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for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, October 17, 2008

Swimmers to be shorthanded for Abilene meet

The Pecos Eagles swim team will be heading over to Abilene this weekend and will be competing against a number of larger schools, and a new district rival, in the Abilene Invitational at McMurry University.

Diving is scheduled to take place on Friday evening, with the swimming finals set for Saturday morning. It’s the first regular invitational meet for Pecos this season, though coach Terri Morse said Pecos wouldn’t have its regular team due to UIL band marching competition, which is also scheduled for Saturday.

“I’m not going to have my band kids,” she said. “I had to change some relays and change some individual races to get a few points.”

Diving coach Joan Capshaw added that she would also be without senior Hector Roman, who competed in the Eagles’ dual meets to start the season, due to additional surgery on the shoulder he injured in an auto accident back in February. “He had some nerves repaired,” Capshaw said, adding, “He’ll only be out two weeks.”

Morse said all three Abilene schools, along with Odessa High, San Angelo Central, Amarillo High, Amarillo Tascosa and Big Spring would be at the meet. “There are going to be a lot of 5A schools, so we may not score as well as we do sometimes,” she said.

This is also the first time that two of the three Abilene schools will be district rivals for Pecos come January, when the Eagles defend their 4-4A titles in Andrews. Along with longtime opponent Abilene Wylie, Abilene Cooper was added to District 4-4A this year after dropping down from Class 5A.

Cooper’s best time in the preliminary sheet are on the girls’ side, though Morse said Pecos’ times would be different due to the area UIL band competition taking some of the relay swimmers. Other teams also figure to be affected, with area UIL marching events across the state on Saturday.

Eagles hope road luck improves in Fabens

The Pecos Eagles, who are still seeking their first victory of the 2008 season, have been much closer to picking up that first win at home than they have on the road.

The Fabens Wildcats, meanwhile, also have done much better on their home field than away from home both this season and in the past 15 years of their games against the Eagles.

Friday night, the Eagles will travel to Fabens in search of their first victory of the season against the Wildcats, the team they beat last year for their first win of the season, in a 7:30 p.m. CDT game.

The Eagles are 0-6 on the season and 0-1 in district after their 27-26 loss at home last Friday against Fort Stockton.

Pecos shut out Fort Stockton over the final 2 1/2 quarters after falling into a 27-13 hole. They cut the lead to one in the third quarter, but turned the ball over three times in the final period in Fort Stockton territory, including once on a fumble after having a 3rd-and-goal at the 1.

Fabens, meanwhile, comes in with a 1-5 record and an 0-1 district mark after they went nine miles down the road to Clint last Friday and were beaten by the Lions, 46-13. The Wildcats will likely need a win on Friday, or a victory in two weeks at Fort Stockton, to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Wildcats actually led last week after the first quarter, 7-6, on a 49-yard pass from Adrian Solis to Travis Garay, but were held to only 166 yards total offense by the Lions, who scored 40 straight points before Fabens managed its final touchdown. Last season, the Wildcats came into Pecos and were beaten by the Eagles, 41-8, as Hector Ramirez ran for 287 yards as part of a 473-yard night on the ground for Pecos.

A series of Fabens mistakes helped Pecos grab a 34-0 lead in the second quarter. But the previous year on the Wildcats’ home field, the Eagles had to sweat out a 35-28 win, as the Wildcats rallied from a 28-7 deficit midway through the third period to within 28-21 by the end of the quarter, before Pecos was able to score once more and hold off Fabens in the final minute.

Coach Chris Henson said that was pretty much the way last week’s game in Clint went, as well as the Wildcats’ last home game, a 35-21 loss to Andrews three weeks ago.

“It was kind of the same thing against Andrews. They jumped out to a huge lead in the first quarter, but Fabens did fight back and make it more of a ballgame,” Henson said.

Fabens hasn’t beaten Pecos since 1995, but have also played the Eagles close at home in their other meetings, including an overtime loss the last time the teams were district rivals.

“I think they’ll be a little more prepared this year,” Henson said. “We were showing the spread offense with Paul (Zubeldia), but we had a situation with Paul being hurt, (back-up) Nathan Duke came in at quarterback, we changed into a wing-T base and just ran it down their throats.”

Zubeldia missed last year’s game after being injured the previous game against Clint, but did throw for 145 yards, including two touchdown passes to Jeremy Martinez, two years ago in the Eagles’ last trip to Fabens.

Ramirez ran for 110 yards last week in his first game back after suffering a broken foot against Alpine, while Timo Reyes had 191 yards and all four touchdowns in the loss to Fort Stockton. Reyes has run for 476 yards in Pecos’ last three games, and Henson said the Eagles weren’t going to change up their game plan much for Friday.

“We’re going to set up the pass with the run like we did against Fort Stockton,” he said. “We’ll let Timo and Hector have the bulk of the carries and set up the pass with Paul.”

Solis threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score two years ago against Pecos, and last year put the ball up 30 times against the Eagles, completing 10 for 105 yards, and one TD. Last week against Clint, he only had three other completions for 17 yards aside from the scoring pass to Garay, and the Lions held running backs Jaime Garcia and Enrique Nunez in check.

Henson said Garcia is also being used at middle linebacker this season. “He can play football, and is the one along with Solis we have to find a way of stopping.

“They try to get him (Garcia) the ball a lot, and have moved him to different positions. Solis has been doing a good job of throwing the ball, and he’s a good runner as well,” Henson said.

Solis had two TD passes to Garay against Andrews and also ran for the Wildcats’ other score. “They’ll go three-wide, four-wide and five-wide with no one in the backfield and try a lot of motion,” Henson said, adding that Fabens also runs plays similar to those Pecos’ defense has had problems with against Alpine and Seminole this season.

“They run the quarterback counter a lot, and we’ve game-planned to stop the spread this week. Our kids just have to do a good job reading their keys,” he said.

Defensively, Henson said, “They’ll jump into an even front and an odd front. Their basic is a 4-3 defense, but we’ve kind of prepared for both.

“They’ll give us a lot of different looks. (Ex-Eagle coach) Robbie Ortega is their defensive coordinator and Elias Payan is their offensive coordinator, so they’ll have them ready to go for us,” he added.

Henson said Pecos would probably have one change at starter, with Reyes and Lucas splitting time in the defensive secondary in place of Jonathan Dominguez, who was taken to the hospital last week after being speared in the back on a third quarter fumble recovery.

“He’s going to try and practice, but we’ll just have to see. He may not play,” Henson said.

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