after a bobble by
Balmorhea, the Eagles would get possession back at the Bears' 20-yard
However, Sanderson would end up giving the ball back on downs
following a strong defensive showing by Balmorhea, featuring tackles by
Levon Barragon and Alexis Lozano and a sack for a 13-yard loss by Urban
Baeza, that would leave the Eagles facing 4th down and 20 yards to go.
Balmorhea would stuff the next play and take over at their own 23.
The next play Robbie Mendoza ran up the middle on a handoff, break
two tackles, and run for 58-yards for the touchdown. On the point after
attempt the snap went high and the Bears missed another scoring
The ensuing kickoff would give the Eagles good field position, with
the offense starting three yards short of the mid-field line. Sanderson
would begin the series strong on the counter that had worked so well
for them earlier, gaining a net of 20 on the first play.
Two plays later, would run the ball in for another score and with
the extra point, extended their lead to 18 with 6:38 left in the third
Sanderson would continue to onside their kickoffs, but Balmorhea was
ready this time and Robert Vasquez would recover the bouncing football.
The Bears took over on their own 32, and following two strong runs
by Barry Bordayo and Brandon Mendoza, the Bears found themselves on the
Sanderson 26 yard line. The Bears would stumble for a couple of plays,
but using the counter that had been executed so well against them,
Balmorhea drove the ball into the end zone with 3:54 left in the third
The Eagles took over on the Balmorhea 20, following a long return on
the Bears' kickoff. It would take Sanderson just over a minute and a
half to return their lead to 18 on a long pass to for the score.
Balmorhea would get the ball back on their own 35-yard line,
following another onsides kick by the Eagles. The Bears would drive for
eight plays down the field, twice getting slowed down by penalties, but
finally #2 Keith Baeza would find #20 Robbie Mendoza wide open in the
end zone after dodging two attempted sacks. The point after was missed,
but the Eagle Lead was cut to 12 points none-the-less.
The Bears kicked deep into Eagle territory, but the returning back
broke two open-field tackle to take the ball to the 25- yard line. Four
plays later, the Eagles had little going when Keith Baeza stepped in
front of a Sanderson pass and ran the ball back to the Eagle 20.
This left the Bears trailing by 12 with 7:30 left in the fourth
quarter and good field position. Balmorhea would fail to produce any
large gains on the drive and ended up turning the ball over on downs
after one series.
Sanderson took over on their own 33, and three plays later scored
again on a long pass to Eric Bilano by Ty Means for the Eagles.
The Bears held their ground offensively against the Eagles, the only
problem occurred when Balmorhea's defensive ends failed to keep their
outside responsibility and let the counters plays gain much yardage
over and over.
Sanderson improved their record to 7-0 on the season and 3-0 in
district The Bears are 4-2 and 1-1 and face off against Dell City next
Friday, in their third game of district play.
Eagles sweep Jackets despite slow finish
After a pair of quick wins in their first two games on Saturday
against the Kermit Yellowjackets, the Pecos Eagles had to struggle some
in Game 3 before beating Kermit and completing a sweep of their second
half District 4-3A volleyball opener.
Pecos jumped ahead of Kermit early in the first two games and won by
25-15 and 25-13 scores, then had to come back from 7-2 and 23-21
deficits in Game 3 to beat the Jackets, 25-23, and open up a two game
lead for second place in the district standings.
"In the third game we let up. We played in the first and second
games, then in the third we weren't doing anything on offense or
defense," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "It wasn't like they were
hitting the ball. We were just having a hard time passing."
The Eagles had a tougher time overall against the Jackets in their
first meeting in district, last month in Pecos. But that was before
Kermit lost 6-foot senior hitter Amber Broadway, who quit the team a
few days later.
"Amber was his (coach Eddie Knight's) offense. Once she quit they
really don't have much offense," Granado said.
Meanwhile, Granado said junior Danielle Garcia had a good game for
Pecos, leading the Eagles with 16 kills. "Leslie (Rodriguez) didn't
have a good game, but she still ended up with 10 kills and Stephanie
(Herrera) had seven," Granado said. "They gave us a lot of free balls
and we took advantage in the first and second games."
In the third game, Pecos would rally from their 7-2 deficit to go
ahead by a 13-9 score, only to see Kermit later come back and take an
18-17 lead. The Jackets would later lead 23-21, before Pecos broke
serve and then scored three more points to end the match, the last two
on balls hit into the net by Kermit.
"I don't know if we were overconfident, but we didn't get out there
with much intensity," said Granado. "In the third game we started
hitting it into their one-man block. They only had one girl up at the
net and she still managed to block a couple of our hits."
The victory improved Pecos' record to 5-1 in district play and 13-14
overall, while Kermit falls to 0-6 and 8-13. The win, coupled with
Monahans' victory over Greenwood and Fort Stockton's win over Presidio,
keeps the Eagles a game behind the Loboes and puts them two games ahead
of the Prowlers and Rangerettes, going into their Tuesday home game
Pecos also won Saturday's freshman match, 25-16, 11-25, 25-13, and
took the junior varisty contest, 25-21, 11-25, 25-9. Granado said the
starting times for Tuesday's JV and freshman matches have been moved up
to 4:30 p.m. and the varsity match to 5:30 in to allow Presidio to
return home earlier on a school night.
Second half turnovers cost Eagles in loss
By JON FULBRIGHT
The third time was not the charm for the Pecos Eagles Friday night, in
their District 4-3A football opener against the Kermit Yellowjackets.
In each of their previous two home games, the Eagles' defense had
set the offense up in their opponent's end of the field thanks to a
turnover in the fourth quarter, giving Pecos a chance to either tie or
take the lead in the game. And in both cases, the offense was unable to
It happened again on Friday, as Booker Fobbs stripped running back
Gabby Saucedo and Victor Reyes recovered the ball at Kermit
30-yard-line early in the final period. But after an option run by
Oscar Parada got the ball down to the Yellowjackets' 11-yard-line,
center Adam Ybarra and quarterback Saul Pina mishandled the snap on the
next play, and the Jackets' Manuel Valles recovered the ball.
Kermit would use an interference call to get out from under their
own goalposts and in the closing minutes of the game, the Jackets were
the ones to convert a turnover deep in Pecos' end of the field into a
touchdown. Landon Forga went over on a quarterback sneak with 2:55 to
play to help Kermit clinch a 14-6 win at Eagle Stadium.
"The center said he just didn't get the snap up," said Eagles' coach
Patrick Willis, whose team turned the ball over five times in the
second half, following a one-hour delay after halftime homecoming
ceremonies due to rain and lightning. "We had our chances, but we've
just got to take advantage of our opportunities."
Kermit's Michael Akins ran 80 yards for a touchdown late in the
first period to give Kermit the lead, then broke through on a 27-yard
run in the fourth quarter to set up Forga's touchdown. Akins, who was
subbing for Randy Butterfield, who missed Friday's game, ended up with
153 yards on 18 carries.
Meanwhile, Parada, who missed the previous week's game at Lubbock
High, got his first-ever playing time at quarterback for Pecos and led
the Eagles to what turned out to be their only touchdown of the night
on the game's opening drive. That included a 44-yard run that set up
Rashad Terry's 3-yard run around left end for the score.
"We're trying to get some more offense and trying to run the ball
more," Willis said about the change. "When you've got a running
quarterback it makes a difference in this offense. Up to this point
we've only got one running back in the backfield for them to worry
about. When we've got Oscar back there, then they've got him to worry
Parada would alternate at quarterback with Saul Pina, and Jose Reyes
even played one series for Pecos in the second half at quarterback.
They attempted 16 passes, while Parada did not throw a pass and
attempted just one that he never got off. That allowed Kermit to adjust
their defense for the Eagles' "running" and "passing" quarterbacks
after being surprised on the opening series, holding Pecos to just 113
yards in offense following the touchdown drive.
Alex Orosco's extra point after Terry's TD was blocked, but the
Eagles' defense then stopped Kermit on its opening possession and
forced a short punt by Lupe Munoz that set the Eagles up near midfield.
This time, the Eagles came out with Pina at quarterback, and while he
hooked up with Jaime Muela for one completion, he was also sacked for a
3-yard loss on the series, and the Eagles had to give up the ball. Two
plays after Eddie's Vela's punt, Akins found a hole on the right side
and went 80 yards for the score, and Eron Saenz' extra point put Kermit
ahead to stay.
Parada would have one more big run in the first half, which didn't
set up a score, but got the Eagles out of a hole deep in their own end
of the field, after a Munoz punt was downed at the 1-yard-line. But
Pecos wouldn't threaten again until the fourth period, while Pecos'
defense had to stop Kermit from scoring a couple of times before then.
The first came just before halftime, after Kermit used a 26-yard run
by Akins and hook-and-ladder play by Munoz and Saucedo to get a first
down inside Pecos' 20. But on the next play Akins fumbled, with Adrian
Barreno recovering for the Eagles at their own 17-yard line.
The next two stops came after Pecos turnovers in the third period.
Parada would muff a punt at the 40 that the Jackets recovered, but a
deep pass by Forga to Munoz was intercepted by Muela at the
5-yard-line. Five plays later, it would be Munoz stepping in front of a
pass meant for Gabriel Gonzales and intercepting it at the Eagles'
20-yard-line. This time, Akins was held to no gain on two runs, and
after a procedure call, Fobbs sacked Forga for an 11-yard loss, forcing
"I was really pleased with our defense in the second half. They did
a great job," Willis said. Kermit ended up with 221 yards in offense
for the game, but only 43 yards in the final two periods.
Aside from the fumbled snap at the 11-yard line, the Eagles missed
one other chance to take the lead in the fourth period, when John
Parent couldn't hold onto a deep pass from Pina after he had gotten
behind the Kermit defense at the 10-yard-line on the series prior to
Forga's score was set up by a bad option pitch from Parada to Terry
that Brady Widner recovered at the Pecos 33. It was the second attempt
at running the option by the Eagles, the first resulting in a 19-yard
gain for Terry.
"I shouldn't have called it, but we were facing third and long, and
I thought they were going to try and eat us up, and I could catch
them," Willis said. The bad pitch out kept Parada from having a
100-yard rushing night, as he finished with 14 carries for 93 yards.
Even after Forga's touchdown, Pecos still had just under three
minutes to come back and score a touchdown and get a two-point
conversion to tie the game. But Terry couldn't hold onto a deep pass
from Pina and then Munoz came up with his second interception of the
game, taking a pass meant for Parada and returning it to the Pecos
16-yard-line. Kermit was able to get a first down at the Eagles' 5
three plays after that, and then ran out the clock.
Kermit improved to 5-2 with the victory, while Pecos fell to 3-4 and
at 0-1 are surprisingly tied with Greenwood, which was upset by
Monahans on Friday, 35-34. The Rangers, who came into that game ranked
sixth in Class 3A, host Kermit on Friday, while Pecos takes the week
off, before hosting the Loboes in their next game, on Oct. 24.
Kermit 7 0 0 7 - 14
Pecos 6 0 0 0 - 6
Pec. - Terry 3 run (kick failed), 3:55
Ker. - Akins 80 run (Saenz kick), 8:59.
Ker. - Forga 1 run (Saenz kick), 9:05.
First Downs 10 8
Rushes-Yds. 36-175 29-116
Passing Yds. 49 61
Passes 4-8-1 8-17-2
Punts-Avg. 6-35.8 5-28.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 6-3
Penalties-Yds. 7-70 3-29
RUSHING - Kermit, Akins 18-153, Saucedo 8-37, Hardaway 1-2, Bennett
1-0, Forga 8-(-7). Pecos, Parada 14-93, Terry 6-49, Fobbs 3-3, Pina
PASSING - Kermit, Forga 4-8-1-46. Pecos, Pina 8-16-2-61, Reyes
RECEIVING - Kermit, Akins 1-15, Hardaway 1-9, Evans 1-9, Munoz 1-5,
Saucedo 0-8. Pecos, Parada 2-45, Muela 4-9, Pendelton 1-8, Parent 1-0.
MISSED FIELD GOALS - None.
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
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise