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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Junior high teams sweep Panthers, high school teams get swept

The home teams came away with all the wins on Thursday night in sub-varsity football action between the Pecos Eagles and the Fort Stockton Panthers.

Playing in Pecos, the Eagles’ junior high teams swept their four games against the Panthers, while down in Fort Stockton, the freshmen and junior varsity teams both suffered shutout losses.

Pecos’ JV saw their record fall to 4-3 on the season with a 9-0 loss to Fort Stockton, while the ninth graders dropped to 3-4 with a 22-0 loss to the Panthers.

In Pecos, the Eagles’ seventh grade ‘A’ team defeated Fort Stockton, 42-6, and the ‘B’ team scored a 12-0 win, while the eighth grade ‘A’ team shut out the Panthers, 14-0, and the ‘B’ team posted a 2-0 victory.

Cesar Ortega had a pair of 10-yard touchdown runs for the seventh graders, while Mario Gallardo had a 36-yard TD run and a one-yard score, along with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown for Pecos. Roderick Renteria had a 14-yard TD run for the Eagles’ other touchdown, while Ortega scored a pair of two point conversions, one on a pass from Gallardo, and Pony Palomino had the other score for the seventh graders, who upped their record to 3-2 on the year.

The seventh grade ‘B’ team is now 4-0 after their win. Jacob Chavez had both scores for the Eagles, with 25- and 44-yard touchdown runs.

In the eighth grade ‘A’ game, Devante Jenkins had both of Pecos’ TDs, on a run of 44 yards in the first half and then a six-yarder in the fourth quarter. He also added a two-point conversion after the first score, while the Eagles were able to stop Fort Stockton twice late while deep in Pecos territory to preserve the shutout. The win lifted the ‘A’ team’s record to 2-3 on the season.

The ‘B’ team is also 2-3 after their win, in which the only points scored came off a safety.

In the freshmen loss at Fort Stockton, the Eagles were able to get deep into Panther territory four times on the night, but came away without any points, while the JV suffered their first shutout loss of the season.

The junior high teams will be seeing the Panthers again the next two weeks, both times in Fort Stockton, while the JV and freshmen teams will host the Panthers in two weeks. The freshmen also are at home this Thursday, for a 6:30 p.m. game against Fabens’ JV, while the Eagles’ JV will be off this week.

Eagles edged by Panthers 26-27 in Friday night battle

The Pecos Eagles finally got the defense they were looking for all season on Friday night, in the second half of their game against the Fort Stockton Panthers. But they didn’t get either the offensive plays or the calls they needed in the final period, and ended up dropping a one-point decision to the Panthers in the District 4-3A opener for both teams.

The Eagles, who came into the game 0-5 and allowing over 10 points per quarter this season, surrendered 27 in the first 16 minutes of Friday’s game to the 1-4 Panthers, while allowing Francisco Jaquez to run wild. His ninth carry of the night resulted in a 31-yard touchdown run with 7:33 left in the second period, and put him at 228 yards rushing while putting Pecos in a 14-point hole.

Jaquez would run for another 115 yards the rest of the way, but the Eagles were able to stop the Panthers’ star when they needed two, while forcing quarterback Steven Hamilton into three turnovers, one of which kept Fort Stockton from scoring just before halftime, and another set up a 44-yard touchdown run by Timo Reyes at the start of the third quarter.

Reyes would run 52-yards for his fourth TD of the night a short time later to get Pecos to within one, at 27-26. But the Eagles botched the extra point attempt, and then would failed to score three times in Fort Stockton territory, including once inside the one-yard line early in the final period, allowing the Panthers to hold on for the win.

“The defense stepped up and played with a lot more confidence in the second half,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “They made the plays when they had to and forced some turnovers that let us get back into the ballgame.”

But the Panthers also had a couple of turnovers that preserved the win. The Eagles drove 77 yards at the start of the final period from their own 32 to the Panthers’ 1, getting a pair of third down completions from quarterback Paul Zubeldia to Ariel Salgado and Hector Ramirez to keep the drive alive early. Ramirez, who ran for 110 yards in his first game back from a broken foot, would convert another third down a short time later, while Reyes, who ran for 191 yards for the second time in three games, would then gain another nine yards down to the Fort Stockton 12, with six more yards tacked on after a late hit by Fort Stockton linebacker Kyle Mishnick.

That put the ball at the six, and two runs by Reyes netted five yards. But on 3rd-and-goal the Eagles were unable to get the play off in time and were whistled for a delay of game penalty -- their 10th of the night -- and then as the 25-second clock again approached zero Zubeldia spun and threw a pitch too high and hard to Reyes, bouncing off his facemask at the 10 back to the line of scrimmage, where Tyler Rojas recovered for Fort Stockton.

“We got a little excited right there,” Henson said. “We got the delay of game when we should have gotten a time out right there, but we were still set up for a little chip shot field goal if we just hold onto the ball, and we had worked on plays at the goal line all week.”

Jaquez would then get Fort Stockton out from their own end of the field with a couple of first down runs, and quaterback Steven Hamilton would connect with Joe Daniel Granado on a 17-yard completion to get the ball into Pecos territory. But Hamilton would be tripped up on a 3rd-and-8 play, his fifth sack of the night, forcing a punt by Jaquez with just over two minutes to play.

Taking over at their own 22, Zubeldia then hit Reyes on a 13-yard completion, and both of the Eagles were then hit, with the officials flagging Fort Stockton for a roughing the passer call, as well as whistling Mishnick for another hit out of bounds on Reyes. But after a long conversation, the officials decided only one penalty could be marked off against the Panthers, which left the ball at midfield instead of at the Fort Stockton 35.

“We should have gotten the ball at the 35 with a minute something left, then we would have run the ball instead of throwing it,” said Henson, whose team was hit with double personal foul penalties at the end of the first half of their previous game in Snyder, leading to a late touchdown by the Tigers.

“I said you’ve got to give both othererwise it would be a free-for-all. Once you got the first penalty you could just go to waylaying people,” Henson said. “I argued and argued and the official on our side said ‘I think you’re right’, and the white hat (referee) said ‘I think you’re right’, but then he said they had talked it over, and they were outvoted.”

Pecos would get another 11 yards after that, on another Zubeldia-to-Salgado pass and a four-yard scramble by the quarterback. But he was rushed on his next pass and threw it downfield incomplete, and was pressured again on second down and sailed a pass over the head of Reyes and into the arms of safety D.J. Galvan. He would return it 75-yards for a score, but the return was wiped out by an illegal block. However, the Panthers still maintained possession with 38.5 seconds to play and were able to run out the clock.

“Even with the call going against us, we still had our chance and didn’t do it. Fort Stockton did, and you’ve got to give them credit. They made the plays,” Henson said.

Jaquez, who had missed all or part of the past three games for Fort Stockton with a shoulder injury, made his first big play on the third snap of the game for the Panthers, going off right tackle 77-yards for a touchdown. But the Eagles would come back on their first possession to score on a seven-play 71-yard drive. The big play was a 43-yard pass from Zubeldia to Luis Morales, who was left uncovered on the Eagles’ sideline, while the Panthers helped out with a facemask call on a run by Reyes, who would score from a yard out four plays later.

However, Jeremy Martinez was unable to get the snap down for Morales’ kick, and a pass from Martinez to Morales was stopped at the 1-yard-line, keeping the Panthers up by a point. Fort Stockton then made it 14-6 on their next series, this time scoring on a 23-yard run by Jaquez with five minutes left in the period.

Pecos’ first nine penalties came in the first half, two on the next series, which along with a sack of Zubeldia by Cole Gossett, left the Eagles at one point in a 3rd-and-36 hole. Forced to punt, Pecos saw the Panthers go 82-yards on their next drive to make it a 21-6 game. Jaquez would run for 27 on one play, but the big plays in this series were a 33-yard pass from Hamilton to Galvan and a 26-yard pass on a crossing pattern from the quarterback to Granado.

Pecos was able to answer back on their next possession when Ramirez went 57-yards on the first play from scrimmage to put the Eagles at the Fort Stockton 20. A pass interference call on an end zone pass to Martinez then set up Reyes’ second touchdown, this time on a 12-yard run to make it 21-13 with 8:30 left in the half.

But the Panthers needed less than a minute to drive 80 yards to get that score back. 76 of that came from Jaquez, who got around left end for 45 yards and one play later took a pitch around the right side and then cut back, dodging three Eagle tacklers for a 31-yard score. A high snap cost the Panthers a shot at the extra point, leaving them 14 points ahead.

“It seemed like we were going downhill, and he was just juking it. He’s got such great speed and acceleration, he just got behind us,” Henson said. “I talked to the kids at halftime about moving faster towards him and not letting him juke you, because once he gets past you, you’re not going to catch him.”

The Eagles next series got inside the Fort Stockton 25, before a penalty and a sack of Zubeldia by Omar Salmon took Pecos out of scoring position. Pecos then saw a Junior Carrasco interception of Hamilton wiped out on a roughing the passer call, which allowed the Panthers to drive inside the Eagles’ 15 in the final seconds, before Salgado stepped in front of a Hamilton pass to Brandon Mehan at the 3 and intercepted, to keep the Eagles within two scores.

Things didn’t look as though they would get better when the second half opened, as Fort Stockton’s Charlie Rodriguez lined the third quarter kickoff off the chest of Lucas Chavez at midfield. Mishnick recovered for the Panthers but on 3rd-and-8 Hamilton missed a handoff to Jaquez and Jonathan Dominguez recovered at the 44. On the next play, Reyes went through the left side of the line and into the end zone. Morales’ kick cut the lead to 27-20.

Hamilton had his problems on the next series as well, He was hit by Isaiah Vela and fumbled on a 2nd-and-1 pass attempt, resulting in a 23-yard loss. That forced the Panthers’ first punt of the night, and four plays later Reyes went through the line on a counter play 52 yards for his fourth touchdown of the game.

“Timo’s been doing a great job ever since the suspension (for Pecos’ Sept. 5 game against Kermit). He’s been the leader on the team. He’s vocal in practice and has stepped up in his leadership role,” Henson said.

But with a chance to tie the game, the Eagles had another botched extra point snap and remained down by one. The defense would give Pecos another chance moments later, forcing a Jaquez fumble that was recovered by Vela at the Panthers’ 41. But after one first down, Reyes was stopped a yard short on a 4rd-and-3 run, and Fort Stockton took over at their own 22.

The Panthers would drive out near midfield before being stopped, but almost scored when Jaquez went around the right side on a fake punt and scored from 53 yards out. But that play was wiped out by a holding call, and the Panthers then were forced to kick away, setting up the drive that ended with the fumble inside the 10.

The loss left Pecos at 0-6 on the season, while Fort Stockton impoved to 2-4, and are tied for first with both Clint and Anthony, who defeated Fabens and Tornillo in their district openers on Friday. The Eagles now go to Fabens to face the Wildcats, whom the Eagles were able to beat last year for their first district victory.

Girl’s cross-country takes 5th in Odessa

The Pecos Eagle girls cross-country team took fifth place on Thursday in Odessa, in the large school division of the Odessa Invitational.

Pecos competed in the Class 3A-5A Division, though some smaller schools also ran there. Odessa Permian and Odessa High finished 1-2 in the girls’ division, with 32 and 46 points, while San Angelo Central, with 60 points, and Frenship, with 83, were the other teams to place in front of the Eagles, who ended up with 156 points.

The girls placed fifth despite not having a runner in the Top 25 in Odessa. Their best finish was by Kayla Natividad, who was 26th with a 14:23.9 time for the two-mile course, but the Eagles also had four other runners place in the Top 50. Aileen Rayos was 29th with a 14:31.5 time; Krystal Carrasco was 34th with a 14:42.8 time; Ashley Jasso was 43rd with a 15:28.5 time and Sabryna Moya was 50th with a 15:57.8 time, one spot ahead of Carissa Cerna, who finished with a 15:58.4 time. The Eagles’ other runner, Diahnn Alvarez, was 63rd, with an 18:32.7 time.

Pecos’ boys didn’t have enough runners competing on Thursday to post a team score, in the Class 3A-5A Division, which was actually won by a Class 2A school, Crane, with 68 points to 83 for Odessa High.

The boys’ best result was a 23rd by Gus Mendoza, who ran the three-mile course in 17:34.5. He was followed by Edward Rodriguez, 49th with an 18:56.2 time; and Dario Morales, 57th with a 19:40.3 time. Pecos also had one runner in the Class A-2A and JV division, Carlos Villarreal, who was 55th with a 24:54 time.

Like Pecos, Balmorhea also had enough runners on the girls’ side for a team score in the Class A-2A Division, but not enough runners on the boys’ side. The girls placed seventh with 187 points in the division, won by Kermit with 18 points.

Jalonie Sanchez had the highest finish for the girls, taking 24th with a 16:22.3 time. She was followed by Sarah Yackel, 48th with an 18:44.8 time; Maritza Mendoza, 55th with a 19:58.3 time; Madeline Baeza, 58th with a 20:36.4 time; and Stephanie Alvarez, 59th with a time of 23:58.6.

The Bears’ best time on the boys’ side was by Jeremy Baeza, who was 36th with a 21:21.3 time, one spot in front of Alvaro Beltran, who had a 21:23.1 time. Matthew Coralles was 56th, with a time of 24:58.3

Lady Eagles flying high in district, down Wildcats in three

The Pecos Eagles volleyball team didn’t need too much time to come up with their seventh District 4-3A win of the season on Saturday and clinch their third straight trip to the playoffs, as the Eagles swept the Anthony Wildcats by a 25-9, 25-17, 25-8 final score.

“Anthony just didn’t play. They competed a lot better in Anthony,” said Eagles’ coach Ruth McWilliams, as the 7-0 Eagles improved their overall record to 25-12 on the season with their 14th straight win. “They missed quite a few serves, and either hit the ball out, or the ball didn’t go over the net.”

“We continued to play well, made our serves and played like we needed to,” she said. “Overall, we did a really good job.”

“We had a few more unforced hitting errors than I would like, but not enough to where it would affect the score,” McWilliams said, adding that the wide victory margins allowed her to get all of her reserve players into the match.

“Emily Rodriguez and Marissa Tarango came off the bench and did a good job. They were just moved up a week ago and did well,” she said. The two freshmen brought the total number of varsity players to 14 out of 41 overall, and McWilliams said all of her players made grades for the second six-week period.

The Eagles will still have to win two more of their final three matches before they can claim their first district title since 2002. Their next 4-3A match is this coming Saturday in Tornillo against the Coyotes, who need a victory to remain in the district playoff race.

Tornillo lost in four games to Clint on Saturday, 25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20. Pecos swept Tornillo at home last month and beat the Coyotes in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs each of the past two seasons. The Eagles remained a game up on Fabens in the district standings, after the Wildcats defeated Fort Stockton on Saturday, by 25-17, 25-15, 25-13 scores.

Pecos also won Saturday’s freshmen and junior varsity matches over Anthony. The ninth graders scored a 25-15, 26-24 win, while the JV defeated the Wildcats, 25-12, 25-8.

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