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Monday, October 5, 1998

Eagles again are grounded on offense

Staff Writer
KERMIT, Oct. 3 -- When the opposing team's punt snapper
turns out to be your best offensive weapon in the past two
weeks, it's clear there's a problem that needs correcting.

That's what the Pecos Eagles will be working on during the
upcoming week, as they try to find an answer for their
offensive woes after Friday's 13-2 loss to the Kermit

The Eagles failed to take advantage of an early muffed punt
by the Yellowjackets, while Kermit capitalized on an
ill-advised lateral by running back Jacob Esparza in the
third period to get what turned out to be the game-winning

"We can't move the football, and we're killing ourselves
with turnovers," said Eagles' coach Dan Swaim. "That's two
weeks in a row turnovers have led to points. We've got to
quit shooting ourselves in the foot and have got to play
better offensively."

Louie Bossett, who was held to 18 yards in the first half,
broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run after Sergio Saenz
gained 20 yards on a 3rd-and-17 play. Saenz had a painful
for his 69-yard rushing night, being knocked out of the game
once in each half, while Bossett made things painful for
Pecos in the fourth quarter, grinding out yards on the way
to a 114-yard effort.

Bossett didn't catch a pass from either quarterback Martin
Jameson or Ivor Ramirez, but he snared two from Pecos
quarterback Oscar Luna. The senior tried to work the quick
pass over the middle to Manuel Contreras that worked so well
against Fort Stockton, but both times in the first half,
Bossett was there in his linebacker role to intercept the
pass and stop Pecos drives.

The first came two plays after a 13 yard run by Lucio
Florez to Kermit's 27 was wiped out by a penalty, and that
came one play after Francisco Coria recovered J.J. Chavez'
muffed punt just two minutes into the game. The second
interception was on a 3rd-and-5 play with 1:10 left in the
half, after the Eagles had taken a 2-0 lead.

The points were on a safety, when a punt snap sailed over
Manny Munoz' head and out the back of the end zone. It was
set up by Kermit's lone pass completion of the night, a
screen to Saenz, who was held in place by Hector Garcia long
enough to be decked by Robert Gonzales and Joe Robert Lara
for a seven-yard loss to the Jackets' 19-yard line.

Plays like that helped limit Kermit to 32 yards in total
offense for the half, and the Jackets continued to struggle
on the second half kickoff. They lost kick returner Norman
Castillo on a hard hit by Esparza and Sammy Chavez, then
went backwards on offense thanks to a pair of illegal motion

But after a five-yard run by Florez set Pecos up at the
Kermit 46, Esparza was hit behind the line by a pair of
Kermit defenders, and tried to lateral the ball back to
Luna. It hit the quarterback's hip and then the ground, with
Aaron Rodriguez recovering at midfield.

Saenz' 20-yard run, one of his three on the night for 15
yards or better, was the turning point on the game, and set
up Bossett's score. The fullback had been stopped for a one
yard loss and Kermit was then hit with its eighth penalty of
the night when Saenz took a pitch and went around the left
side of the line and down to the Pecos 37. Two plays later
Bossett finally broke through the Pecos line and outraced
the Eagles' secondary to the end zone.

"That was a big play for them" Swaim said of Saenz' run.
"Our defense playing good, but we've got to make better
decisions offensively."

The rest of the game was, if not all Kermit, a continuation
of Pecos' three-week offensive frustration. Florez, who ran
for 76 yards on the night, returned the ensuing kickoff 45
yards to Kermit's 47, then gained nine yards, following by a
10-yard gain from Mark Abila, who was used mostly on defense
Friday. But after another two-yard run by Abila, Florez was
stopped at the line for no gain, Ramirez deflected an end
zone pass for Orlando Matta and Luna missed on a pass to
Jason Payne, giving Kermit back the ball at their own 25.

The Eagles would gain two more first downs on their next
series, but that stalled at the Kermit 37 and from there,
the Jackets would drive 63 yards for the clinching touchdown
with 4:20 to play.

Although Bossett had the big runs, the key play came from
Ramirez, who replaced Jameson at quarterback when the second
half began. On a 4th-and-2 from the Pecos 4-yard-line he was
able to just elude defensive end Alonzo Valencia and dive
for a first down at the 1-yard-line. Ramirez then pushed his
way into the end zone on the following play.

The Eagles were unable to move the ball in the closing
minutes, while seeing both Valencia and John Gutierrez go
down with injuries. Trainer Joel Birch said Valencia
irritated the knee injury that had kept him out until
Friday's game, while Gutierrez felt something pop in his
back when he went down in the fourth quarter.

The loss dropped Pecos to 2-3 on the season, going into
their District 2-4A opener and homecoming game, next Friday
against Fabens. And while homecoming events figure to be a
distraction or the Eagles, Swaim said "If this doesn't focus
them, I don't know what will."

Fabens played the exact opposite game from Pecos Friday and
won, outscoring Santa Teresa, N.M., 42-34, to remain
unbeaten on the season at 5-0. Canutillo got their second
easy win in a row, 49-21 over El Paso Burges, while Mountain
View lost its first game of the season, 41-7 to El Paso
Ysleta, and Clint was the victim of an angry El Paso Bowie
team, which beat the Lions 35-12 a week after losing 34-14
to San Elizario.

Another fun weekend for Eagles in El Paso

PECOS, Oct. 5 -- The Canutillo Eagles were a little bigger
and a little better than the El Paso Mountain View Lobos had
been a week earlier, but they were still not good enough to
give the Pecos Eagles much trouble on Saturday, as they won
their third District 2-4A match in four tries.

Pecos won the first of their two straight ~`Eagle fights' --
they'll host San Elizario on Tuesday -- as they swept
Canutillo on their home court by 15-9, 15-4 scores.

Canutillo came into the game with a chance to tie Pecos in
their district standings, but also had just two wins this
season, including one last Tuesday over Mountain View, which
has managed just one victory so far in 1998.

"They were about the same," said Eagles' coach Becky
Granado. "Canutillo had more height, but their big girls
really didn't do that much.

"They had three girls that were from about 5-foot-8 to
6-feet and I thought my girls might be intimidated when they
walked in, but they didn't let it get to them," Granado
said. "Sherrie (Mosby) came out and had a good match ...
Sherrie had a couple of good solo blocks and about seven or
eight kills."

The Eagles had raced out to a big lead after winning their
first game at home against Clint last Tuesday, then
struggled to score the final seven points of the match.
Missed serves played a major role in Pecos' problems, but on
Saturday Granado said serves did not hurt the Eagles.

"We improved 100 percent on our serves. I think when our
serving game in on, everything else falls into place," she

The Eagles also had problems getting offense from their
outside hitters late against Clint, but on Saturday the
Eagles' coach said they really didn't need help from the

"Clint had one girl who could block without even jumping,
but their girls were slow as far as going to the sides for
the ball," she said. "We really didn't go to the outside
hitters except for Shaye (Lara). She had a couple of kills,
but Monique (Levario) didn't get that many sets. It was
mostly Sherrie."

The win, coupled with San Elizario's 15-7, 5-15, 14-16 loss
to Clint leaves the Eagles alone in second place with a 3-1
record, 11-9 overall. Tuesday's home match with San Elizario
closes out the first half of District 2-4A play, and the
road schedule then gets tougher for Pecos, as they'll go to
Fabens on Saturday to face the Wildcats, who defeated them
in last month's district opener. Fabens stayed unbeaten in
district with a 15-8, 15-13 victory in Saturday's other 2-4A

Pecos' junior varsity stayed perfect in district, as they
defeated Canutillo, 15-10, 15-6, while the Eagles' freshman
gold team lost in three games, Granado said. No scores were
available on the ninth graders' match.

Pecos opens district with tiebreaker win

PECOS, Oct. 5 -- The Pecos Eagles tennis team is getting
good at winning tiebrakers.

The Eagles, who had already won matches by tiebreaker this
season against Fort Stockton and El Paso Jefferson, did the
same on Saturday, winning a tiebreaker from the Clint Lions
in the District 2-4A opener for both teams.

"It was kind of nerve-wracking. The boys won 8-1, while the
girls lost 1-8," said Eagles' coach Bernadette Ornelas, with
the difference coming in a 20-19 advantage in sets for Pecos.

"What brought us through was our split set matches. We lost
those (two of the three Saturday), but we won the sets,"
Ornelas said. "Even though Rachel Pharoah lost the last
match, she contributed by winning one of the sets."

Pharoah and the Eagle girls were still on the court by the
time most of the boys had finished, and as a result Pecos
saw Clint rally after losing nine of the first 12 matches.
The girls' lone win was by Pharoah and Vanessa Miranda in
doubles, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 over Fay Abdelgado and Michelle Perez.

All of the boys' matches were straight set affairs, with
Jonathan Fuentes, Mark Marquez, Tye Graham, Jeff Lam and
Casey Love winning in both singles and doubles play.

Clint still has a chance to get back at Pecos this season,
since Saturday's match was just for seeding the fall
district tournament, set for October 24. Ornelas said the
tournament is allowed because only four of the district's
six schools have tennis teams.

Mountain View and Fabens are the others, and the Eagles'
next match will be this Saturday, against Mountain View on
the Lobos' home court.

Boys Singles
Jonathan Fuentes defeated Patrick Estrada, 7-5, 6-1; Mark
Marquez defeated Lonie Morales, 6-4, 6-2; Tye Graham
defeated Rijo Nunez, 6-2, 6-1; Jeff Lam defeated Martin
Renteria, 6-0, 6-0; Alan Fleming lost to Ruben Lizaola, 7-6,
6-2; Casey Love defeated Fernie Mena, 6-3, 6-2.

Girls Singles
Teresa Minjarez lost to Laura Lechuga, 6-4, 6-4; Erin
Dominguez lost to Fay Abdelgado, 6-2, 6-1; Vanessa Miranda
lost to Mabiza Lechuga, 6-1, 6-3; Rachel Phaorah lost to
Michelle Perez, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4; Tiffany Jarrett lost to Laura
Loera, 6-4, 6-4; Sara Metler lost to Tammy Lara, 6-0, 6-0.

Boys Doubles
Fuentes and Marquez defeated Estrada and Nunez, 6-2, 6-1;
Graham and Lam defeated Morales and Renteria, 6-0, 6-0;
Fleming and Love defeated Lizaola and Mena.

Girls Doubles
Minjarez and Dominguez lost to Lechuga and Lechuga, 6-7,
6-4, 6-3; Miranda and Pharoah defeated Abdelgado, 4-6, 6-3,
6-3; Jarrett and Metler lost to Loera and Lara, 6-1, 6-1.

Mental errors hurt Bears in loss to Cowboys

PECOS, Oct. 5 -- A lack of focus, as much as turnovers and
Roy Vasquez, was cited by Balmorhea Bears' coach Ennis
Erickson as his team's main problem Friday night, as the
Bears dropped their District 7-A six man opener to the
Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys.

Grandfalls got four touchdowns from Vasquez before he left
with a knee injury, and scored 18 points in a 3:48 stretch
of the second quarter to turn a 14-6 lead into a 32-6
advantage, and maintained that margin the rest of the way
for a 57-28 victory.

Each of Vasquez' scoring runs was longer than the previous,
as he scored from 19, 30-37 and 71 yards out as part of a
439-yard rushing night for the two-time defending district

"He just kind of did his normal thing, but what hurt us more
was not paying attention to what we were doing," Erickson
said. "We were not doing what we were supposed to be doing."

He said that second quarter stretch "was the period when it
showed up the most. We were not even where we were supposed
to be before the snap," which helped Grandfalls pill up the
yards and points.

Travis Woodruff's 5-yard run gave Balmorhea an early 6-0
lead, before Vasquez' first score and Stephen Phillips'
extra point put the Cowboys up, 8-6. The Bears wouldn't get
on the scoreboard again until Grandfalls got their fourth
straight TD, off a 36-yard pass from Vasquez to James
Carter. Woodruff passed 43 yards to Arturo Miranda to make
it 32-12, but Vasquez would get his third TD just before
halftime, raising the lead to 27 points.

Both teams scored on their first possessions of the third
quarter, off Vasquez' final touchdown and another scoring
pass from Woodruff to Miranda, this one for 18 yards. The
Cowboys then widened their lead to 57-20 on scoring runs by
Ronnie Vasquez and Danny Santiago before the Bears got their
last score, off a Roger Lopez 4-yard run.

"They were just doing the same thing they've done all year.
We just weren't in the right place," said Erickson, whose
team saw their record fall to 2-2, but whose schedule gets
easier from here on. After losses to No. 1 Borden County and
the No. 6 Cowboys, the Bears take a week off before playing
their long-delayed home opener on Oct. 16, against Dell City.

Cowboys' backs gallop over reeling Redskins

AP Sports Writer
LANDOVER, Md., Oct. 5 -- Deion Sanders said the quarterback
was puzzled. Nate Newton thought the Pro Bowl defensive
tackle was pressing. Emmitt Smith felt the game just didn't
have that usual rivalry feeling.

No doubt all three beliefs were true, and then some, as the
Dallas Cowboys handed the winless Washington Redskins
another day of embarrassment in Sunday's 31-10 rout.

``The accumulation of five weeks of losing has developed
into the worst situation I have been as a Redskin,'' said
cornerback Darrell Green, whose 16-year career doesn't quite
make it back to 1981, the last time Washington started 0-5.

The Cowboys (3-2) feasted on it. With Washington's Trent
Green throwing high and wild, Sanders looked like the
intended receiver as he made a first-half interception to
set up the touchdown that put Dallas ahead for good.

``We had a great scheme today,'' Sanders said. ``He was
puzzled. He was confused at times. He made a few big plays.
A few other plays he had guys wide open, but he was under

Green, who won the starting job from Gus Frerotte with a
good relief performance in Week 1, finished 13-for-29 for
193 yards. Coach Norv Turner said he might go back to
Frerotte next week.

At least Green played better than the Redskins defense,
which allowed 224 yards rushing. Smith had 120 yards and a
touchdown on 28 carries, while Chris Warren ran for 104
yards on 14 rushes and two 6-yard TDs. It was the first time
in 20 years that Dallas had two 100-yard rushers in the same

It was so easy to run the ball that Jason Garrett, making
his third start while Troy Aikman recovers from a broken
collarbone, had to throw just 17 times. The final drive --
against a line that includes $36 million NFL defensive
player of the year Dana Stubblefield -- consisted of 11
straight running plays for 96 yards against a team that
appeared to quit. The official play-by-play looked as if it
had been written by a stuck typewriter: ``C. Warren up
middle'' appeared seven times.

``What I see is man that's pressing,'' said left guard
Newton, part of a line that pushed Stubblefield around and
dominated the line of scrimmage. ``He made a lot of money, a
big bonus, and he's pressing. Once he relaxes and gets into
the system, things will open up.''

It was the 75th meeting of the NFC East rivals, but Jack
Kent Cooke Stadium doesn't rock with intimidation the way
RFK Stadium used to. Besides, the home fans were too busy
booing their own team and putting bags over their heads to
concerning themselves with Dallas.

``No, it was not'' the same, Smith said. ``We were so
accustomed to RFK, a packed house. Today was a little
shocking, not to see the stadium full.''

The Cowboys, who moved into first place in the NFC East and
are 3-0 in the division, fumbled at midfield on their
opening drive to set up a 40-yard pass from Green to Leslie
Shepherd for the Redskins' only touchdown.

But Smith, recovering from a strained right groin, scored on
a 3-yard run set up by Sanders' interception, and Garrett
(14-for-17, 169 yards) hit Ernie Mills for a 43-yard strike
less than three minutes later to make it 17-7.

The game was put away when Warren's first TD capped a
71-yard drive to start the third quarter, a quarter in which
the Redskins have been outscored 63-10 this season. The
Skins have also allowed a 100-yard rusher for four straight
weeks, and are giving up an average of 173 yards per game on
the ground.

``It's got to get better,'' Shepherd said. ``Something has
to go right. I can't see us going 0-16.''

The Redskins have been outscored 114-36 in three games at
home. Running back Brian Mitchell spent much of the fourth
quarter exchanging taunts with a fan, much as guard Tre
Johnson did last week.

Given that no NFL team has ever recovered from an 0-5 start
to make the playoffs, Turner had labeled this game a must

What now?

``Obviously next week's game is more of a must win, isn't
it?'' the coach said.

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