Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, November 16, 1998
Eagles have short run in playoffs
By JON FULBRIGHT
EL PASO, Nov. 14 -- Five weeks can be an eternity in
Five weeks ago was the last time the Pecos Eagles faced a
football team -- Louis Bossett and the Kermit Yellowjackets
-- that just tried to run the ball down the Eagles' throat.
Five weeks later, after playing teams in District 2-4A that
passed first and ran later, the Eagles ran up against the El
Paso Burges Mustangs, who started off the season with six
losses, but had run the ball well in the three wins they
needed to advance to the Class 4A playoffs.
The result was a rusty-looking Pecos run defense was unable
to control Burges for most of the night, as the Mustangs ran
up 307 yards on the ground on the way to a 27-14 victory
which ended the Eagles' 1998 season.
Chris Apodaca ran for 139 yards and Andy Diaz added 86 more
for Burges, while their defense held Pecos' running game to
just 146 yards on the night.
"It kind of hurt us. We've played the last five weeks
concentrating on stopping the pass and when we got up
against a predominantly running team, we struggled," said
Eagles' coach Dan Swaim. "They had some good athletes, and
for us to take it to the next level, we're going to have to
get bigger, stronger and faster."
The Mustangs set the tone of the game from the outset,
coming out and recording first downs on each of their first
three plays. At the start, that also included passing, as
quarterback Patrick Gomez hit tight end John Tornes for a
first down after and 11 yard run by Andy Diaz, and before
Apodaca ran it around the right side for another 12 yards.
Two plays later Diaz took a dump off pass from Gomez and
went 25 yards to the Pecos 9, and two plays after that, Diaz
found an opening over the right side and Burges had the lead
with just 2:47 gone in the game.
The Mustangs ended up with 128 yards in offense in the
first quarter compared to only 15 for Pecos. The Eagles were
able to dodge two bullets, when Payne picked off a Gomez
pass at the Pecos 39 and returned it to the El Paso 42, and
then again when Diaz was hit and fumbled after a 15-yard
gain up the middle. Gonzales recovered at the Burges' 42 but
once again, the Eagles couldn't get their running game going
and were forced to punt.
"In the first half we shot ourselves in the foot. We didn't
taker advantage of their mistakes," said Swaim.
The plays did give Pecos a chance to regain their composure
on defense, and Pecos would force the Mustangs to punt on
their next three possessions. Meanwhile, the Eagles began
finding some openings on the right side as the second period
Abila, who finished with 81 yards rushing, broke free for
12 yards on a run from midfield and Len Carson
stutter-stepped his way for an 18 yard gain on a 3rd-and-5
from the 22. Abila leaped down to the two on the next play
and then Pecos surprised everyone by giving it to Gonzales
up the middle -- his first carry and first touchdown of the
But just as turnovers took away Burges' momentum in the
first period, giveaways hurt the Eagles as the half came to
A 10-yard holding call wiped out a 20-yard run by Abila,
and Oscar Luna then was picked off by Juan Avina on a
floater downfield to Payne. Burges didn't take advantage of
that, but the ensuing punt was muffed by Payne, with Angel
Barraza recovering at the Pecos 29.
The Eagles then missed a chance to get the ball back when
Luna dropped a third down pass from Gomez, and one play
later he threaded a ball between two defenders to Tones,
turning a 4th-and-10 into a 1st-and-10 at the 11. Apodaca
ran the ball down to the three with time running down, and
two plays later, Gomez was able to sneak the ball into the
end zone with seven seconds left and Burges out of time-outs.
Having been burned by Pecos' handoff to Gonzales in the
first half, Burges returned the favor in the third period,
giving the ball to little-used running back Joey Delgadillo
on their second series of the half. He burst through the
line and rambled 53 yards downfield to the Eagles' 4. One
play later Apodaca went over the left side into the end
zone, and Burges had a 21-7 lead.
The long run came on a 2nd-and-8 play, after Burges had
converted two third down chances earlier in the drive, the
first on a interference call against Tornes by Abila. "That
interference call hurt," Swaim said. "That got them started."
Burges was able to shut down Pecos' outside running most of
the night, but the Eagles came back one more time early in
the final period, off the same type of runs over tackle that
worked in the second period.
After Luna hit Payne for a 19-yard gain as the period
opened, Jacob Esparza and Abila found openings
over the right side for runs of nine, seven and six yards.
Abila then broke loose for a 15 yard gain to Burges' 11, and
after he left briefly with a leg cramp Esparza was able to
get outside, taking a pitch from Luna and going the final 11
yards into the end zone.
Down by seven with 9:58 to play, the Eagles needed to make
a big defensive stop, but couldn't get it. Part of the
reason was Burges' line, but the loss of starting defensive
end Manuel Contreras and cornerback Joseph Torres to grades
began to hurt here, as the Eagles began missing tackles at
the line they had been making earlier, leading to big El
"It hurt us on depth," Swaim said. "The kids we put in
stepped it up, but in the fourth quarter we ran out of gas.
The grades hurt us more than we thought."
The two big plays here were by Tornes, who broke a trio of
Pecos tackles to gain nine yards on a 2nd-and-15, and
Apodaca, who got free from Lyles at the line on the next
play and followed Tornes' block downfield for a 40-yard gain
to the Pecos 10. One play later Diaz went through a big hole
on the right side and into the end zone with 6:57 left, and
Burges' lead was 13 points.
The Eagles would get one first down on their next series,
but forced to pass and without Contreras, their leading
receiver, Pecos lost the ball on downs with 4 1/2 minutes
left, then couldn't get the ball back again until there were
only 29 seconds to play.
The loss, in their first playoff game in 23 years, left
Pecos with a final record of 6-5 on the season, while 4-7
Burges will face Canyon or Borger in the bi-district round.
"I'm still really proud of the kids. They did something
that hadn't been done in Pecos in a long time," Swaim
said. "They're a good group of kids."
Pecos' District 2-4A rivals also lost road games to their
District 1-4A foes Friday night. El Paso Riverside routed
Clint in the other Division II playoff game, 58-10, while
Ysleta downed Canutillo in the Division I bi-district
Win lifts Bears back into playoffs
PECOS, Nov. 16 -- The Balmorhea Bears made sure a home loss
to Sierra Blanca wasn't going to derail their playoff hopes
for a second year in a row on Friday night, as they scored
two touchdowns in each quarter against the Vaqueros to score
a 66-30 win and earn their fourth post-season berth in the
past five seasons.
The Bears will now face the Ackerly-Sands Mustangs in the
area round of the six-man playoffs in a game tentatively set
for Friday night in Rankin.
Balmorhea had another big night running the ball, gaining
303 of their 358 yards on the ground and throwing just four
passes, while Sierra Blanca put the ball up 38 times and
wound up with 298 yards through the air, and just 95 on the
"They didn't even try (to run) for the most part," coach
Ennis Erickson said. "Nine out of every 10 plays were a
pass. There were a couple of plays when he (quarterback T.J.
Bustamantes) had to run, but they pretty much threw the
The Bears spotted the Vaqueros a touchdown to open the game,
and Balmorhea fumbled the ball away on their first drive.
But the defense held Sierra Blanca and Travis Woodruff
returned the ensuing punt 53 yards for a touchdown. Woodruff
then caught a pass from Arturo Miranda to give Balmorhea a
Chris Cook scored on a 13 yard run just before the period
ended, with Miranda adding a two-point kick, and after
Marino Mascaranias caught his second touchdown pass of the
night from Bustamantes to cut the lead to 15-14 the Bears
answered with a 5-yard Woodruff TD run 2½ minutes later and
another by Woodruff, this one from 21 yards out, just four
seconds before halftime.
The Bears then widened their lead to 37-14 just 48 seconds
into the third period when Jouse Mendoza scored on a 45-yard
run, and he would add another TD run later in the period,
from 17 yards out, after the Vaqueros cut the lead to 37-20.
The third TD connection between Bustamantes and Mascarinas
opened the final quarter, but the Bears were able to counter
each of Sierra Blanca's second half scores with one of their
own. Woodruff's fourth TD of the night, on a 41-yard run,
upped the lead to 53-27 and after Zeke Ramirez scored on a
two-yard run with five minutes to play, Chris Cook returned
the ensuing short kickoff 42 yards for a score, sealing the
"We scored on every drive but our first and I think our last
or next-to-last," Erickson said. "We had fourth and goal
from about their three or four yard line and didn't make it,
but we should have."
The win lifted the Bears to a 6-3 record going into their
bi-district matchup against Sands, which was only 6-4 this
season, but stunned Borden County in mid-October to take the
District 6-A title after a 1-4 start. Borden County, the
defending state champions who beat Balmorhea in late
September, will face District 8-A champs Grandfalls in the
Boys 1st, girls 3rd at Pecos meet
PECOS, Nov. 16 -- The results were as expected on Saturday
at the Pecos Invitational swim meet, with the Eagle boys
taking their divisional title while the girls placed third
out of 12 teams.
The boys scored 318 points to beat out Carlsbad by 71 points
in the team standings, while Monahans' girls edged Carslbad
for that division's title, 228-220½, with Pecos third at 196
"We were always in third place," said Eagles' coach Terri
Morse. "We were always close and I was hoping we could pull
it out, but we didn't have the depth. But we've gotten a
couple of girls out from volleyball, and I hope once they
get into shape they'll be able to help us."
"The boys did pretty good as far as their times go, and we
had the depth we needed there," Morse said. "Some of our
relays I had to move around because Cortney (Freeman) was
out sick, but the ones who replaced him did a good job."
The boys won the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, while
placing second in the 400 free. Kevin Bates, Grant Holland,
Tye Edwards and Timothy Harrison swam a 1:50.48 in the
medley, while Bates, Luis Nieto, Scott Pounds and Matt Ivy
had a 1:39.21 in the 200 free. Ivy, Harrison, Edwards and
Holland had a 3:48.17 in the 400 relay, to finish three
seconds behind Carlsbad.
Bates had two individual wins for Pecos, taking the 50
freestyle in 22.74 seconds and the 100 free with a 49.96
time, his best of the season, while Pounds won Friday's
one-meter diving event with a 132.45 score.
Holland picked up a pair of seconds, in the 200 free
(2:02.20) and the 100 breaststroke (1:08.14); Ivy was third
in the 200 free (2:03) and the 100 butterfly (1:04.29);
Edwards was third in the 100 backstroke (1:05.97) and fourth
in the 100 fly (1:07.05); Harrison placed fifth in the 200
medley (2:27.81); and Nieto was fifth in the 100 backstroke
(1:12.56) and sixth in the 50 free (26.42).
Patrick McChesney got Pecos' other medal, placing third in
the 500 freestyle after a sixth place finish in the 200
medley. In other events, Matthew Montanez was 19th and Pablo
Rodriguez 20th in the 200 free; Randall Reynolds was 18th in
the 50 free; Rodriguez was eighth in the 100 back; Lopez was
eighth in the 100 breaststroke; the `B' medley relay placed
seventh, the 200 free `B' team was 9th and the 400 free
relay team was sixth.
The girls got two first place finishes, from Liz Parent in
the 100 free (60.29) and Briar Prewit in the 500 free
(6:22.55). Parent also placed second in the 100 fly
(1:10.74) and Prewit was fifth in the 200 free (2:21.10).
Jennifer Martinez was third in the 200 free and fourth in
the 100 backstroke; Sarah Flores was third in the 200 medley
and the 100 breaststroke; Jon Ann Wein was fifth in the 200
medley and eighth in the 100 backstroke; Rebecca Wein was
11th in the 1000 breaststroke and 12th in the 200 medley;
Victoria Gomez was 10th in the 100 fly and 21st in the 50
free; Lindsay Olibas was 11th in the 500 free and 36th in
the 50 free; Rebecca McChesney was 12th in the 500 free and
38th in the 50 free; and Natalie Nazaroff was 22nd in the
In the relays, Flores, Martinez, Parent and Jo Ann Wein were
third in the 200 medley; Prewit, Flores and both Weins were
fourth in the 200 free while the `B' team of Olibas,
Nazaroff, McChesney and Gomez were 19th; and Prewit,
Martinez, Gomez and Parent were third and Olibas, Nazaroff,
McChesney and Rebecca Wein were 13th in the 400 free.
Cards say Cowboys held Moore to hold win
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TEMPE, Ariz., Nov. 16 -- The Dallas Cowboys went from
overwhelming in the first half to nearly overwhelmed in the
With scrambling Jake Plummer throwing for a career-best 465
yards, the Arizona Cardinals rallied from a 28-0 deficit,
but fell just four yards short of catching the Cowboys.
Instead, Dallas won, just as it has in 15 of the last 16
meetings of the two teams. When the desert dust settled and
the Cowboys rode off with a 35-28 victory, two things were
certain: Dallas is perfect against the NFC East and Plummer
is one young quarterback on the move.
``If you keep the right personnel around him, he's a special
quarterback,'' Deion Sanders said. ``He looked like a young
Fran Tarkenton out there.''
Arizona's second-year quarterback completed 31 of 56 passes
for three touchdowns and had the Cardinals on the Dallas 4
as the game ended. His 57-yard pass to Rob Moore gave him
two shots at the end zone with nine seconds left. Both
passes fell incomplete.
The last one, a fade pass to Moore in the corner, was
knocked away by Kevin Smith on a play the Cardinals insisted
was pass interference.
``The guy was grabbing him -- point blank,'' linebacker
Jamir Miller said. ``He was grabbing him, tugging him.
That's called pass interference.''
Plummer, whose passing performance was No. 3 on the
Cardinals' career list and 1 yard short of the most by a
Dallas opponent, charged the referees as they left the
field. He said he told them: ``You've got to step up and
make that call.''
Smith, often the target of NFL offenses, expected a flag.
``It would have been a sad situation if a flag had been
thrown,'' he said. ``I get that every week if I make a play,
everyone on the sideline is jumping and screaming for a
flag. I thought it was a clean play.''
Cowboys coach Chan Gailey could afford to be philosophical.
``You don't get everything you holler for out there,'' he
said. ``That's part of the game. You hope it evens out
through the year.''
Dallas is 6-0 against the NFC East and has a two-game lead
on the second-place Cardinals, a team the Cowboys now have
``We're ecstatic,'' Sanders said. ``They're going to talk
about it for a few days, but a win is a win.''
Emmitt Smith rushed for 118 yards in 26 carries and three
scores to move ahead of Walter Payton and Jim Brown to No. 3
on the NFL career touchdown list with 127. Only Jerry Rice
and Marcus Allen have more.
Troy Aikman completed 14 of 18 passes for 208 yards and a
touchdown, but Michael Irvin did not catch any, snapping his
117-game streak dating back to 1990.
This was billed as the Cardinals' biggest game since the
franchise moved from St. Louis a decade ago, and it quickly
looked like it would be one of their ugliest pratfalls.
With Aikman finding wide-open receivers and Smith running
through big holes in the Arizona defense, Dallas was up 21-0
less than two minutes into the second quarter.
After Sanders, playing despite a toe injury he sustained a
few minutes earlier, intercepted a pass and returned it 22
yards to the Arizona 2, Smith barreled over for his second
touchdown to put the Cowboys up 28-0 with 3:29 left in the
Plummer's 2-yard pass to Frank Sanders with 14 seconds left
in the half cut the lead to 28-7 at the break.
Deion Sanders sat out most of the second half with the
injury, coming in only in the final 4½ minutes. His
explanation for the Arizona comeback was simple: He wasn't
on the field.
``If you take Aeneas Williams off the field (for the
Cardinals), the outcome would be a lot different, so with my
injury they had freedom,'' he said. ``They had some freedom
to do things on the corner.''
The teams traded scores in the third quarter, then a 7-yard
pass from Plummer to Adrian Murrell cut Dallas' lead to
35-28 with 3:09 to play. The Cardinals decided against an
onside kick, then held Dallas and got the ball on their own
22 with 52 seconds to play and no timeouts. Plummer almost
pulled it off.
``We should have had a chance to go to overtime,'' Arizona
coach Vince Tobin said. ``It was very disappointing.''
The Cowboys left the field the runaway leaders in their
division. The Cardinals walked away a wiser team still in
the thick of the NFC wild-card chase.
``We haven't even scratched the surface of what this team
can do,'' Andre Wadsworth said. ``The bright side of this
loss is that we might face them again in the playoffs.''
Ned Cantwell, 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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