Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, November 23, 1998
Bears run past Mustangs, 74-46
By JON FULBRIGHT
RANKIN, Nov. 23 -- The formula that worked for the Balmorhea
Bears in their final regular season games -- run, run and
run some more -- worked again Friday night, as they ran over
the Sands Mustangs in the area round of the six-man football
After the Bears' first pass, from Matthew Sanchez on their
opening series, hit Patrick Craven in the back of the
helmet, they didn't attempt another the rest of the night
except after a bad extra point snap in the final period. And
by that time they had already scored the ninth of their 10
touchdowns on the night, on the way to a 74-46 victory.
Balmorhea will now face Samnorwood, 36-0 winners over
Rochester this past Friday. The game will be played at a
site to be determined today, Bears' coach Ennis Erickson
The Bears ran the ball 49 times for 457 yards, and while
Sands actually ended up out-gaining Balmorhea by three
yards, two turnovers and two defensive stands by the Bears
in the first half staked them to a 36-14 halftime lead. They
were then able to match each of the Mustangs' third quarter
scores before putting the game away in the final period.
"We just kind of took care of our jobs. When we got on
blocks down we scored," Erickson said following the game.
"The few times tonight we didn't hold onto the ball we
Balmorhea's lone pass came on third down on their opening
series, and forced the Bears' only punt of the night. Sands
then took the ball 48 yards in eight plays to grab a 6-0
lead. An 18-yard run by Junior Martinez started the drive
off, and Marcus DeLeon finished it off, scoring on a
4th-and-goal from four yards out with 4:08 gone in the game.
But after their slow start, the Bears got their running game
going on the second series. Travis Woodruff found a hole
through the middle and raced 30 yards for the tying score,
and Arturo Miranda put Balmorhea ahead 8-6 with the extra
point kick. Sands came back and moved the ball into Bears
territory, but Chris Cook would then recover a fumbled
handoff by DeLeon at the 33, and two plays later he found a
hole at midfield and raced 40 yards into the end zone.
Sands' next series also ended with a turnover, as Miranda
got the first of his two interceptions on the night, picking
off Colby Floyd at midfield. A penalty set the Bears back 10
yards, but they were able to march 52 yards on 11 plays for
their third score, with Billy Lozano going over from a yard
out early in the second period.
Sands went to the spread offense and the passing game after
that, though like Balmorhea they were more of a running team
during the season. "We kind of expected them to have to do
it if they couldn't go (on the ground) tonight," Erickson
Penalties hampered the Bears in the first half, and they
would be hit with two personal fouls on Sands' next series,
helping the Mustangs drive for their second score, a
nine-yard run by Floyd out of the spread.
That cut the Bears' lead to 22-14 but 45 seconds later,
Balmorhea's line opened another hole, this one for Jouse
Mendoza, who scored from 33 yards out. Miranda's extra point
made it 30-14, and after the Bears forced Sands to punt,
Mendoza scored again, taking a 3rd-and-8 handoff out of the
spread offense and going through the middle 41 yards to the
Sands had just two penalties on the night compared to seven
for the Bears, but the first was costly, A procedure call
wiped out a 15-yard run by Floyd to the Balmorhea
5-yard-line with six seconds to play. Another Floyd run got
the ball back down to the eight, but time expired and the
Bears went in with a 24-point lead.
Balmorhea played turnover-free ball in the first half, but
fumbled away a chance to add to their margin early in the
third period, after a low punt snap caused Floyd to take a
knee at his own 19 on fourth down. Sands then went 64 yards
the other way, scoring when Floyd found Cruz Martinez for a
23-yard touchdown pass, and then almost recovered the
ensuing onsides kick -- one of seven the Mustangs tried on
Gilbert Ibarra recovered the ball, but was ruled out of
bounds and on the next play the Bears opened another hole
through the middle for Woodruff, who raced 55 yards for his
second TD of the night.
The two teams would then trade touchdowns twice over the
next 2½ minutes. Floyd found openings over the left side of
the line to score on 45- and 60-yard TD runs, but the Bears
answered the first score in just over a minute, when Cook
ran it in from 32 yards out, and on the ensuing onsides kick
Woodruff picked the ball up near midfield, ran it back to
the Mustangs' 30 and lateraled the ball to Cook who would
cover the remaining distances and give the Bears back their
Miranda then thwarted Sands' next scoring try as the third
period ended, picking off a fourth down pass from Floyd at
the goal line. He returned it 80 yards for a score, but it
was wiped out by a holding call, and the Bears would then
lose the ball on another fumble at the Sands' 26.
Floyd led all rushers with 180 yards on the night, but he
wasn't the same after taking a hit from Josh Pogue on the
next series. Sands stalled after that, losing the ball on a
fourth down fumble and the Bears then put the game away,
scoring on a fourth down dive from a yard out by Roger Lopez
after a 37 yard run by Miranda. Floyd returned to the game
on the next series, but his pass for Cruz Martinez was
picked off by Cook, who raced 29 yards for hit fourth
touchdown and Balmorhea's final score of the night with 4:09
With more upperclassmen on their squad (Sands had no
seniors), the Bears were able to use more players than the
Mustangs did. "It helped in the long run being a little
deeper," said Erickson, whose team improved to 7-3 going
into their game against Samnorwood, which is 7-5 following
their Friday night victory. Sands, which had won six
straight after an 0-5 start, finished with a 6-6 season
One of those wins was over defending state champion Borden
County, which had beaten Balmorhea in pre-district and on
Friday night, eliminated the Bears' District 7-A rival,
Grandfalls, by a 44-12 score. They'll face 12-0 Groom this
week, with the winner facing the Balmorhea-Samnorwood winner
in the state semifinals the weekend of Dec. 4.
Pecos repeats 1st, 3rd finishes at Monahans
PECOS, Nov. 23 -- Moving the competition 40 miles up the
road didn't move the final points standings any in either
the boys or girls divisions this past Saturday, as the Pecos
Eagle boys took first and the girls were third at the
Monahans Invitational swim meet.
The boys picked up five gold medals and won by an even wider
margin than at their own Pecos Invitational a week earlier,
downing Carlsbad by a 401-296 margin, with Monahans third
with 229 points. Monahans' girls also won by a wider margin
this time around, 392-320 over Carlsbad, with the Eagles
next with 251 points.
Pecos swept all three relays on the boys' side, and Kevin
Bates took first in both the 100 freestyle and 100
backstroke. "Some of the boys cut their times, and some
didn't," said Eagles' coach Terri Morse. "We've been plagued
by illness and some of the boys are a little worn down.
We've had more than our share of illness this year, so we'll
just have to see how we do after the (Thanksgiving) break."
Bates won the 100 backstroke with a 57.98 time and took the
100 free in 50.69. The next-highest individual finish was a
second by Patrick McChesney in the 500 free, while the boys
also got thirds from Matt Ivy in the 200 free and 100
butterfly, Grant Holland in the 200 medley, and Cortney
Freeman in the 50 free. Holland was also fourth in the 100
breaststroke, McChesney was sixth in the 200 free and
Freeman was eighth in the 100 free.
Other finishes for the boys includes fourths by Tye Edwards
in the 100 fly and 100 backstroke; a sixth in the 50 free
and a seventh in the 100 by Scott Pounds; a seventh by Luis
Nieto in the 50 free and the 100 backstroke; a seventh by
Jason Lopez in the 100 breaststroke; a ninth by Randall
Reynolds in the 100 breaststroke and a 12th in the 100 free;
a 12th by Craig Wein in the 100 breaststroke and a 16th in
the 50 free; and a 14th by Pablo Rodriguez in the 200 free.
Pecos also got points from the `B' relay teams, which were
fifth in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle and eighth in the
The girls got a win in the 400 freestyle relay that they
didn't get a week ago, and also got firsts from Liz Parent
in both the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle races.
"I changed the girls relay up and made the 400 a little
stronger. The 200 didn't do as well (placing sixth), but I
think it will come around" Morse said. "The 200 has got
younger swimmers and some have just come out from other
sports. Once they get up their endurance and get a little
strong I feel like they'll do a good job."
Parent won the 100 fly with a 1:09.18 time and took the 500
free in 5:55.49. Briar Prewit, who won the 500 in Pecos the
previous week, was second there, as well as in the 200
Other individual results for the girls included Jo Ann Wein,
second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 200 medley;
Jennifer Martinez, sixth in the 200 free and seventh in the
100 free; Rebecca Wein, fifth in the 100 breaststroke and
sixth in the 200 medley; Sarah Flores fourth in the 100
breaststroke and sixth in the 100 free; Victoria Gomez
seventh in the 100 free and 13th in the 50 free; Lindsey
Olibas, 14th in the 500 free and 19th in the 50 free; and
Rebecca McChesney, 15th in both the 500 free and 100
Eagles take steps forward despite loss
PECOS, Nov. 23 -- It wasn't a win, but you can call it the
Pecos Eagles' first steps towards recovery.
The Eagle girls' basketball team saw their season record
fall to 0-2 on Saturday with a 56-29 loss in Stanton to the
Buffaloes. But coming off a season-opening 97 point loss to
Odessa High, that constituted a major improvement.
The Eagles outscored the Buffaloes in the second period,
though not by enough to overcome a 15-3 start. The 12-10
second quarter got them to within 25-15, but Stanton put
things away in the third quarter, outscoring Pecos by a 17-4
"The third quarter killed us," said Eagles coach Brian
Williams. "We started doing what we were doing last Tuesday.
We made unforced errors when we had people wide-open. We
would overthrow them and we're still giving up a lot of
second and thirds shots."
Shaye Lara led Pecos in scoring with 13 points, but no other
Eagle had more than four. Pecos also was hurt by 6-for-17
foul shooting, while the Buffs were going 12-for-19 from the
line on the afternoon.
"Overall we did better as far as passing and breaking the
press, but we're still struggling on offense and had some
breakdowns on defense," Williams said.
Ronnie Hull and Julie Adams scored 10 apiece to lead
Stanton, which beat Pecos at home last year, 42-40. Adams
also tied for high-scorer that game with 10, though Williams
said overall, "They're not as strong as last year. They're
The Eagles will be on the road again Tuesday night, when
they go to Fort Stockton to face the Prowlers. Williams said
the game will start at 6 p.m., prior to the boys' game
between Pecos and Fort Stockton.
Stanton also won Saturday's junior varsity game, 39-14. The
Eagles' freshman team was idle, but both the JV and freshmen
will be at home on Tuesday to face Buena Vista's varsity and
Dumas wins 4A title; Wink, Lamesa fall
From Staff and Wire Reports
AUSTIN, Nov. 23 -- Two area teams came up short in the
finals of the state high school volleyball tournament on
Saturday, while two Panhandle teams, including the one that
outsted Pecos from the Class 4A state tournament, were
winners in their championship matches.
Shannon Stroud had 10 kills to help Amarillo defeat Round
Rock Westwood 15-5, 15-10 and win the 5A title at the
University Interscholastic League Volleyball Tournament
Saturday. The Sandies finished the season 39-0 -- the only
team in the state to remain undefeated. Amarillo, which has
won two previous state titles, also finished undefeated in
1994 with a 37-0 record.
Meanwhile in Class 4A Beth Ratliff and Julie Artho of Dumas
both finished with 18 kills en route to their 4A title
victory over Southlake Carroll, 13-15, 15-4, 15-11 at the
University Interscholastic League Volleyball Tournament
The Demons (32-9) lost the first game to the Lady Dragons
(29-6) 15-13, but swept the final two 15-4, 15-11 to win the
The Demons fell behind 9-3 in the last game, but managed to
fight back and close the lead to 9-8. Ratcliff scored a kill
to tie the game for the first time at 11-11 and answered
with two more times to put the Demons ahead 13-11.
The Demons, who have previously won three consecutive state
titles, made their sixth state tournament appearance. All
four of their state titles have come following playoff wins
over Pecos, whom the defeated in the area round of the
playoffs this year by 15-7, 15-5 scores.
Lamesa and Wink were the area teams to lose in the state
finals. The Tornadoes, who dropped down to Class 3A this
year, saw Caldwell's Beth Karasek's net a game-high 13
offensive kills and 14 defensive digs to lead her team to a
15-3, 13-15, 15-9 victory.
The Hornets (37-3) cruised to the victory in the first game
15-2, but the Tors (26-7) rebounded and won Game Two 15-13.
It was the first time the Hornets played in a championship
game. Lamesa won its last state title while in Class 4A in
In Class A, Kelly Horns' 20 kills helped Windthorst win its
second consecutive state title with a victory over Wink
15-13, 13-15, 15-10.
The Lady Cats, who advanced to the state tournament for the
first time, finished with 54 kills, 45 sets and 43 defensive
digs. Jess Anne Fernandes finished with a game-high 34
kills, while teammate Casie Slaughter finished with a
game-high 43 sets.
Wallis Brazos defeated Hutto, 15-6, 16-14, to win the Class
2A state title.
Cowboys anxious to face Vikes after win
By DENNE H. FREEMAN
AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Texas, Nov. 23 -- Injuries be darned, bring on the
The Dallas Cowboys figure the Vikings on Thursday will be a
proper examination of just how far they've come under new
coach Chan Gailey.
``It's a big game because they are a great team,'' said wide
receiver Michael Irvin.
``Minnesota is a big challenge for us,'' said safety Darren
Dallas rolled to its fourth consecutive victory, most since
the Super Bowl season of 1995, by defeating Seattle 30-22 on
Sunday behind Troy Aikman's two touchdown passes and a
touchdown run from former Seahawk Chris Warren.
``This was a big win for us and now we get Minnesota and a
real challenge to gauge ourselves and see where we are at,''
Aikman said. ``I think we are starting to be considered one
of the elite teams in the NFL, which is where this
organization deserves to be.''
Minnesota has a 10-1 record, best in the NFC.
The Cowboys (8-3) may have to play the Vikings without some
of their best players.
Cornerback Deion Sanders had to leave the Seattle game when
his sprained left toe acted up again. Wide receiver Ernie
Mills was hospitalized with a stomach contusion, Warren
strained his right groin, center Mike Kiselak hurt his hand,
guard Nate Newton sprained a leg, Emmitt Smith sprained an
ankle, and guard Everett McIver may be lost for the year
with a knee injury.
Smith said the Cowboys are winning because of their depth.
``I think back to how good we were five or six years ago and
we had that depth,'' Smith said. ``I think we have that
depth again. Because we are 8-3 doesn't mean we are an elite
team yet. We still have a way to go.''
Gailey added ``a big part of the game were the guys coming
in and playing. They played well for us.''
Aikman hit 28 of 42 passes for 296 yards. It was his season
high in all categories.
``Aikman is playing as good as any quarterback in the NFL
right now,'' said Seattle coach Dennis Erickson. ``And the
Cowboys offense is the best we've seen all year.''
Aikman's 18-yard touchdown pass to Billy Davis and Warren's
1-yard run in the fourth quarter were too much for the
Seahawks to overcome, although Warren Moon threw his second
touchdown pass, a 5-yarder to James McKnight.
``The Dallas defense surprised me,'' Moon said. ``They had a
good pass rush.
``We're in trouble with our season. I never imagined we
would be 5-6 with the personnel we have.''
Warren, Seattle's career leading rusher, ran seven times for
52 yards on a 61-yard play drive and scored to give Dallas a
30-14 lead with 7:04 to go. Warren was let go by the
Seahawks (5-6) so they could sign Ricky Watters.
Warren rushed 11 times for 65 yards and Watters had 16
carries for 66 yards.
Warren was happy.
``I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter,'' Warren said.
``I wanted to show them I can still play. I may never get to
play against them again so that may have been my last chance
to score a touchdown against them.''
Richie Cunningham kicked three field goals and Dallas also
got an 8-yard touchdown pass from Aikman to Smith.
Aikman had one play in which he had to turn into a defender.
It didn't work well.
Defensive lineman Sam Adams scored his first professional
touchdown for the Seahawks late in the second half to give
Seattle a 14-13 lead. The 300-pound five-year veteran batted
Aikman's pass in the air, caught it, shook Aikman off to
lumber 25 yards with the interception for the touchdown.
``It looked like a little kid hanging onto King Kong's
leg,'' said defensive end Michael Sinclair.
``I thought it was going to be the play that won us the
game,'' Adams said.
Seattle's offense also produced a long-distance strike. Joey
Galloway got open behind Smith and Moon found him for a
44-yard touchdown pass.
Smith went over 1,000 yards rushing for the eighth
consecutive season. Only two other NFL players, Buffalo's
Thurman Thomas and Detroit's Barry Sanders, have
accomplished the feat.
Smith had 74 yards on 17 carries. He has 1,063 yards for the
Ned Cantwell, Publisher
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