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Thursday, September 24, 1998

Eagles face high-flying Cranes

Staff Writer
PECOS, Sept. 24 -- The Crane Golden Cranes were a tough team
for the Pecos Eagles to scrimmage last season. Friday night,
the Eagles will find out how tough Crane is when it actually
counts on the scoreboard.

The Eagles can assure themselves on a winning record in
pre-district play, and pick up some heads around the Permian
Basin at the same time, if they can go into Crane at 8 p.m.
Friday and come out with a win over the Golden Cranes, who
have demolished their first three opponents of the 1998
football season.

Pecos has gotten a chance to see Crane in scrimmages the
past several seasons -- the teams last met in regular season
play in 1993 -- and the Cranes swept last year's varsity,
junior varsity and freshman contests in Crane. They were
also expected to advance to the playoffs in 1997, but were
beaten by Colorado City then upset by Greenwood, and found
themselves on the outside looking in come November.

Most of the players off that team are back this year, and
while coach Alan Cherry wouldn't describe his players as
"mad" about last season's finish, he said they were
determined not to stage a repeat of a year ago.

"I don't know if we're angry. We're just going out and
doing the best we can every week," said Cherry, whose team
was ranked 14th in the latest Associated Press Class 3A
football poll.

So far, that's been pretty good. Crane went into Fort
Stockton in Week 1 and dismantled the Panthers, 34-7, then
blanked McCamey, 46-0 before rolling over Seminole last
Friday, 35-14, in their home opener.

"They've got some real good running backs with good speed,
and they execute real well," said Eagles' coach Dan Swim.
"They don't do too many different things on offense, but
they just do it real well."

Crane got a big game last week out of fullback Tubby
Collins, who ran for two touchdowns, while another player
who doesn't even start on offense, Donny Bishop, had two
rushing TDs against Fort Stockton and caught scoring passes
against the Panthers and Indians from quarterback Clay

"Bishop is one back we throw to," Cherry said, adding that
Eddie Murguva and Jamin Phipps also are targets for McGuire,
who threw three scoring passes last week.

"He's doing a real good job," Cherry said of the junior,
who had his problems throwing the ball in last year's
scrimmage against Pecos. "He's got a year under his belt,
and he's more comfortable."

McGuire also runs the ball some, and Swaim said at
6-foot-5, "He's big old strong kid who's pretty hard to
bring down."

Along with Collins and Bishop, halfback Willie Morris is
Crane's other running threat. Swaim said that while none are
in the Shaud Williams category or runners, "They look about
like (Fort Stockton's Matt) Allen did last week. "If we let
them break loose, they're going to go just like that Allen

"They've got good football speed, and I feel like our
offensive line has done an outstanding job this year,"
Cherry said.

The Eagles kept Allen in check last Friday, holding him to
just over 70 yards and holding the Panthers to only 124
yards in total offense in their 7-3 victory, which gave
Pecos a 2-1 mark for the season. Crane also had a strong
defensive game against Fort Stockton, holding them to just
117 yards total offense, while limiting Seminole to only 150
yards last week.

The Panthers were minus Allen in their loss to Crane, but
Seminole was stopped despite having their top back, Kaleb
Clay, whom the Cranes burned as a punter three times,
returning those kicks a total of 99 yards to set up scores.

"They capitalized on some turnovers against Fort Stockton
and McCamey, and then against Seminole they had those big
punt returns," Swaim said. Luther Davenport, who starts at
cornerback, had two of the long punt returns, while the
Cranes' strong safety, Phillip Tarin, had the other.

Crane only allowed Seminole to score late in both halves,
after they had gone out to 21-0 and 35-7 leads. "Defensively
they play good technique and take care of their
responsibilities. They don't blow any assignments," Swaim

Cherry said Phipps and Steve Nelson at the defensive ends
played well against Seminole, as did nose guard Jonathan
Phillips. While the Cranes' lines aren't as big as the ones
Fort Stockton threw at Pecos last week, they still average
over 225 pounds on defense and just over 220 on the
offensive side.

The Eagles did run the ball well on Fort Stockton in the
early going, but had problems getting outside in the second
half, as the Panthers stacked their defense against the run.
Instead, quarterback Oscar Luna was 6-for-8 for 132 yards in
the final two quarters, including a 44-yard touchdown pass
to Jason Payne off a flea flicker play with 2:53 to play.

"I don't know if we're going to do that again," Swaim said
of the second half air show. "What Stockton was giving us
was what we took. Otherwise, we're just going to come out
and do what we always do."

As they did last week, the Eagles will be minus four
starters for Friday. Lineman Jeff Martinez is out for the
season with a shoulder separation, while linemen Alonzo
Valencia and Orlando Orona and linebacker Robert Gonzales
could be back later, when District 2-4A play begins.

"It's going to take a good effort by us on the defensive
side of the football and no mistakes on offense. If we do
that, we'll be all right," Swaim said.

Pecos netters set to play in El Paso

PECOS, Sept. 24 -- The Pecos Eagles tennis team will be the
first Eagle squad of the season to make the long westward
trip to El Paso, although they won't be facing any of their
new District 2-4A opponents.

The Eagles will play a couple of teams from the other Class
4A district in El Paso -- Burges and El Paso High -- along
with Class 5A El Paso Jefferson during their two-day visit.
Coach Bernadette Ornelas said Pecos will take on Burges at 4
p.m. today, then face El Paso High at 9 a.m. Saturday before
finishing up with a 2 p.m. match against the Silver Foxes.

"These tri-duals are going to prepare us for our new
district coming up," Ornelas said. "Those teams have already
played some of our district teams.

"El Paso Burges faced Fabens and beat them 17-1, so this
will give us a better feel for how we're going to do in
district," she said.

Only four of the six 2-4A teams play tennis, and Ornelas
said that as a result, the Eagles' dual meets in October
will not count towards determining regional qualifiers.

"On October 23-24 there will be a district team tournament
in Fabens, and that will determine the district
representative," she said. Pecos' three 2-4A matches,
beginning on Oct. 3 against Clint, will decide pairings for
the tournament, with the first and second place squads
advancing to the Region I-4A tourney at the end of October.

Sosa soars, but Cubs drop ball, game

Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO, Sept. 24 -- Although Sammy Sosa provided yet
another enduring image of Chicago's season with his 64th and
65th home runs, the sight of Brant Brown dropping a routine
fly ball in Milwaukee may be what Cubs fans ultimately
remember about 1998.

Brown's error with two outs in the bottom of the ninth
inning Wednesday allowed three runs to score and gave the
Brewers a shocking 8-7 victory in a game the Cubs led 7-0.

A win would have given the Cubs a one-game lead over New
York in the NL wild-card race, as the Mets lost 3-0 to
Montreal. Instead, the teams remained tied atop the
standings with three games left.

``I don't know how to explain it,'' said Brown, who went to
left field in the eighth as a defensive replacement. ``The
bottom line is I clanked it and we lost the game.

``You can say the wind, you can say the sun, but those are
elements you play with every day. Hopefully, it doesn't cost
us that much.''

With a 7-5 lead in the ninth, Rod Beck (3-3) loaded the
bases with one out. Beck gave up a single to Mark Loretta
and a double to Jeff Cirillo, and then intentionally walked
Jeromy Burnitz to pitch to Marquis Grissom.

After Grissom popped up for the second out, Geoff Jenkins
hit the fateful fly ball.

``We've had a lot of tough losses,'' Cubs manager Jim
Riggleman said. ``The timing of that loss right there,
certainly, it's excruciating.''

Sosa broke out of an 0-for-21 slump with back-to-back solo
homers, the second of which gave the Cubs a 7-0 lead. But
the Brewers' eight runs came in the final three innings.

``If they had a four-letter word for baseball, we'd probably
be using it,'' Beck said.

Sosa tied Mark McGwire for the major league home run lead,
and his 156 RBIs are fourth-best in NL history.

McGwire failed to homer against Houston's Randy Johnson as
the Astros won their 100th game. Johnson (10-1) scattered
eight hits in seven innings to end the host Cardinals'
six-game winning streak.

In Montreal, Carl Pavano allowed three hits in six-plus
innings as the Expos dropped New York back into a tie with
the Cubs atop the NL wild-card standings.

The Mets close out the season with three games in Atlanta.

Pavano (6-8) also had an RBI double for visiting Montreal,
which went 8-4 against New York this year. Ugueth Urbina got
three outs for his 34th save and seventh against the Mets.

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