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Van Horn Advocate
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Sept. 29 -- On a night when the Pecos Eagles went without their
best running back and still racked up nearly 400 yards in total offense,
the biggest plays against the Fabens Wildcats wound up being made by the
After falling behind early, the Eagles took a 19-7 lead early in the
third period, off two second quarter touchdowns and a 32-yard
interception return for a TD by Jason Abila. But penalties stymied
Pecos' offense after that, and early in the final period the Wildcats
appeared read to cut that lead to five points.
Fabens had driven the ball from their own 25-yard-line to a 2nd-and-5 at
the Eagles' 10 when Pecos' defense rose up and stopped the Wildcats on
downs. John Gutierrez and B.J. Brack had the key plays on defense there,
but a minute later, Pecos was back in a hole after two penalties and a
fumbled snap by Abila gave Fabens a 1st-and-goal at the 3.
Again, the Eagles responded, as Mark Abila and Brack came up with a pair
of stops at the line on Jimmy D'Anda and Sammy Avila, and Jason Abila
then deflected away a fourth down pass from quarterback Freddie Andrade
to D'Anda. and given another chance, the Eagles would need only six
plays to go 98 yards for the game-clinching score, as they won for the
third time in four starts, 25-7.
"The defense did another great job when they had to make the big plays,"
said coach Mike Belew. "At times we played real well offensively. We
made some big plays, but we had to overcome a lot of misfires."
As in their win two weeks earlier at Alpine, the Eagles dominated in
offensive numbers, but needed a big stand late by the defense after
seeing penalties set them back most of the night. Pecos was hit for 13
penalties in their win over the Bucks; they topped that on Friday with
14 flags for 108 yards.
"This is not the first time I've been out here (in the El Paso area), so
I know the history of it. That's why you have to try and stay focused
and eliminate your other mistakes, because you can't control what the
refs do," Belew said.
The penalties were actually even in the first half, and wound up costing
Pecos one touchdown but set the Eagles up for a later score.
The Eagles overcame a 4th-and-17 hole on their opening drive on a
20-yard connection from Jason Abila to Moses Martinez. That set up
Abila's on 3-yard TD run four plays later, but it was wiped out by a
holding call, and Abila was then sacked trying to pass by Matt
Zappitello, and the Wildcats eventually took over on downs.
Fabens got on the board first off the Eagles' first turnover of the
night, when Lucio Florez fumbled the ball away to Raul Rodriguez at the
Eagles' 34. Zappitello then took a shot from Mark Abila, but was able to
hold onto a pass across the middle for an 18-yard gain after the
Wildcats were flagged for holding, and two plays later D'Anda got around
the left side and into the end zone for the score.
Pecos got the touchdown right back, marching 70 yards to open the second
quarter. Thirty of that came off a pair of late hit penalties against
Fabens, and the drive was capped off by a trio of runs by Hector Garcia,
who went in from three yards out with 8:28 left in the half.
Pecos' defense the made its first big play of the night on the next
series, when they stopped Sammy Avelar for no gain on a 4th-and-1 from
Pecos' 33. A 17-yard pass play from Abila to Oscar Luna was wiped out by
a penalty, but Abila then found tight end Manuel Contreras on a 12-yard
pass over the middle, and Jason Aguilar got the first down moments
Then after another penalties left Pecos with a 2nd-and-11 from the
Fabens 41 Abila found Luna cutting across the middle, and he got past a
trio of Wildcat defenders and into the end zone with 42 seconds to play
in the half.
Abila's TD run wet in almost the same direction as Luna's, but his came
after he stepped in front of a Andrade pass meant for Zappitello and got
around several Fabens players for the score. Things would get worse for
the Wildcats after that, as they lost halfback Michael Jones on the next
series with a leg injury, then saw Jason Payne step in front of
Zappitello and pick off Andrade at the Eagles' 41-yard-line.
Florez, who gained 108 yards running in place of regular starting
fullback Richard Gutierrez, got Pecos back into Fabens territory with an
11-yard run, but then the flags started flying. Two offsides calls did
go against the Wildcats, but the Eagles had 30 yards in penalties in the
series and their passing game, which accounted for 116 first half yards,
couldn't come through this time and Pecos again turned the ball over on
Pecos' final score, following the two defensive stands, came on a
26-yard run by Garcia after another Pecos holding call. A 15-yard run by
Mark Abila got Pecos out from under their own goalposts with a 15 yard
run, and Aguilar then broke free for a 55 yarder to the Wildcats' 22. It
accounted for most of his 62 yards rushing on the night, while Garcia
wound up with 52 yards, to go along with his two scores.
Aside from the penalties, Pecos' main problem was in extra points, where
Robert Gonzalez took Richard Gutierrez' place. He made his first kick,
had his second blocked, and a high snap foiled any chance for a third
attempt, after a two-point conversion attempt failed in the third period.
"I though for our offense, defense and special teams played well, except
for the extra points. I was disappointed on that, and I know we're going
to have to work on that," Belew said.
The loss dropped Fabens' record to 2-2 on the season, while the 3-1
Eagles will play their first home game in four weeks this Friday, when
they host Kermit in their 1997 homecoming game. The Yellowjackets are
3-1 after their 34-13 win over McCamey on Friday.
The Eagles were one of five District 4-4A teams to win over the weekend.
Sweetwater routed Amarillo Palo Duro on Thursday, 54-6, and on Friday
Andrews blanked Levelland, 28-0, Fort Stockton won for the second
straight time at Monahans, 24-7, Big Spring edged Snyder, 20-14 while San Angelo Lake View lost to Brownwood, 42-0.
Generally, the Bears have gotten out of sight by halftime with most
opponents but Marathon proved tougher than expected, as they are
beginning to show results with their rebuilding program ,after not
having a football program just a few years ago.
When all was said and done and the score tallied, the Bears notched a
66-38 win, helped out by a touchdown on the last play of the game. The
PAT was not attempted.
A big crowd was on hand to cheer the Bears on and watch senior Naomi
Madrid be crowned homecoming queen, but Bears Coach Ennis Erickson noted
that all the distraction caused by homecoming probably hurt his team's
effort on the field.
He said he was glad it was over so the team can concentrate on district
nemesis, Grandfalls-Royalty, a game to be played in Balmorhea this
Friday and which could again determine the district champion, as it did
Two of three seniors on the squad, Quarterback Zane Rhyne and Debiasie
Mendoza, sat out the game with injuries and hope to be ready for this
week's game. The other senior, Jeremiah Lozano, was forced out of the
game after making a big hit. He was taken to the hospital, but
reportedly was OK this morning.
That left the game's outcome up to underclassmen under the leadership of
juniors Arturo Miranda and Travis Woodruff. They proved equal to the
task as they combined for five touchdowns and 268 yards rushing.
The Bears got a quick start while their erstwhile competitors started
Marathon got the ball after winning the coin toss but couldn't do
anything with it. A punt return for what looked like a touchdown by
Billy Lozano was called back on a penalty, but the Bears moved from the
32 and scored with Woodruff going the final three yards and Miranda
added the PAT, making the score 8-0 with 5:49 left in the first quarter.
Balmorhea next possession started on their own 30 and moved in quickly
once again to score. Manny Mendoza passed 11 yards to Kriss Natividad
for the touchdowns, and Miranda added the PAT to up the Bear lead to
16-0 with 2:51 left in the first stanza.
Getting the ball next on the Marathon 38, Miranda on the second play
dashed 37 yards to score but the PAT was no good, leaving the score at
22-0 with 9:17 left in the first half.
Marathon then figured out how to move the ball, using a combination of
shuttle passes and runs up the middle off scrambles by the passer and
moved deep into Bear country only to see the drive end on an
interception by Woodruff at the Bear 13. Balmorhea took this drive to
pay dirt with Miranda going the final 24 yards and tacking on the PAT to
make the score 30-0 with 5:25 left in the second quarter.
Then the Mustangs figured things out and got their offense rolling They
moved down the field and scored, with the TD coming on a 23-yard
scramble and run by Johnny Samudio. Ruben Gonzales added the PAT to put
Marathon on the board but behind 30-8 with 4:25 left in the first half.
The Bears showed they weren't to be toyed with as Lozano took the
kick-off at his own goal line and raced 80-yards for the score. The try
for PAT was no good making the score 36-8 at the 4:09 mark in the second
Next time Balmorhea got the ball, they moved from their own 10 but ran
out of time in the first half at the Marathon 18.
Following halftime ceremonies, Marathon tried an onside kick as they did
on every kick-off opportunity but none worked. Balmorhea had the ball on
their own 3 and moved in quickly to score with Woodruff going 21 yards
and Chris Cook adding the PAT, upping the score to 44-8 with 9:05 left
in the third quarter.
After exchanges of possession, Marathon got the ball at their own 30 and
moved down for another touchdown. Most of the yards were on a long pass
play before Domingo Aguilar went over from three yards out, with
Gonzalez adding the PAT, making the score 44-16 at the 1:59 mark in the
A short while later, Marathon added to their total, with Alex Hernandez
passing 17 yards to Erik Estrada and Gonzalez kicking the PAT, edging
closer to the Bears at 44-24 with 5:53 to go in the game.
This time, the Bears answered back moving from their own 36 with Lozano,
a speedy freshman, going 36 yards to score and Miranda added the PAT,
making the score 52-24. Only 5:33 remained in the contest.
Marathon came back 50 seconds later, with Aguilar going the final 4
yards after a drive from their own 11 and Rodriguez adding the PAT,
closing the margin to 20 points once again, at 52-32.
The Bears answered less then two minutes later, moving from their own 37
with Woodruff going the last 10 yards and Miranda adding the PAT, making
the score 60-32. Now there was 2:58 to go in the game.
With ever growing confidence, the Mustangs drove in quickly from their
own nine and scored on a 13-yard pass play from Hernandez to Estrada.
However, the kick failed and the score stood at 60-38. Now there was 55
seconds left to play.
The Bears never like to waste time and they used those 55 seconds
judiciously, moving in to score from their own 36 with Woodruff going
the final 24 yards on the last play of the game.
Marathon played better than expected although the Bears didn't play as well as they could, Erickson noted after the game.
No, not the Eagles' football team. The volleyball team.
Like Dallas, Pecos has won most of its games in September, but the
Eagles aren't feeling too good about their overall level of play.
The latest example came on Saturday, when they improved their District
4-4A record to 3-1 with a 15-11, 9-15, 15-9 victory at home over the Big
"Everything looked like it was in slow motion. Both teams were very
flat," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado about the match, which was
similar to last Tuesday's three-game victory at Fort Stockton.
"Lori (Marquez) had 18 kills, and that was the bright spot. When she
went to the back line, we didn't do much," Granado said. Gail Taylor
added five kills and Ivy Thorp had three, most of those coming late in
the deciding match.
"We were flat all the way through. We waited until the last five points
and then it was like we turned on a light switch and finally started
communicating with each other," Granado said.
Kristi McWherter had 10 kills and Keesha Lott seven for the Steers,
though it was the seven ace serves records by Big Spring that concerned
Granado the most.
"We weren't moving for the serves. We just stood around," she said,
while adding the Eagles did to better going after Big Spring's spike
"We did pick up more balls. They caught us a couple of times with little
dinks over our blocks. Those were Annette's (Marquez), but Annette is
not 100 percent, and she never got there," said Granado.
Marquez sprained her ankle during practice on Saturday and was slowed
enough on Saturday that she had to sit out the third game. "LaChrisha
(Molinar) replaced her on defense in the third game and did a good job
taking over for Annette," the Eagles' coach said. It was the second
ankle injury of the week for the Eagles, after Shirhonda Bell hurt her's
prior to Tuesday's match at Fort Stockton.
However, both players will have the entire week to recover, as the
Eagles have a bye date on Tuesday before hosting San Angelo Lake View
this Saturday. The Maidens stayed a half-game behind the second place
Eagles in the 4-4A standings with a 12-15, 15-13, 15-9 win at Fort
"I'm glad we have Tuesday off, because we're going to be able to work on
some things," Granado said. "We're going to break up into groups, and
I'm going to concentrate on setting, Veronica (Valenzuela, the Eagles'
junior varsity coach) is going to work on defense and Lily (Talamantez,
Pecos' freshman coach) will work with the hitters."
Overall, the Eagles are now 14-8 on the season, while Big Spring fell to
8-11, and 1-2 in district. The Steers took Saturday's JV match, 15-12,
14-16, 15-2, while Pecos won both freshman matches, with the purple team
scoring a 17-15, 15-6 win and the gold team a 15-7, 16-14 victory.
Granado said the Eagles' freshman teams' matches at Crane on Tuesday
have been canceled for budgetary reasons. Pecos' seventh and eighth
grade purple teams did get to go on the road over the weekend, and both
took home first place trophies from the Andrews Tournament. Scores for the teams' three matches were unavailable this morning.
IRVING, Texas, Sept. 29 -- The Dallas Cowboys, despite winning 75 per
cent of their games, have long faces.
Even though they reversed their September fortunes of a year ago, when
they went 1-3 in September, the Cowboys have been a one-week wonder,
impressive only in a 37-7 execution of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week
Since then, the Dallas offense has gone south despite a 3-1 record
that's the envy of most NFL teams. They've lost to Arizona and tip-toed
past Philadelphia and Chicago.
``We can't allow ourselves to accept the mediocrity we've put on the
field the last three weeks,'' said Aikman, who threw two touchdown
passes in a 27-3 win over Chicago on Sunday. ``I think if we execute in
practice and pay attention to detail and put emphsasis on things that
are important, we can have an excellent team. If we continue to go
through the motions like we have, I'm going to stand up here each and
every Sunday and talk about how we need to improve.''
Dallas accomplished a goal set by coach Barry Switzer in training camp,
a sizzling September start.
Dallas made the playoffs after the 1-3 start last year, but couldn't
overcome a homefield disadvantage at Carolina.
``One of our goals was to get off to a faster start this year, and we've
turned September around,'' Switzer said.
Chicago, which is 0-5 and off to its worst start since 1969, came into
the game yielding an NFL-worst 32 points per game.
Aikman said the Cowboys can't be totally pleased with their fast start.
``It's a Catch-22, we're 3 and 1 and we're pleased,'' Aikman said. ``But
if you ask me, we've got to do a better job. From that standpoint, my
enthusiasm is a bit tempered.
``Clearly going into the season we would have liked to be 4-0, but 3-1
is a good position. Not many teams are in a better situation.''
Aikman finally got the Cowboys going in the second half Sunday after
they struggled to a 7-3 halftime edge.
After a 48-yard drive set up Richie Cunningham's 33-yard field goal,
Aikman whipped Dallas on a 60-yard drive. Aikman hit Michael Irvin with
passes of 11 and 26 yards before Irvin beat an all-out Chicago blitz and
his man, Walt Harris, on a quick slant pattern for the 26-yard score.
``We made a few big plays to win the game,'' Irvin said. ``Chicago can
make your offense look ugly. Troy took quite a beating. He had to stand
Aikman was sacked three times and knocked down five times.
Deion Sanders created a buzz.
Sanders fielded a punt and slashed straight up the middle of the field,
slowing down on the 20-yard line so he could hold the ball aloft and
strut all the way into the end zone for his first punt return touchdown
for the Cowboys. It was the longest in his NFL career and his first
since 1990, when he returned a punt 79 yards for an Atlanta touchdown.
``Deion showed why he is one of the most exciting players in the NFL,''
Switzer said. ``That was quite a feat. He kept saying he was going to
Sanders said, ``They outkicked the coverage. I had a great lane. They
hadn't been kicking to me. I was emotional after I had scored. It had
The Chicago quarterback job is back up for grabs, again, between Mirer
and Erik Kramer.
``At this point, we have to look at a lot of things,'' coach Dave
Wannstedt said. ``We won't make a decision until we look at the films.
We're just not making any plays, and it's not just the quarterback.
There are a lot of things.''
Aikman's other tuchdown pass was a 6-yarder to Anthony Miller after
Kevin Smith intercepted a pass late in the first half.
The win reversed a 22-6 loss to Chicago on Monday Night Football to open
the 1996 season.
Running back Raymont Harris, who gained 120 yards on 29 carries for
Chicago, said, ``We don't feel very good right now. It's the mood of
being bewildered. Why is this happening to us? Every game we do good
things in the first half and then self-destruct in the second half.''
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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