Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
Monday, January 26, 1998
AFC's loss streak packed away by Broncos
By BARRY WILNER
AP Football Writer
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 26 -- The Super Bowl turned super for the
AFC, the Denver Broncos and, finally, for John Elway.
Thirteen seasons of AFC flops ended Sunday. So did Denver's
futility in the NFL title game. And Elway now can stand tall
among his peers as a championship quarterback.
In a thrilling game with a bit of everything -- and nothing
was solved until 28 seconds remained -- the Broncos beat
defending champion Green Bay 31-24 for their first league
crown after four failures. Elway was more caretaker than
star, leaving that to MVP Terrell Davis, who had 157 yards
and a Super Bowl-record three TDs rushing.
But nobody relished this title more than the 15-year veteran
who had done everything in his distinguished career except
bring home a championship.
``We did it the hard way,'' Elway said of being the second
wild-card team to win a Super Bowl. ``You wonder if you're
going to run out of years. But we finally got it done, and
it feels neat.
``I've been hearing it a long time, that AFC streak -- 13
years is a long, long time -- and it's great that I'm not
going to hear it anymore. I'd hear question after question
if my career would be complete if I didn't win a Super Bowl.
I no longer have to answer that one: It can be complete, and
it's hard for me to believe I am saying that.''
Say it, John. Again and again, as others were saying it
after Denver's upset.
``They never really would have considered him a great
quarterback before he won the big one,'' tight end Shannon
Sharpe said. ``Well, he won the big one. He did all he
Elway and the Broncos did almost nothing in their Super Bowl
defeats of 1987, '88 and '90. They lost by a combined
136-40. They were overwhelmed on both lines, couldn't
produce on the ground and yielded all sorts of big plays.
Green Bay got some of those big plays Sunday -- Brett Favre
hit Antonio Freeman for two scores and Mark Chmura for one,
and Eugene Robinson had a key interception -- but these
Broncos were a new breed.
Their offensive line, considered small by NFL standards,
wore down the bigger Packers. Their defense gave up 350
yards, but it forced two turnovers that set up 10 points,
and its blitz was effective throughout.
And Denver, a two-touchdown underdog, had the swing factor
in Davis, a native of San Diego who attended the same high
school as Marcus Allen, the MVP of the last AFC victory, by
the Raiders in 1984.
``Now that we won, it's obvious you can not top this,'' he
Davis was sensational in the second half after missing much
of the second quarter with what he believed was the onset of
a migraine. He gained 93 yards after halftime, scoring two
of his three 1-yard touchdowns. He broke tackles, carried
defenders with him for extra yards or simply scooted around
them -- although the Packers said they let him score the
final TD with 1:45 left in order to preserve time for a
``It was a strategy I felt was our only chance to win the
game,'' coach Mike Holmgren said, ``because if they kick a
field goal, there would be only about 10 or 15 seconds
Befitting such a wild game, the Packers did, indeed,
threaten once more. Favre, inconsistent much of the day,
guided them to the Denver 31. But Darrien Gordon broke up a
pass for Freeman, Green Bay's most effective player (nine
catches, 126 yards), Favre missed Robert Brooks and, on
fourth down, John Mobley broke up a pass for Chmura.
``The play was there,'' Favre said. ``We had a lot of plays
there and didn't make them.''
So a raucous celebration began for the Broncos. Elway hugged
Tyrone Braxton, who had an interception, and Steve Atwater,
who forced a fumble, both in the first half. They are the
three Broncos left from the last Super Bowl loss.
Davis, who said, ``I have a history of migraines,'' showed
no sign of it as he pranced on the sideline, gave a few of
his trademark salutes, then watched Elway take a knee to end
the game and the ignominious streaks.
``We had that long halftime and that helped,'' Davis said.
``When I came back out, my vision was back. I still had the
aura, but I knew I had to be strong.
``I think a lot of teams, past AFC teams, maybe have read
the newspapers and watched television too much and started
believing what they heard and read.''
They heard and read about a conference not physical enough
to beat the NFC.
``We out-physicaled Green Bay,'' Elway said, ``which is
pretty good for the lightest line in the NFL.''
They heard and read about how wild cards don't measure up,
going 1-4 before this game.
``The oddsmakers don't make you a better team and the media
don't make you a better team ... and being a wild card don't
make you a lesser team,'' Sharpe said. ``You've got to play
Both teams came ready to do that, scoring on their opening
drives, a Super Bowl first. Denver then went on top 17-7 as
Braxton's interception set up Elway's peg-legged 1-yard TD
run and Atwater's hit forced Favre's fumble. That led to
Jason Elam's 51-yard field goal.
But Favre engineered a 95-yard drive to Chmura's score,
making it 17-14 at halftime.
Things got sloppy in the third quarter. Davis fumbled at his
26 on his first carry, and Ryan Longwell's 27-yard field
goal tied it. The teams stumbled until Denver put together a
13-play, 92-yard drive on which Elway dived head first for a
first down before Davis' second score.
Green Bay tied it 2:02 later on Freeman's second score,
capping an 85-yard march in four plays.
The Broncos weren't through, forcing a punt from deep in
Green Bay territory that traveled to the Packers 49. A
15-yard facemask penalty on Darius Holland, a 23-yard gain
on a short pass by Howard Griffith and a 17-yard run by
Davis to the 1 following a holding penalty set up the
``They knew they were in a fight,'' Sharpe said. ``We hit
them and they hit back and we hit back again.''
Elway, the only member of the vaunted Class of '83
quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl, after nine losses, is
considering retiring. Not a bad way to go out.
``I am going to really enjoy this, because I worked 15 years
in the NFL and through college for it,'' he said. ``They
made this game for quarterbacks and you've got to win this
game to be up there with the elite.''
Eagles prep for tough week with easy win
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Jan 26 -- Things have gone from bad to worse for the
Fort Stockton Prowlers since their last meeting with the
Pecos Eagles. That not only allowed the Eagles to get their
fourth easy win of the season over Fort Stockton, but for
coach Brian Williams to try some things in preparation for
the Eagles' two key games this week.
Fort Stockton, which had lost to Pecos earlier by 32-, 25-
and 21-point margins, were without their best player, Elisa
Espino, who was sidelined with a knee injury. And without
her in the lineup, the Eagles scored their most lopsided
victory in seven years, routing the Prowlers by a 73-23
The win was the Eagles' biggest since 1991, when they
defeated the Prolwers by a 91-38 margin, on the way to the
Class 4A playoffs. But Friday's win left Pecos with only a
2-4 record in District 4-4A play with four games to go. That
means the Eagles will have to come up with at least one
victory this week against 4-4A co-leaders Andrews and
Sweetwater to keep their playoff hopes alive.
With that in mind, Williams tried some different things,
such as starting post Lorie Marquez at guard, while keeping
up at least a half-court press for much of the night.
Marquez got more of her points on short jumpers than usual,
and finished with 23 points, while Shay Lara got out of a
recent lay-up shooting slump and put in 17, as four of
Pecos' five starters were in double figures.
Marquez was moved outside into Annette Marquez' spot, with
Ivy Thorp starting at post. "I just wanted to see how a 2-3
zone would react to Lorie," Williams said. "When we played
Sweetwater the last time they doubled her down low. I just
wanted to see what would happed in a game.
"Tuesday night (in Sweetwater) if she's out on a wing,
somebody's going to have to guard her one-on-one and that
should free up Penny (Armstrong) or Shay inside."
Armstrong finished with 12 points Friday, while Marisol
Arenivas had 11, including a short jumper in the first
period after Fort Stockton's Jessica Carrillo got the
Prowlers their only tie, at 2-2.
Lara had seven points in the first period, which ended with
Pecos up by an 18-4 score. Two baskets came directly from
baskets off steals, while the final one, just before the
buzzer, came from a steal by Lorie Marquez off the
The press would work even better for the Eagles late in the
half, when they would take as much as a 33-point lead and
went in to the locker room up by a 44-14 score.
"Pecos has been on that end of the score before, but we just
haven't won enough games in district to be conservative,"
Williams said. "We needed to work on the press, because
against Lake View and Big Spring we had some press
"In the second half, I backed them up to halfcourt and gave
them a chance to do some things on offense," he added. Even
so, things got worse in the third period, when the Prowlers
scored only two points and left trailing by a 60-16 margin.
Pecos then scored the first 11 points of the final period,
to go up by 55 points at 71-16, before the Prowlers
outscored Pecos' reserves 7-2 in the final 1:55 of play.
Jacinda Gonzales' seven points led Fort Stockton, which
slipped to 2-19 on the season and 0-6 in district. The
Eagles improved to 12-10 overall going into Tuesday's game
at Sweetwater, which tied Andrews for first on Friday by
beating their Mustang counterparts, 50-39.
Things were a lot closer on the junior varsity level, where
the Eagles held on for a 34-30 win. Maricela Arenivas led
Pecos with 12 points.
FORT STOCKTON (23)
Salmon 0 0-0 0; Ortiz 1 0-4 3; Galindo 0 2-3 2; Robledo 0
3-6 3; Carrillo 2 0-0 4; Valeriano 2 0-3 4; Gonzales 3 1-4
7. Totals 8 6-20 23.
Arenivas 5 0-0 11; Lara 8 1-2 17; A. Marquez 2 0-0 5;
Armstrong 4 4-5 12; Orona 0 0-0 0; Quiroz 3 0-0 7; L.
Marquez 8 5-5 21; Levario 1 0-2 2; Hathorn 0 0-0 0; Thorp 0
2-2 2. Totals 31 12-16 73.
Fort Stockton 4 10 2 7 --23
Pecos 18 26 16 13 --73
Three-point goals: Fort Stockton 1 (Ortiz); Pecos 3
(Arenivas, A. Marquez, Quiroz). Fouled out: None. Total
fouls: Fort Stockton 15, Pecos 20.
Bad finishes to halves do in Pecos, 50-43
PECOS, Jan 26 -- The Fort Stockton Panthers had the staying
power when it counted -- at the end of both halves of Friday
night's game against the Pecos Eagles.
After outscoring the Eagles down the stretch in the first
half, 15-5 to turn a three point deficit into a 30-27 lead,
the Panthers closed out the game with a 14-3 run, which
wiped out a 40-36 deficit and gave them a 50-43 win at the
Pecos High School gym.
"No unity and free shots," were coach Mike Sadler's reasons
for Pecos' fourth defeat in four District 4-4A games, after
going 13-7 in pre-district play. "We've got to be united to
be successful as a team, and we're all going in different
It was a rough night for Pecos' senior starters, for varying
reasons. Omar Hinojos was able to drive the baseline often
on Fort Stockton's Luke Groth and Armino Cabello, but
couldn't get his shots to fall and finished with 13 points,
six below his season average. Fabien Adame led the Eagles'
third quarter comeback, getting consecutive lay-ups and
fouls to tie the score, but was shut out other than that,
while Jacob Chavez was taken out of the starting lineup for
disciplinary reasons and played only in the second and
fourth quarters and scored just one point.
One lay-up that did go for Hinojos came during a six-point
run that broke a 7-7 tie and gave Pecos a brief 13-7 lead.
But Fort Stockton would eventually tie the score at 18-all
off a 3-pointer by Charles Poage 90 seconds into the second
period, and continued to control play for the rest of the
quarter. Eloy Fabela had a pair of lay-ups and a 3-pointer
during the streak, which ended with the Panthers up by seven.
Adame's outburst allowed the Eagles to re-tie the game 90
seconds into the third quarter, but after that both teams
struggled to score points. A Hinojos lay-up gave the Eagles
a 35-34 lead, but the Panthers went back on top just before
the buzzer on a steal and lay-up by Armando Rivera.
The Eagles' last lead came off their only 3-pointer of the
night, by Oscar Luna, who had another strong game. Moses
Martinez followed with a lay-up, but Pecos wouldn't get
another basket until there were eight seconds left in the
A three-point play by Poage cut the lead to one, and Groth
had a rebound lay-up to give the Panthers the lead. Chavez
was then fouled from 3-point range with 4:42 to play and
tied the game with his first foul shot, but missed the next
two, part of the Eagles' 8-for-16 night from the line that
had Sadler upset.
Pecos had many chances to catch up after that, but couldn't
get anything going either from the inside or outside. Fort
Stockton, meanwhile, was able to get lay-ups from Groth,
Cabello and Fabela over the next three minutes, which turned
out to be the margin of victory.
Fort Stockton evened their district record at 2-2, and are
12-10 on the season, while the Eagles fell to 13-11 and 0-4
going into Tuesday's game at Sweetwater. The Mustangs fell
out of a tie for first with Andrews with a 68-65 road loss
"I'm just going to work as hard as I can and just keep
going," Sadler said. "We've just got to try and get four or
five wins and get a tie for third ad play for the third
FORT STOCKTON (50)
Gonzales 0 0-0 0; Groth 2 0-0 4; Leyva 1 4-4 6; Fabela 6 0-0
14; Pules 0 0-0 0; Rivera 1 0-0 2; Poage 2 3-4 6; Sawyer 0
1-2 1; Hernandez 1 0-0 2; Cabelaa 6 1-2 13. Totals 19 9-12
Garcia 1 0-0 2; Herrera 0 0-0 0; Perea 0 0-0 0; Luna 3 0-0
7; Martinez 2 0-0 4; Navarette 4 1-2 9; Hinojos 4 5-9 13;
Matta 0 0-0 0; Adame 2 1-2 5; Marquez 1 0-0 2; Chavez 0 1-3
1. Totals 17 8-16 43.
Fort Stockton 9 21 6 14 --50
Pecos 13 10 12 8 --43
Three-point goals: Fort Stockton 3 (Fabela 2, Poage); Pecos
1 (Luna) Fouled out: Pecos, Hinojos Total fouls: Fort
Stockton 15, Pecos 17.
Bears split district openers with Mustangs
PECOS, Jan 26 -- District 29-A play opened with another
victory for the Balmorhea Bears boys basketball team Friday
night, while the girls lost their second close contest of
the season to the Marathon Mustangs.
The Bears, who are seeking their third straight district
title and second consecutive undefeated season in district,
jumped out to a 24-11 first period lead on the way to a
68-47 victory over the Mustangs. Earlier, Balmorhea's girls,
who are trying to get back into the playoffs after a
two-year absence, lost to Marathon by a 56-54 score.
"We were ahead until midway through the second quarter, then
they got ahead and stayed there most of the way," said
Bears' coach Ennis Erickson. "Right at the end we caught up.
Basically, we tied it with about 10 seconds to play, but
they went down and made a basket, and that was it."
Brenda Dutchover had 18 points, including a trio of 3-point
baskets, while Cherry Garcia added 16 for the Bears, who are
now 7-10 on the season. Marathon, which had beaten Balmorhea
by four points at the Sanderson Tournament in December,
improved to 15-8 overall.
Erickson said the boys had an easy time getting their 11th
straight district win over the past 2½ seasons. Only five
players scored for Balmorhea in the boys game and only two
made it into double figures. But the two of those, Arturo
Miranda and Zane Rhyne, outscored the Mustangs by
themselves, as Miranda put in 25 points and Rhyne added 24.
The Bears also won without benefit of a 3-point basket,
which is a change from Balmorhea teams in recent years, and
coach Adolfo Garcia said earlier this year he hoped to work
the ball inside more to capitalize on the Bears' height
The boys' upped their season mark to 15-2 going into Tuesday
night's games at home against Buena Vista. The Longhorns
lost their district opener to Grandfalls on Friday, 53-51,
while Buena Vista's girls won their game over the Cowgirls,
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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