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Van Horn Advocate
By JON FULBRIGHT
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PECOS, Sept. 25 -- Nobody is going to mistake either the Pecos Eagles or
Fabens Wildcats for their pass-happy district rivals in San Angelo and
But both teams will be trying to improve on last week's passing results,
and bounce back from their first losses of the 1997 football season,
when the Eagles travel to Fabens for a 8:30 p.m. CDT game against the
Pecos had three touchdown passes a year ago in their 28-7 victory over
Fabens, and three TDs through the air two weeks ago in beating Alpine.
They got another last week against Monahans, but completed only one
other pass and were held to 131 total yards in their 27-13 loss to the
"They brought their cornerbacks off the edge ... and took away the
pitch, which is what we do well," said Eagles' coach Mike Belew. "But
when you do that, you also weaken the defense somewhere else. That left
them open for the pass outside, but we've got to be able to take
advantage of it. Jason (Abila) had some back throws, and we had some
drops, and that hurt."
Fabens, meanwhile, threw for 87 yards against El Paso Cathedrial, but
starting quarterback Freddie Andrade was 0-for-10 and was benched in
favor of Jaime Valenzuela. He was 6-for-14, including a 33-yard TD pass
to Mario Gomez which got the Wildcats to within 16-12 in the fourth
quarter. But Canutillo returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a
touchdown, sealing their 23-12 win.
"He's developing," said Fabens coach Ronnie Hernandez of Andrade. "He
struggled quite a bit Friday, but with more time he's going to be
"We went in at 2-0 and feeling pretty good," said Hernandez, after wins
over Deming N.M. and El Paso Cathedrial. "But the better team didn't
show up. We just didn't play the way we're capable of."
"Against Cathedrial he (Andrade) threw for about 110 yards, and all that
was in the second half. They ran a nine-man front and forced us to
throw," said Hernandez, whose team tried the same thing against Pecos
last season and were burned, when Abila and Moses Martinez hooked up for
three scores, past of a 120-yard passing night for Abila.
"Abila smoked us a couple of times last year, and he looks a lot better
this year," Hernandez said. "We're going to have to do a better job of
That may mean a little different defense from the Wildcats than their
"What they try to do is stop the run. They almost dare you to pass, so
we've got to be prepared to take a road trip and stay focused," said
Belew, whose team will be without fullback Richard Gutierrez for the
next three weeks.
The Eagles' leading rusher was doubtful for Friday anyway, after taking
a helmet in the neck during the third period of last week's game. But
Belew said he'll also miss the next two games against Kermit and the
District 4-4A opener against Big Spring due to grades.
"I hate to lose anybody. We try and stay on top of everybody and make
sure they don't fail, but we'll just have to bow it up for the next
three weeks," said Belew. "Lucio Florez will take over at fullback, and
we'll still have Mark (Abila) at tailback, but we'll also need
production out of Hector (Garcia) at tailback and Bird (Jason Aguilar)
Fabens, meanwhile, will have both their top rushers from a year ago,
Michael Jones and Jimmy D'Anda, available on Friday. "James is getting
about 80 yards a game rushing and D'Anda's at about 110 yards,"
Hernandez said, though last week they were held to 51 and 77 yards
respectively by Canutillo. A year ago, D'Anda ran for 44 yards and Jones
for 20 against Pecos, while Gutierrez ran for 113 yards and a touchdown
for the Eagles.
"They've improved over last year. They have a lot of returning kids from
last year, including D'Anda, that Jones kid and their tight end (Matt
Zappitello). Their offensive line also averages about 250 pounds, so
they definitely have some weapons," Belew said.
Defensively, Hernandez said D'Anda played well last week in the
defensive secondary for the Wildcats, as did inside linebacker Chuy
Chacon. But he added that his offense failed to give he defense enough
time on the sidelines against Canutillo.
"Our defense basically did a good job, but we just can't have them on
the field for two-thirds of the game," he said. "So far this year we've
been a `bend-but-don't-break' type of team. Other teams have moved it on
us between the 20s, but we've toughened it up then."
Friday's game ends the Eagles string of three straight road games
against District 3-3A teams. Next Friday's matchup with Kermit will be the first of four home contests in their final six games for Pecos.
It's the second of four straight home games for Balmorhea, which will be
hoping for a repeat of last Friday's 45-0 victory over El Paso Faith
Arturo Miranda scored four touchdowns in that game, as the Bears rolled
up 31 second quarter points to bounce back from their 41-39 loss to
Westbrook two weeks ago.
Marathon was idle last Friday, after dropping a 22-14 non-district road
game to district rival Sierra Blanca on Sept. 12. The teams will meet
for real Halloween night in Marathon.
The Bears and Mustangs also have already met once this season, but that
was in a pre-season scrimmage on Aug. 22 in Marathon, in which the Bears
came out on top, scoring five touchdowns to none for the Mustangs.
"We're ready and prepare to get them," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson,
who added the Mustangs "run a little bit more spread (offense) than what
we first expected, but we're ready."
Although this should be the year district teams swap their home game
sites from last season, this will be the second straight year the
Mustangs have traveled to Balmorhea for the Bears' homecoming contest.
Last year, Marathon lost by a 52-7 final score, with Miranda scoring two
touchdowns while Roger Lopez added three, including the one that ended
things under the 45-point rule.
"They canceled out of an earlier game in non-district (the teams played
a non-district, pre-district game in Marathon last season). In the
process of canceling out, it was decided they would come back here this
year," Erickson explained.
The Bears' coach added his team wasn't going to look past the Mustangs
to next week's showdown against Grandfalls. The Cowboys won the District
8-A six man title last year over Balmorhea with a victory at Grandfalls, and are ranked sixth in the new six-man high school football poll.
The Bears had beaten Sierra Blanca and Valentine in their last two home
matches, but the Mustangs took control of the first game against some of
the Bears' reserves.
"We started some girls who had not played for a long time in the first
game," said Bears' coach James Meredith. "But I did have real good play
from Amy Garcia in the second game. She was a stadout server, and I got
good defensibe play from Cherry Garcia."
The loss dropped the Bears to 5-8 on the season, going into Saturday's
games at Marfa. Meredith said play will begin with the freshman game at
12 noon, followed by the JV at about 1:15 and the varsity at 2:30 p.m.
Marathon also won Tuesday's junior varsity match, by 7-15, 15-3, 15-5 scores.
By RON SIRAK
AP Golf Writer
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SOTOGRANDE, Spain, Sept. 25 -- With a gentle pat on the back, a silent
nod or a quiet word, Tom Kite has carried this message to his U.S. Ryder
Cup team: Relax and enjoy.
While that is easier said than done in golf's most pressurized event,
the Americans do seem supremely confident and surprisingly calm on the
eve of Friday's start of play.
``If you don't enjoy pressure, you are in the wrong place,'' Justin
Leonard said Wednesday. ``I'm not saying I'm a great pressure player,
but that's when I learn the most about myself.''
A lot of people will be learning a lot about themselves over the next
few days at Valderrama Golf Club. Nine of the 24 players -- four
Americans and five from Europe -- are appearing in the Ryder Cup for the
Kite, one of the grittiest competitors in golf, has played the role of
nurturer with his young team.
``Tom's stressed to have fun and work hard, and that's made this team
come together real well,'' Davis Love III said. ``He's told us to enjoy
Still, Love made it clear that the favored American team is far from
overconfident as it plays an unfamiliar course before unfriendly fans.
``The pressure is on us because we are trying to take it from them,''
Love said of the Ryder Cup the U.S. team lost in 1995.
There is a vast difference between Kite and Ballesteros in coaching
styles. While Kite offers gentle words of wisdom in a casual way,
Ballesteros is much more hands on.
On one hole, Ryder Cup rookie Darren Clarke shanked two shots from a
downhill lie in a bunker. Ballesteros climbed down into the bunker and
showed him how it was done.
``I worked it out in five seconds so I don't know why he even needs to
ask,'' Ballesteros said when asked if he had any hesitation about
``If I see something I can fix, I will go straight away, even if it is
Nick Faldo, even if it is in the tournament,'' Ballesteros said.
Kite, on the other hand, has tried to create a fun atmosphere for his
``Tom is not being extra strict and he's not standing over us on every
shot,'' Love said.
``I think we are a little more relaxed,'' he said when asked to compare
this team to the other two he has been on.
Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Scott Hoch and Leonard are playing their first
Ryder Cup for the United States. Clarke, Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn,
Ignacio Garrido and Jesper Parnevik are making their debut for Europe.
While the Americans have only Love (2), Mark O'Meara (3) and Fred
Couples (4) with experience in more than one Ryder Cup, Europe has six
guys who have played in a total of 34 Ryder Cups.
``I was under Nick's wing in 1993, and he gave me a lot of advice,''
said Colin Montgomerie, who is playing for the fourth time.
``But the No. 1 thing he always told me was always remember no matter
how nervous you are, the other guy is just as nervous, so just get on
with it,'' Montgomerie said.
In addition to Faldo and Montgomerie, the European team has a wealth of
experience with Bernhard Langer, who has played in eight Ryder Cups, Ian
Woosnam with seven, Jose Maria Olazabal with four and Costantino Rocca
``You've got to put them under your wing, shield them from the bullets
and let them go and play and be themselves,'' Faldo said Wednesday.
``That is what we want to help them with,'' said Faldo, who will play in
his record 11th Ryder Cup. ``Take a little bit of pressure off them and
set them free.''
How those newcomers perform under the glare of the spotlight will be key
to the outcome of the 32nd Ryder Cup.
``The danger is, you start to try a little extra hard, put a little more
pressure on yourself and go beyond the line of duty,'' Furyk said.
``I just need to do what I've been doing this year,'' he said. ``That's
one of my goals. To play the same golf as I'm playing.''
That will be easier said than done on Friday when the fun begins.
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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