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Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


December 3, 1998

Harris picks Bearcats over Loboes

Even though the Loboes are coming off a resounding 29-0 win
over favored Breckenridge, the Harris Ratings still list
them a 13-point underdog to the Aledo Bearcats.

The Bearcats bring a 12-1 record into Saturday's Semifinal
contest with the Green. Aledo's only loss this season has
come at the hands of Bridgeport, a perennial 3A power.

"They're a great team," Lobo Coach Larry Hanna said. "To be
at this point in the playoffs, you have to be a great team.
They're stronger than Breckenridge in many ways, but we'll
be ready for the challenge."

Aledo was in the playoffs last year, reaching the Semifinals
before dropping the contest to Commerce. The Bearcats
defeated Seminole in the Regional round of the playoffs,
38-36, one week after the Indians toppled the Loboes 35-14.

This year Aledo was probably expecting a rematch with
Breckenridge, a team they knocked out in the Quarterfinals
last year. However, with the Loboes defeating the Bucks,
Aledo is faced with a team that may be even stronger than

The Bearcats play a similar style offense to the Loboes,
relying on their power running game for the most part.
Aledo comes out of a myriad of formations on the offensive
side of the ball, basing their offense out of the "I". When
passing, the Bearcats often go to a 4 wide shotgun
formation, and occasionally go 5-wide from the shotgun or
from a regular formation.

Defensively, the Bearcats are based out of a 4-3 defense,
much like the Loboes. Also like the Loboes, Aledo tends to
jump in a variety of formations to confuse the opponent.
The Aledo defense is smaller than Breckenridge's, but they
pursue the ball very quickly, which will be another
challenge for the Lobo Hawgs.

All the formation jumping will also be a challenge for the
Loboes, but not an impossible one. The Lobo offense has
seen defenses do the same shifting all year. Breckenridge
did a lot of shifting as well, but the Loboes were ready.
Their goal for this week is to be ready again.

"They play good on both sides of the ball," says Lobo LB
Gabe Ontiveros.

"You have to be good when you get to this point in the
playoffs. We're coming at it with the attitude that we have
to get better. We all have a common goal in mind."

Crosby Swanson, a starter at both Linebacker and Guard,
echoes the same sentiments. "They're a good team. Their
offense is very diverse, and they execute very well. If we
come out and play up to our capability like we did last
week, we can win."

The contest, which will be at Bedford's Pennington Field at
8 p.m Saturday, will produce one of the two teams that will
compete in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 12th. The other team will
be the winner of the Cuero/Giddings matchup.

Loboes cover ground for victory

With signature play that made even the oldest fans say,
ôMan, thatÆs Lobo Football at its best,ö the Wolfpack routed
No. 1 Breckenridge, 29-0 on the field of Jones Stadium in
Lubbock Saturday night. The win moves the Loboes over .500
for the first time all season at 7-6. The Buckaroos, by far
the odds on favorite on most published and internet sites to
win the 3A Division I state championship, finished 12-1.

The keys to victory were simple in name only. The Loboes
had to keep the ball on the ground on offense, and rely on a
strong and healthy line to come through in the clutch. The
Buckaroo defense was ranked in the top 20 in the state as
well, giving up only 8.5 points per game. On defense, the
Loboes had to create turnovers and stop the highest scoring
offense in Texas, which averaged 44.3 points per game in the
regular season.

The Loboes did all of that and more.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Loboes were stellar.
The starting ôHawgsö, Todd Passmore (C), Crosby Swanson
(TG), Robert Sanchez (SG), Lanny Hayes (TT), Ruben Garcia
(ST), and Chris Adams (TE) dominated the line of scrimmage,
springing the backs for a decent scamper every play. The
Loboes rushed for 353 yards on 51 carriesùan average of just
under seven per play.

The Green got on the board early in the first quarter.
After a Junior Cordova interception, made possible by a
tremendous defensive play by Roy Porras, the Loboes jumped
to the attack. Refusing to be intimidated by one of the
biggest defensive fronts of the year, the Green moved
efficiently into the endzone and on to the scoreboard. Joel
Najar was the workhorse on the first TD, carrying the ball
in from one yard out. Najar added his own PAT, and the
Loboes held the lead with 3:26 remaining in the quarter.

The Loboes regained possession after a Buckaroo fumble, and
were on the prowl again, moving the ball quickly down the
field against the Buckaroo defense. The Loboes hit paydirt
with 10:34 remaining in the 2nd stanza, as Porras dove in
from a yard out to give the Loboes a 13 point lead. NajarÆs
PAT was true, giving the Loboes a 14-0 edge.

After a Breckenridge punt, the Loboes set up shop on their
own 40. The Loboes continued to keep the ball on the
ground, but BreckenridgeÆs defense held the Loboes to 4th
and 1 from their own 49. After using a time-out and a
failed ôdraw them offsidesö attempt, the Loboes decided to
go for it. On the play, Louis Moreno found a corner and was
off to the races. The Lobo runner went untouched the 51
yard distance to the endzone, but the Lobo celebration was
cut short by a holding call, which forced the Loboes to punt
the ball back to the Bucks, holding the lead to 14-0.

After another strong showing from the Wolfpack defense, the
Lobo ôOö had the ball again. The drive stalled out and the
Loboes punted the ball back to the Bucks with 1:51 remaining
in the half. Buck QB Cliff Watkins, who is being recruited
by various division-I colleges, began leading his team down
the field. Watkins quickly led the Bucks to Lobo territory,
and on a first down play completed a short pass to the
Breckenridge side of the field. The whole Lobo side of the
stadium saw the crushing hit dealt to the receiver as soon
as he caught the ball, but what the Breckenridge side saw
was much more startling. As Cordova made the hit, both he
and the Buck receiver fell to the Jones Stadium turf. The
pigskin, however, fell right into the waiting hand of
Cordova, who wisely covered the ball. The official on the
scene ruled the pass intercepted, giving the Loboes the ball
just inside their own 40 yard line with 49 seconds remaining.

Then it was the Big GreenÆs turn to move the ball quickly
down the field. Using play-action, screen, and bootleg
passes along with a 12 yard scamper by QB Raul Hinojos the
Loboes took the ball down to the Breckenridge 12 with six
seconds remaining. The Loboes took a quick shot at the
endzone, but the pass fell incomplete, leaving two seconds
in the half. Najar came on and nailed his first field goal
of the year, and the Loboes took the 17-0 lead into the
locker room.

As expected, the Buckaroos came out fired up in the third
quarter. Lobo kickoff team did their job, holding the
Buckaroos to just a few yards. Breckenridge coach Mark
Dodson called on Byron Polley, a Jr RB who had rushed for
over 1,600 yards on the season. Polley took a pitch around
the right side, and scampered 64 yards down the field,
before being caught from behind by Junior Cordova.
Confident with his run, Dodson called on Polley for the next
play from the Lobo three yard line. Polley appeared to be
heading to the endzone through Lobo CB J.T. Higgins, but the
Lobo had other ideas. As Polley was about to cross the goal
line, Higgins gave Polley a ferocious shot which knocked the
ball loose. Moreno recovered in the end zone for the
Loboes, giving the Big Green the ball back on the 20 yard
line. The rest of the third quarter was a back and forth
battle between defenses, with both the Loboes and the Bucks
having one sustained drive.

As the buzzer rang to signify the end of the third quarter,
more than 75 Lobo players, 15 coaches, 150 band members, and
over 4,000 fans rose to their feet and raised their paws
with the trademarked ô4.ö If Breckenridge was to remain in
the game, they would have to defeat the Lobo tradition of a
fourth quarter team. Kermit, Lamesa, and Perryton each saw
their leads die in that quarter.

As the quarter began, the Loboes continued a drive that had
begun late in the third. It ended with Porras leaping over
the goal line for his second TD of the day. NajarÆs PAT
fell wide right of the goalposts, and the Loboes clung to
their 23-0 lead.

The Buckaroos tried to rally the troops, but it was too
little, too late, and the Lobo defense was just too strong.
The Wolfpack put together another drive against the Bucks,
which again ended in Porras diving forward for a TD.
NajarÆs PAT skimmed off the goalpost, leaving the final
score 29-0.

The unsung heroes of this game were the Lobo Defense. The
Loboes ôDö ensured that the BucksÆ potent offense never got
untracked the whole night. The defense also handed
Breckenridge their first shutout since 1995, and only their
2nd loss in their last 26 games. BreckenridgeÆs previous
loss was a 1997 Quarterfinal loss to Aledo, 45-17.

It now seems that the Loboes are in the business of taking
away rematches. The Perryton Rangers, had they defeated the
Loboes, would have a rematch of their 1997 regional
championship loss to Breckenridge. The Lobo win Saturday
prevented Breckenridge from facing the team that eliminated
them in 1997, Aledo.

The Way It Was
Monahans 7 10 0 12 ù 29
Breckenridge 0 0 0 0 ù 0
First Quarter. Monahans: Joel Najar 1 run (Najar kick), 3:26
Second Quarter. Monahans: Roy Porras 1 run (Najar kick),
10:34. Monahans: Najar 29 FG, 0:00

Fourth Quarter. Monahans: Porras 1 run (kick failed), 9:57.
Monahans: Porras 1 run (kick failed), 2:45.

Yardstick                      Monahans     BÆridge

First downs 20
Rushing Yards 54-353 29-126
Passing yards 70 94
Passes 5-10-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-3
Penalties 5-45 2-20
Punts-Avg 5-32 2-27.5

Monahans: Louis Moreno 15-101, Benny Rodriguez 18-93, Roy
Porras 11-50, Raul Hinojos 9-36, Joel Najar 1-1
Breckenridge: Byron Polley 15-111, Randy Clayton 3-9, Cory
Wimberley 2-4, Cash Langford 1-2, Cliff Watkins 7-0.

Monahans: Raul Hinojos 5-10-0 for 76 yards.
Breckenridge: Cliff Watkins 9-19-3 for 94 yards.

Monahans: Benny Rodriguez 2-34, Chris Adams 1-17, J.T.
Higgins 1-13, Louis Moreno 1-12.
Breckenridge: Jake Herring 3-64, Cory Wimberley 4-19, Byron
Polley 2-11

Women sweep Fort Stockton triad

By Jim Lewallen
It was a clean sweep for the Lobo women's basketball teams
Tuesday night at the Complex. The Varsity, Junior Varsity
and Freshman girls all defeated their Fort Stockton

The varsity dominated from the opening tip-off. Their
aggressive style of play left little room for the visitors
and the final tally was 48-32, Monahans.

The game was scoreless until the 6:37 mark of the first
quarter when Amanda Krone sunk a two-pointer to give the
Loboes a lead they never relinquished. After one period of
play, Monahans led 11-2. Fort Stockton's lone points came
from the charity line.

Carleigh Melius began second period scoring with two free
throws followed by Monica Loera's 7-foot jumper. By
intermission the Green led 23-12.

Third quarter action saw the Lobo lead increase to 39-25 as
the Monahans team continued to dominate the Lady Prowlers.
The fourth quarter began with the Loboes reeling off eight
unaswered points while a tenacious defense held the Prowlers
in check.

After good passing down court, Dedra Wessels made a lay-up
and the Loboes now led 46-28 with 2:56 remaining in the game.

With 59 ticks left on the clock, Melius went up for a "big
time" rebound and the final score remained 48-32.
Varsity Coach Mike Swigert said after the game, "An ugly win
is better than a pretty loss."

High scorer for the Loboes was Krone with 13 point. Traci
Jasso followed with nine.

The women will meet Abernathy at 11 a..m. Thursday in the
Crane Tournament.

Christians edge Loboes at hoops

In a game where the lead see-sawed back and forth, the
Loboes fell 54-50 to Midland Christian in men's basketball
action Nov 24.

Using the free throw line to their advantage, the Loboes
were tied 10-10 with the visitors at the 1:39 mark of the
first period. Carlos Suton used his size to good advantage,
blocking a shot under the Lobo basket. Fabian Welch's first
period ending shot tied the score at 12.

In the second period, Lobo David Williams made two clutch
free throws to give the Green a two point lead. After the
Midland team tied it up again, Welch sunk a 3-pointer to
make it 19-16, Loboes.

The Loboes trapped the Mustangs at 19, then scored seven
unanswered points to pull ahead 26-19 with 3:13 remaining in
the half. At the buzzer, the Mustangs had closed the gap to

Monahans came out strong in the second half, scoring five
straight points to lead 34-27 at the 5:50 mark of the third
quarter and at the end of three, the Green still held a slim
38-34 lead.

With the score tied at 40 and 5:37 left in the game, Midland
Christian ran off a string of seven points and led
47-40.Rallying in the final two minutes, the Loboes came
within a point but the Mustangs to defeat the Loboes 54-50.

Head coach Jim Curry said, "We were not consistent. We got
in foul trouble early. When football season is over, we will
pick up some needed players and feel we can put it together
for the rest of the season."

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.