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Oct. 10, 1996
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On the Memorial Stadium field a year ago, Big Spring rolled to a 56-8
victory over Pecos. But 13 days later, the Steers were forced to forfeit
that victory, after it was discovered they had used an illegal player.
It went in the books as a 2-0 Pecos win, cost Big Spring a playoff
berth, and was also the first `win' for the Eagles over the Steers since
they joined District 4-4A in 1986.
The Eagles come into the game having won two straight, over Fabens and
Kermit, but looking to raise their intensity level a bit.
They went out to 21-0 leads both times, but weren't able to add to their
margin against the Wildcats, and didn't take advantage of a pair of
Yellowjacket turnovers in the third period last week that could have
blown the game open. That almost proved costly, as they had to hold on
for a 21-13 victory, stopping a last-minute drive by Kermit on their own
Pecos allowed Kermit 228 yards in the second half, after holding the
Jackets to just 31 yards while building their three-touchdown lead.
"I told them I was happy we won, and we need to enjoy the victory, but
we didn't play that well and didn't execute," Belew said. "Hopefully,
we're mature enough to understand that that kind of execution will get
us in serious trouble with the teams we're going to play in district."
Butler would like to see his team get any kind of win right now. The
Steers are 1-4 on the season, but have lost games to Monahans and Snyder
in the final moments of the game, and could have won or tied their other
two losses, against Lubbock Estacado and Levelland.
"We've had our chances, we're just not figuring out how to get over the
hump and get it won," Butler said.
Problems on offense have hurt the Steers, especially since the broken
collarbone suffered by quarterback Jerrod Helms in their Sept. 20 loss
to Estacado. "He ran a bootleg around the end and just got hurt," Butler
said, leaving junior Gabe Mendoza and sophomore Tori Mitchell to share
the quarterbacking duties.
Mendoza made his debut last week in Big Spring's 14-6 loss at Levelland
and was 2-for-10 with three interceptions, as the Steers managed just
160 yards of offense. "He was just a little antsy last week," Butler
said of Mendoza's first varsity start.
Mitchell has completed about a third of his passes, four for touchdowns,
and had run for 46 more yards at quarterback. But he's capable of
gaining a lot more, since he placed third in the state in both the 100
and 200 meter dashes as a freshman last May.
Mitchell saw some action last week at wide receiver, while the Steers'
main running threat remains junior Antwoyne Edwards. He was held under
100 yards for the first time last week, but has still rushed for 82
yards and has 643 yards through the first half of the 1996 season.
"Edwards ran O.K., but we just didn't block that well for him (against
Levelland)," Butler said. "We need to take advantage of what he can give
"I don't want it to turn into a track meet," Belew said. "If we can do
that and keep it competitive, I think we have a chance to win the game."
Defensively, the Steers have done well since allowing 27 first half
points to Monahans, though Butler said they did let down two weeks ago
in a loss to Snyder. "We were ahead 15-0, but our offense couldn't make
a few first down and our defense couldn't hold it. Against Levelland, we
just couldn't get anything going offensively, even though the defense
gave them the ball two or three times deep in their end. We got it
inside the five twice and couldn't score."
For one of the few times ever, the Eagles' front line matches up fairly
evenly in size with the Steers. "We're quick, but I'd imagine we're
about 60 pounds lighter than we've ever been. We don't have any linemen
up over 220 pounds for the first time I can remember," Butler said.
Belew said the Steers run a similar 4-3 defense to what Pecos has gone
to this season, while adding "They don't stunt has much as some of the
other teams we've seen, but they also turn their 4-3 into a 4-4 at times
which is basically an 8-man line. I'm not sure what they're going to do
against us, but we need to prepare for both."
Although the Steers have been hurt through the air this season -
allowing four touchdowns without getting an interception so far - Big
Spring does have all-district players Todd McAdams and Frankie Green
back in the secondary, along with linebacker Brock Gee, while new safety
John Lawdermilk has a pair of fumble recoveries, along with sharing
kicking and kick return duties with McAdams.
Both Belew and Butler are hoping with the start of district play, their
teams will display more of a killer instinct than they have in their
"We haven't been able to be as consistent as we need to be, and
consistency and execution go hand-in-hand," the Eagles' coach said.
"Hopefully, we got the inconsistency out of our system last week,
because the kids know they're going to have to play at their best in
order to win."
"We're having trouble getting the killer instinct ourselves. We've had
the lead a couple of times and lost it," added Butler. "We just need to
go out there and play hard for the whole game."
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The Pecos Eagles' junior varsity football team will be without about a
quarter of their team tonight, as they try to maintain their perfect
record at home against the Hobbs Eagles in a 7 p.m. start.
Meanwhile, Pecos' freshman will be minus about a third of their team due
to grades, when they travel to Wink to take on the Wildcats' junior
varsity, beginning at 6 p.m.
The numbers are better for the Eagles' junior high teams, who are
scheduled to play only one game each today against Fort Stockton, as the
eighth grade gold team hosts the Panthers, while the seventh grade gold
squad plays in Fort Stockton, both starting at 4 p.m.
This is the first week of the current grading period for Pecos'
sub-varsity teams, which lost 11 players off the 5-0 JV squad and 15 off
the 4-1 ninth grade team. On the positive side for the JV, they probably
won't have to face any extra players tonight against Hobbs, since under
New Mexico rules varsity players who do not appear in all four quarters
of a Friday night game can play in a JV game the same week, which New
Mexico squads have done in past Saturday night JV contests against the
The JV comes off a 27-8 win over Kermit a week ago, while the freshmen
downed the Yellowjackets by a 30-12 final score, coming from a 12-0
halftime deficit to win.
Pecos' seventh grade gold team is 0-2 after a 12-0 loss at Kermit a week
ago, while the eighth graders stand a 1-1 after winning by an 8-0 score
in Kermit. The Crockett and Zavala purple teams are scheduled to be off
this week, after losing games in Kermit last Thursday. They'll resume
action against Andrews next week.
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The Balmorhea Bears will get a chance to bounce back from their first
loss of the season on the field Friday night, when they travel to Sierra
Blanca to take on the Vaqueros in a 7:30 p.m. (CDT) start.
The game was in doubt following Sierra Blanca's 2-0 forfeit loss last
week to Sanderson. "They didn't have enough players because of injuries,
and they lost a few to grades, but we had a meeting and it was
determined they would play on a week-to-week basis," said Bears' coach
Michael Barrandey. "They have nine healthy right now."
"Sierra Blanca's a little down right now, but they moved the ball on
Buena Vista, even though they lost 46-0 (two weeks ago)," the Bears'
coach said. "They do hit, and they do try hard."
The Vaqueros had split their first four games of the season prior to
last Friday's forfeit, though they're 0-2 in District 8-A six man play,
while Balmorhea fell to 1-1 in district and 4-1 on the season, with a
39-26 loss at Grandfalls.
"We've been working real hard this week. We looked at the film, and we
know we played terribly, and didn't execute, but give Grandfalls credit.
They played a good game," Barrandey said. "We've just got to get back on
our horse and execute."
Friday's loss means the Bears need to win their remaining four games to
assure themselves of a third straight post-season trip. Balmorhea hosts
Dell City next week, and closes the season against Buena Vista after a
trip to Sanderson.
"Dell City is playing excellent football, and Sanderson is new (to
six-man), but they're playing good, and everybody's counting Buena Vista
out, but they're still tough," Barrandey said. "This district is 4-5
teams deep this year. Whichever two teams come out has a chance to meet
in the semifinals. This district is stronger than it's ever been."
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times
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