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Tuesday, October 29, 1996

Eagles' game on Thursday in Van Horn

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PECOS, Oct. 29 -- The Pecos Eagles bi-district playoff match against the
El Paso Burges Mustangs has been set for 8 p.m. Thursday night, at the
Van Horn High School gym, Eagles' coach Nora Geron said Monday.

Pecos is making its first post-season appearance in four years thanks to
the new rule passed by the University Interscholastic League, which
added a third team to the Class 4A playoff level, six years after the
rule was initiated for Class 4A schools. The Eagles placed third in
District 4-4A with a 5-5 mark, 13-6 overall on the season.

Unlike the rule for football, which follows the 5A pattern and splits
the schools into 32 "Big 4A" teams and 64 "Small 4A" schools, all 96
qualifiers for the Class 4A playoffs will compete for a single title.
But the winners of each district will draw an opening round bye, while
the second place and third place teams open competition this weekend.

Geron said last week she wanted to play Burges on a Thursday instead of
Saturday, to avoid waiting a week before bi-district play. "We can't get
anybody to play on Tuesday, because 4A is the only classification that's
finished," she said.

The Eagles ended their season on Saturday with a 15-6, 15-6 loss to
district champion San Angelo Lake View, while Burges will go into
Thursday's match off a 15-1, 15-6 victory over El Paso Riverside.

Burges was District 3-4A runner up, finishing with an 11-2 mark, 18-7
overall, trailing El Paso Bowie. The Eagles did not face Burges any time
during the season, but did get to see Bowie (12-1, 26-3) win Pecos' own
Cantaloupe Classic Tournament in late August.

Andrews, the District 4-4A runner-up is scheduled to play their
bi-district match on Saturday night in Alpine, against either El Paso
High or El Paso Riverside.

Monday's Enterprise said that Riverside would face Andrews
thanks to their 18-16, 15-13 victory over El Paso High last week, but
Saturday's loss by the Rangerettes to Bowie dropped them into a tie with
the Tigers for third, both with 9-5 district marks. Riverside and El
Paso High will play tonight to decide the third place finisher.

Cowboys didn't have a prayer, but

priest helped inspire Dallas victory

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IRVING, Texas, Oct. 29 - Players and executives were enjoying
their whipping of Jimmy Johnson at Valley Ranch on Monday, and some said
the catalyst for the 29-10 win over the Miami Dolphins was the pregame

``I heard this man of the cloth praying for a Dolphins win before the
kickoff and I wondered what church he was from,'' said offensive tackle
Nate Newton. ``I thought it must have been some kind of Dolphin cult or
some- thing.''

Said running back Emmitt Smith: ``We all thought the pregame prayer was
some kind of joke or something. We couldn't believe it. It helped get
our attention.''

Dallas coach Barry Switzer said the prayer, read over the
public-address system, was strange.

``Nate Newton leaned over to me and said, ``Coach, I don't think that
prayer was for everybody.' We knew it certainly wasn't for us,'' Switzer

Quarterback Troy Aikman had one word for it: ``Tasteless.''

Newton said one of the reasons the Cowboys wanted to play well was not
because they were meeting their former coach but because ``so many of us
on the team are from Florida. That's where the media missed the boat on
our motivation.''

The Cowboys watched films of the victory Monday and got some good news
from trainer Jim Maurer.

Tight end Eric Bjornson, who sprained his right ankle making a
touchdown catch, could be ready to play on Sunday against the
Philadelphia Eagles.

``He (Bjornson) said he thinks he will be able to play,'' Switzer said.
``There wasn't as much swelling as we thought there would be.''

The defending Super Bowl champions improved to 5-3 but still trail the
Eagles by a game and Washington by two games in the NFC East.

Dallas beat Philadelphia 23-19 on Sept. 30 in Veterans Stadium.

``We've got three tough games in a row,'' Smith said. ``After today
we're going to forget the win over Miami. We've got the Eagles. Then we
have to travel to San Francisco and get Green Bay. Philadelphia is on a
roll. When we wake up tomorrow, that's who we're going to be thinking

Newton said it's strange to look at the newspaper after the first half
of the season and see the Cowboys trailing the Redskins and Eagles in
the standings.

``Usually this time of the year we're in the lead or we're tied with
somebody,'' Newton said. ``We've dug us a hole but we can still take
control of our division.''

(Copyright 1996 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times

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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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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