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for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pecos defeats Tornillo, Ortega passes 2,000 mark

It was going to take a big rushing night for Pecos’ Luis Ortega to reach the 2,000 yard mark for the 2006 football season. But it took a really bad defensive night by the Pecos Eagles to make it necessary for Ortega to get to 2,000 yards in order to get Pecos a season-ending win over the Tornillo Coyotes.

The Eagles’ offensive line opened a lot of holes for Ortega, who needed 291 yards Friday to hit the 2,000-yard mark for the year, and ended up with 327 yards and six touchdowns on 38 carries. However, it was just as big a night on offense for the Coyotes, who came in averaging under 130 yards a game and ran and passed for 385 yards, scoring five touchdowns and not giving up the lead for good until Ortega’s two-yard score with 3:09 to play put Pecos ahead 40-36 in a game they would finally win by a 47-36 final score.

“They came out and they were fired up. We knew they were going to want to play hard for their final home game and it being Parent’s Night, but we were just flat,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “We got in a hole and we almost didn’t climb out.”

Henson had said going into the game he was going to take out his starters, and wouldn’t keep Ortega in the game just to get to 2,000 yards if Pecos pulled away. But as things turned out, the Eagles had little choice but to keep giving the ball to their senior fullback.

“It looked like that was our game-plan, but it wasn’t,” said Henson.

The game started out well for Pecos, as they took the opening kickoff and marched 79 yards on 11 plays to grab a 7-0 lead. Ortega would account for 69 of those yards, including a three-yard touchdown run, while the other 10 would be on a pair of runs by Hector Ramirez, who returned after missing the Fort Stockton game due to a head injury.

However, when the Coyotes got their hands on the ball, they showed it wasn’t going to be an easy night for the Eagles. Abel Rodriguez gained eight yards on their first play, then ran for 35 after a quarterback keeper by Carlos Ortiz. The quarterback would then covert a 4th-and-goal, scoring on a two-yard bootleg, though he missed the extra point, keeping the Eagles up by one.

Pecos would be forced to punt on their next possession, but widened their lead to 13-6 moments later when Ortiz threw wide on a swing pass to Jesus Gomez and saw it picked off by linebacker Kenny Rayos, who was able to dodge the quarterback’s tackle and go 48 yards to the end zone. Less than three minutes later, it was back to a one-point margin, as Gomez found an opening on the right side of the line and went 24 yards to the end zone, after Ortiz hooked up with Jesse Cardial on a 14-yard pass to convert a 3rd-and-14 situation.

Pecos would come back and get two first downs, on runs by Paul Zubeldia and Ortega the got the ball into Tornillo territory. But the Eagles then tried an end-around play and saw the ball bobbled and then lost by receiver Rocky Lozoya. The Coyotes took over at their own 47 and drove the ball down to the Pecos 16 before being stopped. Ortiz, who was wide right and wide left with his first two extra point kicks, went right down the middle with a 33-yard field goal try, putting Tornillo up, 15-13.

The lead would grow to eight just before halftime, when Zubeldia tried to go deep to Robert Nunez and was picked off by safety Rene Hernandez. He would then work a throwback pass to Ortiz for 17 yards, before Ortiz found Aurelio Carrasco behind Pecos’ secondary for a 29-yard touchdown with 49 seconds left in the period.

“We knew they were going to be quicker than us, and that’s something we’re going to have to work on for the off-season,” Henson said. “Our defense did play good, and that was also due to bad technique all night long.”

Ruben Salgado’s kickoff attempt towards the sidelines went almost paralell to the line of scrimmage, going out of bounds at the Pecos 42, and from there, Tornillo used nine plays to score their fourth touchdown, this one on a two-yard run by Gomez. Ortiz extra point left Pecos in a 28-13 hole with 8:37 left in the period.

Ortega had run for 94 yards at that point on 14 carries, but would get a lot more chances the rest of the way, as the Eagles went back to their most reliable weapon. He carried the ball six straight times, going for nine yards to convert a 3rd-and-1, then picking up four on another 3rd-and-1. Ramirez then gained seven off a counter play before Ortega went over the right side for 15, and finished the drive off with a 10-yard touchdown.

The score fired up the defense, while Tornillo had problems holding onto the ball on their next series. They survived a fumble by Hernandez on the kickoff and a fumbled snap by Ortiz, but Gomez was then hit hard by a trio of Pecos defenders and fumbled, with Justin Contreras recovering at the 13-yard line. Ortega was in the end zone one play later, but the Coyotes did stop his two-point attempt, which kept them ahead by a 28-26 score.

A penalty would help Pecos survive an 11-yard run by Rodriguez on the next series, after Ortiz was shaken up on a 21-yard first down scramble. Taking over at their own 20, the Eagles survived a fumble on a flea-flicker attempt as the third quarter ended, before Ortega would convert a 4th-and-1 with a five yard run.

He would then pick up 18, 10, 15 and 17 yards on runs as the final period opened, then put Pecos up, 33-28 with a two-yard scoring run and a two-point conversion, after Tornillo almost recovered a fumbled snap on the previous play. That came with 7:40 left in the game, but three minutes later, Pecos was behind again.

The Coyotes were helped by a facemask call against the Eagles on the ensuing kickoff, and then would overcome a motion call when Ortiz hit Cardial for 20 yards on a 3rd-and-8.. Three plays later, facing a 3rd-and-13, Ortiz eluded Pecos’ defense and found Cardial, who faked out a couple of defenders and went 37 yards for the score with 4:58 remaining. He then ran for a two-point conversion for a 36-33 lead.

That was more than enough time for the Eagles to come back and score with their rushing game. But on this series, the big carries weren’t by Ortega, but by Ramirez and Xaiver Tersero, who picked up 23 and 26 yards on counter plays. Those came after 10 and seven yard runs by Ortega, and he capped off the drive with a seven-yard score. Timo Reyes’ extra point put Pecos ahead once more, 40-33.

The go-ahead score also got Ortega to 267 yards on the night, and the Eagles would get the ball back just over a minute later, after Ortiz was held to just one yard on a pair of quarterback bootleg runs and then misfired on passes to Cardial. But they took over on their own 23. Ortega would get to the 19 on the next play and then go around the left side to the end zone for his sixth touchdown with 1:22 to play, putting him at 1,999 yards for the year.

Reyes’ extra point made it an 11-point margin, and it didn’t look as though Pecos would get another shot on offense, when Ortiz came out and connected with Roger Villalobos on 26- and 14-yard completions right after the kickoff. However, the Coyotes had to continue going to the air, and three misses by the sophomore and a drop by Villalobos gave Pecos the ball back with 20.4 seconds to play.

That was more than enough time to give the ball to Ortega once more around the left side, and he would run for 30 yards before being dragged down at the 24-yard line. Pecos was called for holding on the play, but it was marked off from near the spot of the tackle, and Ortega would get the ball once more and go for seven yards as time expired.

Aside from Ortega’s mark, sophomore Jeremy Martinez ended up leading the district in pass receiving, catching two passes on Friday to finish with 30 catches for the season, for 611 yards. They were also the only completions of the night for Zubledia, but it did manage to get the sophomore above the 1,000 yard mark in total yards for the year, as he finished with 1,034 in his first varsity season.

The win allowed Pecos to finish with a 5-5 record for the season and a 3-3 mark in District 1-3A, the first time the Eagles have avoided a losing record since 2001. Tornillo ends with a record of 0-6 in district and 3-6 on the season.

Monahans wrapped up an undefeated district season with a 52-7 win at Anthony, while Clint won second place, beating Fort Stockton by a 35-27 score. The Panthers (7-3) will still go as the Division I representative in the Class 3A playoffs and will face either Andrews (3-7) or Levelland (2-8) in two weeks in the area round of the playoffs. Monahans (9-1) will face 7-3 Snyder or 3-7 Brownfield in their area game Thanksgiving weekend, while Clint (9-1) will take on either 9-1 Greenwood or 8-2 Seminole in the area round.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are now faced with finding a replacement for Ortega, but do have most of their other skill position players coming back for 2007. “That’s going to be a big hole to fill. Most likely we’ll take Hector and move him to fullback, and move Timo to tailback,” Henson said. “We’re also graduating our whole offensive line and our tight end. That’s going to be a big challenge, but we’ve got some great kids returning and a great receiver.”

Lady Eagles close out best season since 1989

Special to the Enterprise

LUBBOCK - Pecos' high school volleyball season ended Friday evening in the semi-finals of the Region I-3A Tournament, but not before the Lady Eagles made eventual regional champion Canyon work for it.

Canyon won 25-17, 25-17, 25-11, but the Lady Eagles fought off game point in each of the first two games.

"We fought the good fight, but they just had too much firepower," Pecos head volleyball coach Helen Kimbrough said. "They had more experience than us."

Pecos' performance against Canyon achieved further lustre after the latter went out Saturday afternoon and shocked Monahans to win the regional title and the berth in the state tournament.

Before Friday, Canyon had never been in a regional volleyball tournament. As for Pecos, the Lady Eagles hadn't been that far since 1989.

"We were nervous at first," Kimbrough said. "With my girls being inexperienced, they showed it a little bit on the court, but they still fought back."

Jasmine Rayos led the way with eight kills. Gabriella Garcia had three kills and a dink. Brittany Rodriguez had two kills and one block while Adriana Armendariz had two blocks and one kill.

"We couldn't get our offense together, running it the way we wanted it to go," Kimbrough said. "The reason for that is their big blockers in the middle."

Cherilyn McMenamy put Canyon ahead with an ace serve, one of 16 the Canyon Lady Eagles would have. That lead eventually grew to 4-2 after a Noni Valdez kill.

Pecos sported a very vocal crowd and gave the fans something to cheer about when Rayos and Armendariz had consecutive kills to tie the score at 4-4.

Kelsey Kantor got a kill to put Canyon back ahead, but Garcia matched it with a kill to tie the score again at 5-5.

Canyon started pulling away after that, reaching game point on a Tia Schmidt ace serve. Kimbrough called a timeout.

It seemed to help as Rodriguez got a kill to keep Pecos in the game. However, McMenamy responded with a kill for Canyon to win the match.

The Lady Eagles then jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second game. Rayos got a kill for the first point and two Canyon errors pushed it to 3-0.

That lead would grow to 9-8 after a Canyon hitting error. Canyon got a McMenamy ace serve on the way to an 11-9 lead, but Pecos would tie it 11-11 after an Armendariz block.

Canyon would start pulling away after that, reaching game point on a McMenamy kill. Garcia then delivered a kill to keep Pecos alive.

But then Valdez got another kill and Canyon was up, 2-0, in the match.

The opposing Canyon Lady Eagles scored the first six points of the third game. A Kantor kill started things off.

Pecos would cut it to 6-4 following a net violation on Canyon, but that would be as close as the Lady Eagles would get in that game. Yet another McMenamy ace serve closed out the match.

This was the best Pecos volleyball season since 1989. Kimbrough took the job a few days before practice started.

"I'm not surprised with how well we did this season," Kimbrough said. "I had seen them this summer and I felt like I had something. That's one reason I took the job. They were a very talented group of kids...I always thought I had a good enough team to win some games. I would have still taken the job anyway even if I hadn't seen talent."

The match was the final one for seniors Amalie Herrera, Jenny Palomino, Cassandra Terrazas, Brittany Rodriguez, Adriana Armendariz and Amber Pando. They finished out as part of the most successful Pecos volleyball season since the seniors who graduated in 1990.

"It was a great season," Kimbrough said. "A lot of people didn't think that we were going to make it this far. I'm just very pleased with the girls. I think that they did a good job and I look forward to being in this position next year. Hopefully, next year, we'll win."

Eagles swim to second place at home meet

The Pecos Eagle boys swim team was just edged out for first place on Saturday, at their annual Pecos Invitational, while the Eagle girls took eighth place overall in the 17-school field.

Pecos’ boys scored 259 points in the meet, to 282 by first place Lubbock Coronado, with Odessa High third with 230 points. Lubbock High also won the girls title by a much wider margin, scoring 368 ½ points to 129 ½ for Clovis and 127 for Lubbock Monterrey. Pecos ended up with 78 points to finish behind Odessa High, Midland Lee, Pampa and Abilene High.

“Overall, we swam well,” said Eagles’ coach Terri Morse. “Some of the times may not have been the best, but it was a long day, with a lot of up and down where you’re sitting around for a long time. It’s hard to get motivated, and we may have gotten a little flat.”

“Lubbock High had a lot of kids, so I knew they would be tough for our boys to beat. With the girls, we just don’t have the numbers this year to compete with some of the bigger schools ,” she said.

The boys picked up two relay victories and four wins in individual events, two by senior Kyle Winkles. He won both the 50 yard freestyle with a 22.54 time and took the 100 free, with a time of 51.62. Matt Oglesby and Josh Elliott had the other individual victories; Oglesby took the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.25 while Elliott won the 100-yard backstroke, with a 59.47 time.

All three were also members of the 200 yard medley relay team, along with Matthew Florez, that took first place with a 1:47.12 time , nearly seven seconds ahead of Lubbock High, and of the 400-yard freestyle team, which won its race with a new meet record of 3:28.94, just under four seconds ahead of Odessa High. Pecos’ ‘B’ relay team of Frankie Morin, Luke Serrano, Hector Roman and Derek Teague also earned sixth place in that race, while the 200 freestyle ‘A’ team of Florez, Serrano, Morin and Teague finished second to Odessa High, the ‘B’ relay in that event, made up of Roman, Edward Navarro, Austin Vernon and Gus Mendoza, was 11th. The ‘B’ relay in the 200 medley relay, of Mendoza, Vernon, Adam Medina and Navarro, was disqualified.

Oglesby also placed second by 2 seconds in the 200 medley to OHS’s Madison Gibson, who set a new meet record with a 2:05.21 time while Elliot was second to him in the 100 fly, with a 59.39 time

“Josh looked really good in the backstroke, and both boys looked good in the fly,” Morse said.

In other events, Mendoza was 10th, Navarro 13th and Medina 14th in the 200 free; Teague was 14th, Vernon 28th and Oscar Machuca 33rd in the 50 free; Medina was 13th in the 100 fly; Florez was fourth Morin eighth and Ramon 13th in the 100 free; Mendoza was 12th, Serrano 13th and Navarro 16th in the 500 free; Morin was fifth and Serrano sixth in the 100 backstroke and Teague was eighth, Machuca 16th and Vernon 19th in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Roman was the only diver entered for Pecos on Friday, in the 1-meter competition, where he finished fourth.

The top finishes for the girls was a fourth place by the 400-yard freestyle relay of Cassandra Mata, Anatalia Hernandez, Niki Lindemann and Neyva Rodriguez; and by Mata in the 200 medley, with a 2:39.23 time. She was also 10th in the 100 yard breaststroke. Lindemann, Mata, Rodriguez and Adrianna Roman were seventh in the 200-yard freestyle relay, while the 400 freestyle ‘B’ relay team of Roman, Stephanie Lucas, Jessica Dickenson and Cynthia Marmolejo was 10th.

“I think Niki Lindemann did well. She had a good 200 free and on her legs of both relays, especially the 400 free,” Morse said. “All the girls and boys swam well in the 400 free.“

Lindemann placed ninth in the 200 freestyle, while in other individual events, Roman 19th in the 200 free; Dickenson was 14th in the 200 medley; Neyva Rodriguez was 18th and Adrienne Bagley was 35th in the 50 free; Hernandez was 12th, Lindemann 15th and Lucas 17th in the 100 fly; Neyva Rodriguez was 15th, Bagley 34th and Brittanie Rodriguez 43rd in the 100 free; Hernandez was eighth, Roman ninth and Marmolejo 13th in the 500 free; Marmolejo was 19th , Lucas 24th and Brittanie Rodriguez 27th in the 100 backstroke; and Dickenson was 12th in the 100 backstroke.

The Eagles’ next meet will be this coming Friday and Saturday, when they travel to Monahans for the Loboes’ annual invitational meet.

Pecos players place 2nd in USTA tournament

Several Pecos High School tennis players placed second recently in a U.S. Tennis Association tournament held in Ozona.

Pecos had 90 points to 108 for Grady and 84 for third place Ozona in the matches, which were held on Oct 28. “They had been beating us in the other tournaments, but this time we were able to finish ahead of them,” said high school coach Bernadette Ornelas of Ozona, which placed ahead of Pecos at the area tournament two weeks prior to the regional competition.

The USTA event is not part of the regular Pecos High School tennis program. The Pecos team, “The Pride of Pecos” played their matches on Sundays during the fall, and had seven participants, six of whom made the trip to Ozona.

Ozona and Grady did win their head-to-head matches over Pecos, but Pecos’ players won their matches over Douglas 40 points to 11, which was enough to give them second overall. Against Douglas, Francisco Ornelas and Noah Munoz won by default in boys doubles; Priscilla Sotelo and Crystal Ikeler defeated Megan Martin and Amber Ledbetter in girls doubles, 8-3; and Ysenia Munoz and Cody Zamarripa won by an 8-5 score in mixed doubles over Ellis Whalen and Jose Flores. In singles, Ornelas defeated Flores, 8-1, and Ikeler defeated Ledbetter, 8-2.

Against Ozona, Pecos was outscored 31-26. Ornelas and Noah Munoz defeated Devon Diehl and Russell Komcheck, 8-6, and Sotelo and Ikeler downed Julia Henderson and Diane Hernandez, 8-1. But Zamarripa and Ysenia Munoz lost to Pjya Bakhta and Jordan Martinez, 8-3; and in singles Ornelas lost to Diehl, 8-5, and Sotelo lost to Henderson, 8-2.

Against Grady, the Eagles were outscored, 30-26. Pecos’ wins came from Ornelas and Sotelo in mixed doubles, 8-6 over Santos Montoya and Amanda Cooper, and from Ornelas in singles, 8-0 over Ben Kennedy. In boys’ doubles, Zamarripa and Munoz lost to Geoffrey Schuette and Tyler Matthews, 8-6; in girls’ doubles, Ikeler and Munoz lost to Cooper and Linsey Chavez, 8-1; and in singles Chavez defeated Sotelo, 8-1.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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