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Van Horn Advocate
That's because Ch. 7's crew was only in Crane for the game's first half,
when they saw quarterback Jason Garcia run in, out and around the
Cranes, helping the Bucks grab a 15-13 lead.
But Alpine coach Ronnie Stooksberry said his team was worn down by Crane
in the second half, which is something the Pecos Eagles will hope they
can do this Friday, when they travel to Alpine for the Bucks' 8 p.m.
"They just plain wore us out. There's just no way our itty-bitty guys
are going to stay with them," Stooksberry said of the Cranes, who two
weeks earlier had outscored Pecos late in their varsity scrimmage.
"Alpine played them pretty well. It was a 15-13 ballgame at the half,
and it wasn't decided until late, then it kind of got out of hand," said
Eagles' coach Mike Belew, who got his first varsity win as a head coach
last year against Alpine, in a 21-12 vicotry in Pecos.
Garcia ran for 121 yards and threw for 58 more in last year's losing
effort. Last Friday, the senior quarterback was down in both rushing and
passing numbers (92 yards total), but went 87 yards in the second period
on a punt return for a touchdown, which at the time gave Alpine a 12-7
"Garcia is as good an athlete at quarterback as anyone in this area at
any level," Belew said. "He's also dangerous on the returns, so our
special teams are going to have to play particularly well."
Garcia had over 2,000 total yards rushing and passing last season, and
Stooksberry said, "He's going to be close to that again before it's
over." The Bucks' coach added he should be helped by the return of
running back Jason Morales, who was out the past three weeks with a
Justin Yarborough and Samuel Stratton were the starting backs last week.
Yarborough ran for 35 yards while Kevin Caughman had Alpine's other
touchdown. In the air, three of Garcia's four completions went to
flanker Adam Llanez, and Belew said, "When he's in there, they like to
throw him the ball."
Stooksberry said his Bucks are still a young team, after starting nine
sophomores a year ago. However, the Bucks' line is one of their youngest
spots. "Our right guard and right tackle are back, but the rest are
rookies. They're doing a good overall job, but they're just having some
Pecos' defense bent at times last week against Lamesa, but broke only
once, allowing the Tornadoes a first period touchdown. The Eagles kept
Lamesa from scoring three other times inside the 25-yard-line, while
scoring three second half touchdowns for a 27-6 victory.
The Eagles ran for 313 of their 378 total yards last week, while Alpine
gave up 443 total yards, 418 of that on the ground.
"Our offensive line is going to have to execute to keep the ball out of
Garcia's hands," Belew said. "If our offensive line blocking continues
to get better, and we can improve on what we did last week, we should be
able to run the football."
While saying his team was overpowered in the second half by Crane's
line, Stooksberry did single out Caughman for praise. "He had a real
good game for us at nose guard," he said.
Friday's game is the first of three straight against District 3-3A teams
for Pecos. They'll face Monahans next Friday and Fabens on Sept. 26.
More importantly, all three games are on the road, which should give the
Eagles a good idea how they're progressing going into October and
District 4-4A play. The Eagles have won only two road games in the past
three seasons, not including their 1995 forfeit victory at Big Spring.
"Anytime you go on the road it takes senior leadership and maturity to
win," Belew said. "You have to realize you're on a business trip and
have to keep in that frame of mind.
"Our kids need to realize they've got to go over there and take care of business. The fun part is when you win."
The Bears and Wildcats will meet at 7:30 p.m. at Lenorah-Grady High
School, about 15 miles north of Stanton. It's a 50-mile drive west for
the Wildcats, but a 150-mile excursion for the Bears, who only have two
more road games on their regular season schedule.
"It's about as close to halfway as we could get, as far as being able to
use somebody else's field to play on," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson.
Balmorhea is 1-0, after spoiling Tatum, New Mexico's long drive to
Balmorhea by scoring a 61-14 victory, ending the game early under the
45-point rule. They're also unofficially 1-0 on the season in neutral
site contests, having defeated state-ranked Brookesmith in their final
pre-season scrimmage on Aug. 29 in Ozona.
Westbrook lost out in a three-way tie-breaker last season for a
bi-district playoff berth to Borden County and Highland, ruining a 9-1
regular season. But last Friday the Wildcats dropped their opener to
Blackwell by a 42-22 final score.
Davy Daniel had a pair of touchdowns for Westbrook in the losing
effort, while Tony Alanize had the Wildcats' other score. Balmorhea will
also have to watch out for quarterback Justin Hill, who was tops among
all returning quarterbacks in passing last season, throwing for 2,343
"They run the spread (offense) the majority of the time and like to
throw the ball as much as anything," Erickson said. "When they get in
fairly close to the goal line, they like to get into a tight formation
and run it in."
Balmorhea stayed almost entirely on the ground in last week's win,
rushing for 301 of their 307 yards. Arturo Miranda ran for three TDs,
while Roger Lopez had a pair for the Bears, who made Erickson's head
coaching debut a success and extended their home unbeaten string to 16 games, dating back to the 1993 season.
Warbird boxer Julian Rayos was the lone victor among local fighters in
the quickly-arranged evening, proceeds of which were to go towards a new
ring mat for the Warbirds' team.
"It wasn't a good night for us, but we did raise the funds for the ring
mat," said Dieshler, who thanked Warbirds' managers Fred Martin and Roy
Juarez, and the local businesses who helped out with the event.
Dieshler lost his bout by decision to Balmorhea's Mike Cade, while
Rayos stopped Monahans' Lee Castaneda for his victory. Jimmy Don Juarez,
Trent Davis and Oscar Medrano were beaten by Odessa fighters in their
bouts, Dieshler said.
The bouts were held earlier than usual for the Warbirds, who normally
host smokers in January, March and/or April, to go along with the West of the Pecos Golden Gloves, held in early February at the Civic Center.
The JV saw its game last week at Lamesa cancelled. Varsity head coach
Mike Belew said two other out-of-town games, a Sept. 25 neutral site
contest against Colorado City and an Oct. 9 game at Hobbs have also been
cancelled, due to budget cuts in the district's athletic program.
The JV had seven road games on their original 1997 schedule, and won't
play their home opener until Oct. 16, when they host Andrews.
Pecos' freshmen, meanwhile, get this week off, after losing their
season opener last Thursday to Lamesa. They and the JV will both face
Monahans next week, as will the Eagles' junior high squads, in their 1997 season openers.
Although Sanders was a bust as a full-time wideout playing both ways
last year, the Dallas Cowboys are taking no chances because of Anthony
Miller's mysterious hamstring problems.
Sanders ran routes in practice Wednesday and coach Barry Switzer said he
would see action on offense Monday night against Philadelphia.
``We might have six or seven plays for him on offense,'' Switzer said.
``We might use him like we did in the Super Bowl two years ago. He has
talent we need to take advantage of.''
Although Miller is a five-time Pro Bowl player, his exits at San Diego
and Denver were prompted by his down time because of injuries that gave
him a reputation as a soft player.
But he showed is value following an exhibition season in which he played
only one game, burning the Pittsburgh Steelers with his speed in a 37-7
victory in the season opener. He caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from
Troy Aikman and helped free Michael Irvin for two touchdowns.
Three days before Sunday night's 25-22 overtime loss at Phoenix, Miller
developed a twinge in his hamstring during practice. He told coach Barry
Switzer he felt it again during warmups before the game. Miller played
two downs and took himself out.
The Dallas passing game suffered.
Switzer called Miller ``our biggest training-camp disappointment''
because he didn't get to work with Aikman.
If Miller's leg isn't healed soon, Switzer might have to change that to
``biggest regular-season disappointment.''
Switzer said Miller came out of the game on his own ``because he was
scared to turn it loose. He's a Pro Bowl player in this league for years
and knows his body better than anybody.''
``We want him to be smart. We don't want any college rah-rah. We don't
want him to be like one of those track guys who blows a hamstring and
misses a bunch of time. ''
Switzer ordered a new practice routine for Miller. He said Miller will
no longer sit idle for 20 minutes in practice while the defense faces
the scout team offense like it did last week.
``We're going to keep him stretched out,'' Switzer said. ``This is going
to be one of those day-to-day things. If he had a true hamstring pull I
could tell you if he could play. But this thing just tightens up on
Miller worked out Wednesday but didn't run deep.
``He just ran crossing routes so he would be under control,'' Switzer
said. ``We expect him to play Monday. Of course, we expected him to play
Miller doesn't want to appear to be a shirker. But the lockerroom
whispers about his toughness won't go away until he plays hurt.
``I don't think a defense can cover Irvin and Miller and stop our
passing game at the same time,'' said running back Emmitt Smith.
``That's why we have to get him out on the playing field.''
Miller just shakes his head about his injury problems.
``Frustrating, it's very frustrating,'' Miller said.
The Cowboys hope an extra day will help Miller get ready for Monday
night's game against Philadelphia.
Until then, they'll second Miller's opinion about what has become a big
area of concern for the Cowboys' run to a sixth consecutive NFC East
Mac McKinnon, 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 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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