Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, September 19, 2008
Pecos toughens drills before tough game with Loboes
A rough start to the 2008 season meant some rougher practices for the Pecos Eagles this week, going into their two toughest games of the season. But before the Eagles see if the tougher workout sessions pay off against the Monahans Loboes, they’re going to see how at least a couple of new players work in the starting lineup, due to injuries.
The 0-3 Eagles host 1-1 Monahans on Friday at Eagle Stadium, starting at 7:30 p.m. Pecos comes in off last week’s 42-9 loss at Denver City, while Monahans fell behind Sweetwater early, and missed a late game-tying field goal attempt in a 17-14 loss to the Mustangs.
Monahans opened the season with several big play scores in a 41-10 rout of Midland Christian, while the Eagles had one big play TD a week ago on their opening play from scrimmage, but could manage just over 100 yards offense the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Denver City used a series of little plays to move down the field, scoring six touchdowns despite just one play longer than 20 yards.
Pecos has now allowed 17 TDs in 12 quarters this season, and the combined problems on both sides of the ball led Eagles’ coach Chris Henson to change up workouts this week.
“We’re trying a little tougher practice than we have been going through, because we’re trying to get them to fire off the block at full speed,” Henson said. “We’ve had a few banged up, but I think it will toughen them up a bit.”
We had two good solid day of practice Monday and Tuesday. It’s just that we’ve got some injuries right now,” Henson said.
Sophomore Arturo Munoz, who replaced injured starter Hector Ramirez at fullback, will also be out for Friday’s game with a sprained shoulder suffered during practice on Monday. “We thought it was broken, but further x-rays showed it was just a bad strain,” Henson said. “We moved Timo Reyes to fullback, and he’ll start for us.”
Quarterback Paul Zubeldia didn’t practice on Monday and Tuesday, after injuring his ankle in the first half of last Friday’s game. Henson said Junior Carrasco has been taking snaps in his place, but that Zubeldia was expected to play on Friday.
On defense, the injuries included safety Jonathan Dominguez and linebacker Chris Martinez, with neck and knee problems, while defensive end Isaiah Vela and linebacker Larry Sparkman also are dealing with injuries going into Friday’s game.
Monahans comes healthier than Pecos, and for the first time since 2001 not as a district rival of the Eagles. The Loboes are paired with Andrews, Greenwood, Seminole Lamesa and Brownfield this year, but while they’re in a new district, they return many of the same players who turned a 17-12 halftime deficit in Pecos last year into a 47-17 victory.
Quincy Titus, who saw limited time at quarterback in last year’s game, still had 5- and 34-yard touchdown runs for Monahans, while Stephen Neel ran for 55 yards and a TD. Last week against Sweetwater, Titus and Neel were held to a combined 65 yards rushing, but Titus threw for 138 yards, most of that in the final two periods.
“He threw the ball better in the second half, and we got our running game going,” Loboes coach Mickey Owens said. “The offensive line started staying on their blocks better in the second half.”
“In the second half when we were running the ball, our tailback offense was doing better than our fullback,” Owens said. “Tyson Childress had about 76 yards, so we were running the ball pretty good.”
“They’ve got four real good running backs in the backfield, and they have a huge line in front. The big thing for us is we’ve got to be running towards the football,” Henson said.
Owens added that receivers Kalep Warden and Sean Britton had good second half efforts against Sweetwater. Britton also had a 38-yard TD catch from Titus against Midland Christian, and caught a 50-yard TD in last year’s win over the Eagles.
In their loss at Denver City, mental mistakes and missed assignments hurt Pecos on both sides of the ball. The Eagles had three big gains wiped out by penalties, while the defense continued to struggle against the spread offense.
“There are correctable things the kids aren’t getting done. They’ll be in the correct position on a couple of plays, then on the next few plays they’ll blow it,” Henson said. “What we’ve done this week is to try and have more individual time with the offense and defense. We spend about 25 minutes with working the individuals on offense and defense to see if we can pound it into their heads by repetition.”
Henson said the Loboes almost used a couple of Sweetwater turnovers to rally for the win last week. “Monahans is going to take advantage of any turnovers, just like they did against us last year, so we’ve got to capitalize when we get the football.”
“Defensively, Monahans has quite a few new ones, but the only one they seem to use two-way is Titus. They’ll use him at cornerback if they need to,” he said. “Their linebackers are real aggressive and run downhill real well. Hector Vargas has been making a lot of tackles, and Christian Poynor is only about 150 pounds, but he can run.”
Owens said this year’s Loboes’ team may not be as strong as the 2006 squad that went through the season undefeated, but is better than last year’s team that placed second to Fort Stockton in the District 1-3A standings.
“We probably don’t have the quickness that we had two years ago, but we’re faster than we were last year,” he said.
Monahans has lost in the opening round of the playoffs each of the past two seasons to Snyder, who will be the Eagles’ final pre-district opponent, next week. Pecos then has a week off before facing Fort Stockton in the District 4-3A opener for both teams, while Monahans will play in Fort Stockton the week prior to the Eagles’ 4-3A opener.
Season-opening date, opponent for Eagles’ swim team changes
The Pecos High School swimming pool is ready to host meets after a summer of repairs, but Pecos Eagles’ coach Terri Morse said the Eagles’ first scheduled opponent isn’t ready for next week’s 2008-09 season opener.
Pecos, which had to work out last month at the Town of Pecos City swimming pool while workers filled a sinkhole and repaired damage to the south side wall of the building, had been scheduled to start their season this coming Tuesday against Fort Stockton, but instead will be starting their season at home four days later.
“Fort Stockton cancelled out,” Morse said. “I wasn’t able to find anybody to fill that date, but I was able to get Abilene Wylie to come over here on Saturday.”
Wyile will be one of two Abilene schools, along with Cooper, in the Eagles’ district this coming year. Morse said the meet would start at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, with diving competition to be held during the normal break in-between the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke events.
Morse said Pecos would also have a couple of other changes in their 2008-09 swimming schedule. The regular season runs through the District 4-4A meet on Jan. 30-31 in Andrews, while the Region I-4A and the Class 4A state finals will be held in Lubbock and Austin in February.
Reserves get action in Eagles’ rout of Blue Devils
Tuesday was another night for Pecos Eagles’ coach Ruth McWilliams to get all of her reserve players some extra court time, as the Eagles scored their second easy win in eight days over the Presidio Blue Devils.
The Eagles, who swept the Blue Devils in Presidio on Sept. 9, went mostly with their starters in Game 1 on Tuesday and came away with a 25-6 victory, then rotated their starters and reserves in the final two games while beating the Blue Devils 25-10, 25-13 for their seventh win in a row.
“The toughest thing about playing a team that is struggling is to maintain your momentum,” McWilliams said. “In the first game, they made a lot of their own errors, and we didn’t have to do a lot. In the second and third games they started playing a little better defense.”
Five of Presidio’s six points in the opener came off Pecos serves or spikes that went out of bounds. One of those briefly tied the game at 1-1, but the Eagles then ran off seven straight points, and 15 of the next 17 points. Leah McWilliams had two kills and an ace serve during that run and Ally Salcido and Destiny Simmons also had kills, while the other points came off unforced errors by the Blue Devils.
In the second game with a new lineup, the Eagles fell behind at one point, 4-0. Diana Carrasco had an ace serve during that opening run, but then gave Pecos its first point with a serve into the net. Pecos then got an ace from Brittany Quintana and would take the lead on four straight errors by the Blue Devils Jhenny Fernandez.
The Eagles would eventually take the lead for good at 8-7 on a McWilliams spike, followed by an ace by Talia Castillo. Lizet Villanueva, who provided the Blue Devils’ only offense of the night, would get her team back to within one with a kills, before another McWilliams kill started a 16-2 run by Pecos to close out the game.
Pecos started Game 3 with a spike by Jasmine Rayos and would quickly take a 13-3 lead. Villanueva would lead a Presidio comeback that at one point would narrow the margin to 16-10, but a bad hit by Zena Sanchez would stop that run, and kills by Rayos, Gabby Garcia and McWilliams down the stretch would help Pecos widen its lead back to double-digits before the game was over.
“We had the upper hand, but we just lost a little focus, which is what we have to work on,” McWilliams said. “No matter who we play, we should play the same the whole match, and if we start off tough, we should end tough.”
The win improved the Eagles’ season record to 17-12 going into their third District 4-3A match, at home on Saturday against the Tornillo Coyotes. It’s the first district meeting between the two teams, but Pecos and Tornillo have met in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs each of the past two season, with the Eagles winning both times in three games.
Tornillo, which like Pecos returns over half their starters from last year’s squad, comes into the match with a 13-12 record, following a 25-14, 25-19, 25-16 victory on Tuesday over Van Horn. Play will start on Saturday with the freshman match at 1 p.m., followed by the junior varsity contest about 2 p.m.
The Eagles also won Tuesday’s JV and freshman matches over Presidio. The JV gold team won by 25-6, 25-19 scores, while the ninth graders won in three games over the Blue Devils, 25-11, 17-25, 25-16.
Bears’ kicks, late touchdown earn 46-44 win over Chargers
The Balmorhea Bears will be trying for their third win of the season this Friday, in their third straight road game, after pulling out their second narrow victory of the year this last Friday night, beating the Midland Trinity Chargers 46-44 in Midland.
The lead changed hands four times in the final three minutes of the game, and while the Chargers actually scored one more touchdown than the Bears, Balmorhea won with superb extra -points conversions – a first in recent history for the Bears.
From the opening kickoff to the last whistle it was a tight-locked battle for both teams as the lead was tossed back and forth eight times.
The Chargers opted to receive the opening kickoff and were able to create a long drive and eventually connect for six on a Hunter Latham run with 3:47 left in the first quarter of play.
Balmorhea was off to a slow start, and would not make it in the end zone in the first quarter.
The Bears first possession of the second quarter was stymied short of the marker and Ryan Mondragon was forced to punt it away.
Despite the slow start the Bears were able to set the tempo of the second quarter as they made their first strike, and also picked up 24-of their 46 points this quarter alone.
With 7:40 left in the 1st half the Bears capped a drive with a short pass from Nigiel Lozano to Mondragon , with Mondragon kicking the extra points.
The score put the Bears up 8-6, but they soon trailed again as the Chargers marched down the field for another score on a 32-yard run by Robert Cepero with 6:38 left on the clock.
The Chargers were able to post a 14-8 lead as they made their only extra point of the game after this touchdown.
With three minutes left to play in the half the Bears defense forced the Chargers to punt from deep in their own territory.
Bear defensive back Gabriel Jurado was able to partially block the punt, which was returned for a 15-yard touchdown by Lozano. Two extra-points later the Bears led 16-14.
Following the kickoff the Chargers were stopped short by a fumble that was returned 68-yds for a touchdown by Adam Roman, followed by another successful extra points kick, to post up a 24-14 lead with little time left before the half.
The Chargers once again found themselves in trouble on the last play of the half when Jeremy Baeza intercepted the ball but was stopped short of the end zone Balmorhea went into the locker room leading by 10 points, 24-10.
Balmorhea received the halftime kickoff but failed to convert on downs and was forced to punt. The Chargers offense came out strong and were able to put together a 7 play drive capped off with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Cepero to Robbie Canon, cutting the Bears lead 24-20 with 3:01 left in the third period.
Balmorhea then fumbled the ball away to Midland Trinity, and the Charger offense continued to find success through the air. Canon hauled in another touchdown from Cepero, giving Trinity the lead, 26-24, with 1:06 in the third quarter.
The two teams battled to keep possession of the ball and were scoreless until a Cepero took a sweep 23 yards for a touchdown, that put the Chargers up 32-24 with 4:33 left in play.
The Bears offense took advantage of the next possession as Roman was able to hook up with Mondragon on a 16-yard TD pass after a short drive. The Bears missed the extra points try leaving the score 32-30.
Down by two, Balmorhea went for an onsides kick and recovered the ball, which set up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Roman to Baeza to put the Bears back in the lead. Mondragon’s kick made it 38-32 with 2:40 left in the game.
Upon receiving the kickoff the Chargers wasted little time. Jackson Babb broke away for a 48-yard touchdown run on the first play, but the Chargers could not convert and the score was tied, 38-38 with 2:29 remaining.
A minute later the Bears found the end zone again only to have the play called back on an illegal formation call. Trouble continued to plague the Bears following the penalty, as they also lost a fumble with one minute left in the game.
On the next play, Babb broke free for another long touchdown run, but the Bears blocked the extra points attempt and preserved the possibility of winning with one more score, trailing by six points, 44-38.
With the time left the Bears took the field and Baeza broke away for a 45-yard run followed by successful PAT to put the Bears up 46-44.
The final Charger drive was ended when Baeza intercepted the final pass of the game, leaving the final score 46-44.
The Bears once again found success through the air as they racked up a total of 245 yards passing out of 287 yards total offense. “The effort offensively and defensivly was outstandin,” Head Coach Dibiasie Mendoza said
“We started the 1st quarter a little slow but really stepped up and played a good game.” “Offensively we need to read our blocks better, exchange the ball better, and keep working hard. Great effort and a great game.”
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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