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Monday, September 28, 1998

Eagles' offense overwhelmed by Cranes

Staff Writer
CRANE, Sept. 26 -- Tubby Collins and Cody McGuire provided
the flash for the Crane Golden Cranes Friday night, but it
was the defense that was at the heart of the Cranes' 29-0
homecoming victory over the Pecos Eagles.

The Eagles never crossed the 50-yard-line on the Cranes, and
on the play when they got the closest -- a 2nd-and-5 from
the 49 yard line, Crane's quick defenders came up with one
of the key turning points of the night, stealing the ball
away from Jacob Esparza to set up a broken tackle touchdown
by McGuire with 29 seconds left in the half.

That turned a 6-0 Crane lead into a 12-0 advantage and the
Cranes came out flying in the second half, scoring twice off
Eagle mistakes in a 1:59 span to break the game open.

"Never in my wildest imagination did I think they were 29
points better than us," said Eagles' coach Dan Swaim, whose
team fell to 2-2 on the season. "We just didn't play very

"They're a good football team. They're rated No. 9 in one
football poll and No. 16 in another, and deservedly so, but
we killed ourselves with turnovers and mental mistakes."

Crane's defense shut down any outside running by Pecos, and
the Eagles' receivers had their own problems staying
upright. Pecos had several unassisted falls, non so costly
as one early in the third quarter that gave Donnie Bishop an
uncontested shot at intercepting Oscar Luna's pass, setting
up a 45-yard Crane scoring drive.

But if any play really turned things completely against
Pecos, it was McGuire's touchdown run.

The junior wasn't the Crane's leading rusher in the first
half, but he was their toughest. The 6-foot-5 McGuire dove
forward for two yards and a first down after fumbling a 3rd
down snap on the opening drive, then ran 11 yards around the
end on the next play to help set up Collins' 45-yard scoring

Forty-five was the Cranes' favorite number Friday. That's
where their second drive started after Esparza's fumble,
going all the way to a 2nd-and-2 at the Pecos 4. John
Gutierrez broke through on the next play to sack McGuire for
a three-yard loss, and then on third down McGuire was
trapped behind the line on a bootleg to the left. A quartet
of Pecos defenders had him trapped near the sidelines at the
11, but broke all of those tackles, cut back inside, then
broke two more on his way to the end zone.

Until then Pecos' defense played about like they had in the
opener agianst Denver City -- strong after a bad opening
drive. They also got a few 5- to 9-yard runs from Esparza
and Mark Abila on offense, but could never break a long gain
and finished with just 61 yards in total offense at the
half, and 106 for the game. Lineman C.W. Milam, linbacker
Tyler Nelson and defensive back Jamin Phipps were three of
the main problems for Pecos' offense all night.

The Eagles' passing attack was also hampered in the first
period by a strong southerly wind -- strong enough for the
Cranes to call a late time out to make Luis Valencia punt
into the gusts. But the senior helped Pecos' cause in the
period, getting off three high punts that the Cranes were
forced to fair-catch. Crane had set up three of their five
touchdowns the previous week on long punt returns.

So with Valencia not giving Crane anything to return, the
Cranes went for an all-out block on his first punt of the
second half and got it, with lineman Alonzo Garcia picking
it up on one-hop and rumbling 14 yards into the end zone.
Luis Hernandez' extra point upped the lead to 26-0, and he
would close out the scoring 4 1/2 minutes later with a
34-yard field goal.

"Luis did a good job punting for us," Swaim said, despite
the block, as the junior averaged 36.5 yards on eight punts,
despite kicking five into the wind.

Overall, though, Swaim said the Eagles need to be using less
to Valencia's punting abilities.

"We've got to start running the ball. We can't go 1-2-3
punt," he said. "We're going to go back and watch the films
tomorrow (Saturday) and see where the problems are, get our
mistakes corrected and then get ready for Kermit," who hosts
Pecos on Friday.

In the second period, the Eagles got their only first down
through the air, as Luna just was able to loft a screen pass
over a Crane defender to Abila, who gained 22 yards. But two
plays later Esparza was gang tackled behind the line of
scrimmage and stripped of the ball, with Junior Rodriguez
recovering at the Eagles' 45. Pecos had a chance to get the
ball back moments later when Collins fumbled, but teammate
Ricky Heredia fell on the ball at the Pecos 12, and McGuire
scored three plays later.

Collins ended up with 125 yards rushing and Crane finished
with 279 overall on offense. McGuire didn't run once in the
second half, but the Cranes did try out their passing game,
completing two for 56-yards, while dropping three others.
Crane's late air attack may actually help Pecos in the long
run, since they have yet to face a pass-oriented team, and
will face four, in Clint, Mountain View, Canutillo and San
Elizario, once District 2-4A play begins next month.

Crane remained undefeated, and at 4-0 have now outscored
their opponents 144-28 this season. The Cranes will face the
other team that has beaten the Eagles this season, Denver
City, on Friday.

Eagles down Loboes to even record

PECOS, Sept. 28 -- The Pecos Eagles' first trip west for
District 2-4A volleyball play was an enjoyable one Saturday
afternoon, as the Eagles made fast work of the El Paso
Mountain View Lobos.

Pecos bounced back from their district-opening loss to
Fabens by beating Mountain View, 15-7, 15-4, on the Lobos'
home court. Coach Becky Granado said the only real problem
Saturday was the 1-16 Lobos almost made things too easy for
the Eagles.

"It's hard to say how we played. They (Mountain View) didn't
do anything. They scored on our mistakes, and really didn't
earn any of our points. But what little we did have to do,
we looked good," she said.

"Everybody got to play," the Eagles' coach added, saying
that some of Mountain View's points came while Pecos was
going with different lineups.

Pecos had started off well in their district opener at home
against Fabens, only to see the Wildcats rally for a
three-game victory. On Saturday, the Eagles stayed on top of
the Lobos throughout, evening both their 2-4A record and
their overall mark, at 9-9 on the season.

"They had a 6-foot girl, but she just couldn't do anything,"
Granado said. "They gave us a lot of free balls, and we took
advantage of some. Sherrie (Mosby) had a good game. she had
a couple of hits and a few real good blocks.

Pecos' junior varsity also won their match on Saturday over
Mountain View, while the freshman purple team lost to the

Meanwhile, in Pecos, the Eagles' seventh and eighth grade
purple and gold teams played in their own tournament at the
new Pecos High School gym, with Fort Stockton and Crane
taking the division titles.

Pecos' seventh grade purple team won third place, beating
Wink, 11-15, 15-2, 15-6 and Fort Davis, 15-8, 15-10 around a
15-11, 15-2 loss to Fort Stockton. The gold team won
consolation, losing to Fort Davis, 6-15, 15-12, 15-5, then
beating Monahans, 12-15, 16-14, 15-10, and Wink, 16-14, 15-4.

In the eighth grade division, the purple team also finished
third after drawing a first round bye. Pecos lost to
Grandfalls, 15-5, 20-22, 15-10, then beat Fort Davis, 16-14,
17-15. The gold team lost their opener to Fort Davis, 15-8,
12-15, 15-10, then fell in the consolation finals to
Monahans, 9-15, 15-11, 15-6.

The high school teams will be back in the PHS gym on Tuesday
for their next district match, against the Clint Lions.
Clint is also 1-1 in 2-4A play, after a 10-15, 15-12, 15-9
loss to Fabens on Saturday. San Elizario swept Canutillo,
15-13, 15-13, in the other district match.

Fumble-plagued Bears fall to Coyotes

PECOS, Sept. 28 -- Going into this past weekend's six-man
football games, the Balmorhea Bears were looking at the
possibility of facing the No. 1 team in Texas twice in eight

Instead, the Bears will be hoping to settle for a
district-opening victory over the Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys
this Friday, after both they and Grandfalls were beaten over
the weekend by the state's first- and second-ranked teams.

The Bears went to Gail on Friday to face No. 1 Borden
County, which used three touchdowns by Ed Rodriguez and a
series of Balmorhea turnovers to go out to a big halftime
lead, on the way to a 57-24 victory.

On Saturday, No. 2 ranked Trinidad took a little longer to
get started, but after a scoreless opening period they
pushed across 30 straight points in the second quarter
against third-ranked Grandfalls, and widened their lead to
four touchdowns in the third period on the way to a 44-32

Rodriguez had scoring runs of 41- and 70-yards around a
5-yard TD pass from Colt McCook to start the second period,
which helped turn a 14-8 Coyotes' lead into a 44-8 halftime
advantage. McCook opened the game with scoring passes of 7
and 14 yards to Colt Miller, before the Bears' Arturo
Miranda scored from 33 yards out midway through the opening

Borden County came close to ending the game early, under
the 45-point rule, after McCook's fourth touchdown pass of
the game, to Kevin Pinkerton, gave the Coyotes a 51-8 lead,
but touchdowns by Miranda, off a 15-yard pass from Matthew
Sanchez, and a 1-yard Roger Lopez run, kept the Bears alive
until the finish.

The Bears actually ended up out-rushing the Coyotes by nine
yards, 247-238, but Balmorhea also fumbled seven times,
losing five of those. Borden County out-gained the Bears by
100 yards through the air, to go along with McCook's four TD

Balmorhea is now 2-1 on the season and will go to
Grandfalls on Friday for their District 8-A six-man opener.
Grandfalls had been hoping a Balmorhea win on Friday and
their own victory Saturday would move them up to No. 1 in
the standings, but instead the Cowboys figure to fall in
this week's poll rankings after their loss.

Trinidad rolled up nearly 400 yards rushing and had four
TDs on the ground. Roy Vasquez had one touchdown catch and
threw two others in the fourth period, but was held without
a rushing touchdown in the game. Despite the loss,
Grandfalls is still favored to claim their third straight
district title this season.

McGwire hits 70

AP Baseball Writer
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 28 -- Mark McGwire, a wild-card scramble
and a kid pitcher truly made this a final day to remember.

A season full of incredible moments only got better Sunday,
with baseball history changing pitch by pitch and batter by

McGwire set a home run record that could last for a
generation, hitting No. 69 and then connecting for No. 70 in
his last swing of the year.

``I think it will stand for a while,'' he said. ``Will it be
broken someday? It could be. Will I be alive? Possibly.''

Once McGwire was done, fans turned their full attention to
the race for the final postseason berth.

The Cubs lost at the Astrodome, then got a second chance a
minute later when the Giants lost at Colorado. It'll be
Chicago vs. San Francisco at Wrigley Field tonight in a
one-game playoff for the NL wild-card spot.

Bernie Williams won the AL batting title over Mo Vaughn,
barely. Toronto's Roy Halladay, in just his second major
league game, came within one out of a no-hitter. The New
York Yankees finished with an AL record 114 victories. Greg
Vaughn hit his 50th home run.

What a day!

And there was even more as the regular season wrapped up.
Then again, anything that happens in the Giants-Cubs game --
including any home runs Sammy Sosa adds to his total of 66
-- count in the stats.

Paul Molitor got his 3,319th hit, and possibly his last one
in the big leagues. The Cincinnati Reds assembled the
majors' first all-brother infield -- a pair of Larkins, a
pair of Boones. Ruben Amaro Jr. got the winning hit in his
final major league game, then left to become Philadelphia's
assistant general manager.

Halladay started the rush, losing his no-hit bid when
Detroit pinch-hitter Bobby Higginson homered with two outs
in the ninth inning at SkyDome.

Dave Stieb, the only Toronto pitcher to throw a no-hitter,
caught Higginson's ball after it bounced off a wall in the
Blue Jays bullpen.

``Stieb told me congratulations,'' said Halladay, 21. ``To
have him acknowledge something like that made me feel good,
and hopefully somewhere down the road I'll get a chance to
do it again.''

Then it was McGwire's turn. The slugger who hit a grand slam
on opening day ended his season with a smash -- two of them,
that is.

McGwire connected twice in the St. Louis Cardinals' game
against Montreal, a startling finish to a race in which he
and Sosa spent the year chasing Roger Maris' 37-year-old
record of 61.

``I've never even thought about it, dreamed about it,'' he
said. ``It's absolutely amazing! It blows me away!''

Baseball actually spilled over into football when, across
town, the announcement of McGwire's home run cost the St.
Louis Rams a 5-yard penalty. A huge cheer erupted at the
Trans World Dome and seemed to disrupt the Rams' play
calling, leading to an illegal motion penalty.

``Did the Rams win?'' McGwire asked. Told they lost 20-17 to
Arizona, he said, ``Oh, I hope I didn't cause a loss.''

The Cubs, Giants and the New York Mets all missed out. While
the Mets fell out of contention, Chicago and San Francisco
lost chances to win the wild-card outright.

Chicago was beaten 4-3 in 11 innings at Houston. But as some
of the Cubs were walking off the field, they heard the
result from Colorado -- Rockies 9, Giants 8, on a home run
by Neifi Perez.

``I'm halfway up the stairs coming to the clubhouse and
people were in here celebrating,'' Cubs closer Rod Beck
said. ``I knew it wasn't because we did good. People were
jumping up and down shouting, `There's a tomorrow! There's a


-- Williams, who began the day leading the AL batting race
by less than a point, went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly to
finish at .339. Vaughn went 2-for-4 and hit .337.

-- The Yankees won their seventh straight game for their
114th victory. Only the 1906 Cubs (116) won more.

-- The Florida Marlins finished at 54-108, the worst record
in the majors in 19 years and the worst ever for a defending
World Series champion.

-- Vaughn's homer for San Diego made him the fourth player
to hit 50 homers this year, joining McGwire, Sosa and Ken
Griffey Jr. (56). Never before had more than two players
reached 50 the same season.

-- Molitor singled in the eighth inning in Minnesota's 6-2
win over Cleveland at the Metrodome. The 42-year-old Twins
star is leaning toward retirement.

``It was tough to try to stay composed,'' Molitor said. ``I
was a little emotional, and I was trying to dig deep for
some self-control.''

Tonight, the real fun begins with the Cubs and Giants in a
one-game matchup at Wrigley Field for the NL wild-card spot.
Mark Gardner (13-5) will pitch for the Giants against Steve
Trachsel (14-8), with the winner advancing to play at
Atlanta on Wednesday.

``A week ago, we were five back. If someone had told us then
this would come down to a one-game playoff, us against the
Cubs, we would have taken it,'' Giants outfielder Joe Carter

All stats from that game, by the way, count in the
regular-season numbers, meaning Sammy Sosa can add to his
total of 66 home runs.

On Tuesday, the other three best-of-5 matchups get underway.

Randy Johnson will pitch the opener for the Houston Astros
when Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Padres visit in an NL

In the AL, the Boston Red Sox will try to break their streak
of 13 straight postseason losses when they play at
Cleveland, while the New York Yankees are home to take on

The Yankees won a league-record 114 games, breaking the mark
of 111 by Cleveland in 1954. Only the 1906 Chicago Cubs
(116) won more.

``We're not interested in records,'' Yankees manager Joe
Torre said. ``That's not what we're all about.''

``I remember the 1954 Indians. They set the record for wins
in a season, but they lost the World Series to the Giants in
four straight,'' he said. ``Sure, there's pressure to win
the World Series, but it isn't any more pressure than what
we put on ourselves. The bottom line is that our goal every
year is to win the World Series.''

David Wells, who pitched a perfect game this season, will
start for New York. Todd Stottlemyre, whose father, Mel, is
the Yankees pitching coach, will start for the Rangers.

The Yankees were 8-3 against the Rangers this year.

``You look at what they've done over the course of a
162-game season,'' Texas manager Johnny Oates said. ``The
only thing more amazing is what Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa
have done.''

Raiders catch Cowboys napping

AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Texas, Sept. 28 -- On the flight back to Oakland,
Charles Woodson, Eric Turner and John Jett could've gotten
together to argue over whose catch was the easiest.

As for degree of importance, call it a tie.

Interceptions by Woodson and Turner prevented Dallas
touchdowns, while Jett's catch went for a career-best
75-yard touchdown. Combined, they were easily the three
biggest reasons why the Raiders beat the Cowboys 13-12

``Some teams in our league can make more mistakes (than
their opponent) and win,'' Cowboys coach Chan Gailey said.
``But we're not one of them right now.''

Dallas trailed 10-3 late in the third quarter, but Jason
Garrett -- who had seemed infallible in his first three
career starts in place of Troy Aikman -- drove the Cowboys
to the Oakland 7.

Michael Irvin got open in the end zone by making an inside
move that shook Woodson. Garrett, however, threw the ball
outside, hitting Woodson between the numbers.

``I don't know what they were thinking,'' the reigning
Heisman Trophy winner said of his first career interception.
``He threw the ball right to me. All I had to do was catch

Garrett had a chance to redeem himself with Dallas trailing
13-10 and 1:31 left, but his 43-yard bomb into the end zone
sailed over Billy Davis and into Turner's hands.

``It came right to me,'' Turner said.

Unlike Turner and Woodson, Jett could not say his ball came
right to him. If anything, it went right to Dallas
cornerback Kevin Smith.

However, the ball bounced off Smith's shoulder pad and Jett
grabbed the carom. He ran the final 32 yards to the goal
line without any pursuit.

``I saw the ball and tried batting it down,'' Smith said.
``I didn't know he had the ball. I thought the play was

The Raiders are usually the team that plays sloppy and makes
silly blunders. This time, the league's most-penalized team
was flagged just four times for 20 yards and didn't have any

Oakland's offense was able to run, while its defense kept
Dallas from doing the same. As a result, the Raiders emerged
from its season-opening stretch against Kansas City, New
York, Denver and Dallas at 2-2.

``I thought we had the toughest first four weeks of any team
in the league -- the Super Bowl champs, two division
champions and then the Cowboys,'' quarterback Jeff George
said. ``To come out 2-2, it's a pretty good mark, something
to build on.''

For the Cowboys (2-2), this wasn't the way they hoped to
start their seven-game run against teams with losing

``We've just got to regroup,'' Smith said. ``It's tough
right now, but it's still early in the season.''

Oakland led 10-3 at halftime behind Jett's touchdown and a
30-yard field goal by Greg Davis. A 38-yarder by Davis made
it 13-3 early in the fourth quarter. Dallas got within 13-10
with 5:49 left on a 1-yard touchdown by Emmitt Smith.

Turner's interception left the Raiders 91 seconds from
victory. They got there the hard way.

Three kneel-downs by George and a delay of game left Oakland
with a fourth down, so punter Leo Araguz ran out of the end
zone for a safety.

But there were still two seconds left, forcing Araguz to
make a free kick. Deion Sanders got the ball twice on
laterals, but the fourth pitch, by Billy Davis, was
intercepted by Oakland to end the game.

``All I could see,'' said Raiders coach Jon Gruden, ``was
California-Stanford all over again.''

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