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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Sports

Friday, September 3, 1999

Mustangs blank Eagles in opener

By JON FULBRIGHT
Staff Writer
ODESSA, Sept, 3, 1999 -- The end zone remained an elusive place for the Pecos Eagles Thursday night, in their season opening football game against the Denver City Mustangs.

Pecos' offense, which did not score in either of their two pre-season games, made only one visit to the end zone, and it came from the wrong direction - a bad punt snap in the third quarter that gave Denver City two points in a 17-0 shutout of the Eagles.

"Offensively we've got some good weapons. We've just got to do a better job making decisions," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs, whose team was held to just 47 yards in total offense and minus-1 yard in rushing.

That was due to four quarterback sacks by Denver City, and the snap over the head of punter Daniel Terrazas from the 22 yard line. Terrazas ran out of the back of the end zone after recovering the ball for a safety, which gave Denver City a 10-0 lead at the time.

The Mustangs took nearly nine minutes to drive 51 yards for their first score, after recovering an onside kick attempt by Pecos. They also fooled the Eagles with a `swinging gate' play, when Fabian Rubio was left uncovered on the far side of the field for a two-point conversion pass.

After that, the Eagles' defense had a pretty good night until quarterback Armando Galvan broke loose on a pair of broken play runs in the closing minutes, one going for 38 yards and the other the final nine for Denver City last touchdown, with 1:36 to play.

"That's the way he was in the scrimmages. You think he's fixing to go down, but he's got the speed to outrun a few people," said Denver City coach Terry Summers, who got his first victory as a varsity head coach. Galvan's final two runs nearly doubled his yardage for the night, as the sophomore finished with 95 yards on 14 carries.

But he wasn't the only sophomore to have a good night. Pecos' Richard Rodriguez got into the game after cornerback Ricky Plummer sprained his ankle and came up with two interceptions and should have had a third, but it was nullified thanks to a roughing the passer call against Pecos.

"Our defense did an outstanding job. Coach (Ron) Arnesen, coach (Jason) Hewitt and coach (Charlie) Bunch really got them going on defense," Grubbs said, while adding that a series of penalties by the defense - mainly offsides calls - were also a problem.

"I think we had seven or eight offsides penalties, but that's correctable," he said. "The one that really hurt was the fourth down roughing the passer (on Rodriguez' interception and 25 yard return). Then we had an unsportsmanlike conduct and that was totally uncalled for. We can't do that and win."

Second down plays were the Eagles' biggest problem on Denver City's opening drive. The Mustangs never got more than three yards on any of their first down plays, but Galvan gained eight yards on the first attempt on second down, and running back Amado Rodriguez picked up seven three straight times on second down runs.

Denver City's only pass completion of the night not to Rodriguez, a nine yard swing pass to David Folmar, got the Mustangs out of a 3rd-and-8 hole at the Pecos 14, and after being stopped three times inside the five, Jeffrey Bird took a pitch on fourth down and got around the left end for the touchdown.

Pecos' best drive of the night was on their first series, and was helped by a pair of 15-yard penalties on Denver City, for roughing the punter and spearing running back Len Carson. Quarterback Alex Garcia dumped a pass off to Jacob Esparza for a 15-yard gain, but on the next play Espaza fumbled after a seven yard run up the middle, and Galvan recovered at the Mustangs' 19 yard line.

Overall it was a rough night for Garcia at quarterback, who was sacked three times and threw three interceptions, as part of a 6-for-15 passing night.

His first was caused by defensive pressure from Denver City's pass rushers, as Joe Dan Garcia picked Alex Garcia off just before halftime. But No. 2 was a pass over the middle to Jacob Weidner that came in too low and was again snared by the Mustangs' linebacker, who returned it to Pecos' 28.

"We had it wide open on that one play for a touchdown, but he just has to get it up more," said Grubbs, who worked with Garcia on that problem during practice this week. "But this was Alex's first game as a starter, and in his defense he was under pressure a lot. They're a 50 (defensive) team and they came out in an 80 and that got our blocking all messed up."

Pecos' defense was able to survive that interception, which came after Chad Bayer hit the goalpost with a 35-yard field goal attempt. Rodriguez' second interception stopped the Mustangs after Joe Dan Garcia's second pickoff, but when Rodriguez went in at quarterback for one series, he had the same problem as Garcia, getting sacked by Stephen Burleson for an eight-yard loss.

Denver City ended up gaining 211 yard on the night, the same amount Pecos' defense averaged in 10 games last season. "We've still got a lot of work to do," Grubbs said. "We can stay in a lot of games with that kind of defense, but the pressure put on the defense because we can't move the ball eventually is going to hurt."

The Eagles will try to do better a week from tonight, when they go to Alpine to face the Bucks, who begin their 1999 season with a game at Van Horn tonight.
 

Jaguars make night rough for Cowboys

IRVING, Tex., Sept. 3, 1999 - The Jacksonville Jaguars got the road win they wanted to end the exhibition season on a positive note. The Dallas Cowboys were simply happy to see the preseason end.

Jacksonville assured itself of going into the season on the upswing with a 27-6 victory Thursday night. The starters left after building a 10-0 lead and the reserves added to it for a second straight impressive victory.

The Jaguars (3-1) outgained the Cowboys 482-264 and had 23 first downs to Dallas' 11.

"I thought if we could focus and concentrate in this game, we'd accomplish something," said Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin, who stresses winning exhibition games. The Cowboys ended the summer 1-4.

"Fortunately, it's behind us for another year and we can get on with the season," quarterback Troy Aikman said.

What mattered most to Dallas was not suffering any more serious injuries although there were some scary moments.

The Cowboys, who already are likely to open the season without cornerbacks Deion Sanders and Kevin Smith and linebacker Quentin Coryatt, had two starters limp off in the opening minutes and six more guys were treated by trainers.

The biggest concern was offensive lineman Flozell Adams, who sprained his left knee on the game's second snap and didn't return.



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Pecos Enterprise
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