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Ailing Eagles look to contain Wildcats’ attack
Deep passes helped beat the Pecos Eagles football team last week in Clint, and deep passes are the Eagles coaches expect to see the Fabens Wildcats come out with on Friday night, when the Wildcats come to Pecos for a 7:30 p.m. game.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will be going with their third starter at quarterback this season, along with a couple of other new faces in the line-up, as injuries have added onto Pecos’ problems this season, which has seen them drop their first six games.
“It could be a tough game for us. We’re pretty banged up everywhere,” said Henson, who expects to be without both starting quarterback Paul Zubeldia and starting running back Timo Reyes for the second time this season.
The two missed the Eagles’ 26-6 district-opening loss to Anthony on Sept. 28. Last week, Zubeldia sat out the second half of Pecos’ 37-22 loss at Clint after aggravating the knee injury he suffered on Sept. 21 against Denver City, with Nathan Duke taking his place, and Henson said Duke would get the start on Friday.
“Paul hasn’t worked out this week, so I’d say his playing time is doubtful. So Nathan will start, and Chris Sotelo will be his back-up,” Henson said.
Duke threw for 83 yards on 3-for-5 passing last week, but had problems with the center snap, fumbling three times, one of which was turned into a touchdown by Clint. Henson said they’ve been working with the junior this week on getting into proper position to take the exchange from center to cut down on those problems.
Sotelo started at quarterback against Anthony, but will remain at wingback this week, and will also be pressed into duty at cornerback, due to a new knee problem for Reyes. “He hurt his knee in practice on Monday, so Michael Tarin will start in his (running back) spot,” Henson said.
Reyes had only moved to quarterback last week after the Eagles lost starting defensive backs Drake Bradley and Vincent Palomino due to ineligibility. Henson said Pecos would also be minus guard Travis Gomez for Friday’s game, while running back Hector Ramirez will start at linebacker in place of Eli Valenzuela, who has been sick this week.
Fabens comes in having picked up less than 100 yards of total offense at home a week ago, in a 34-0 loss to Monahans. But the Wildcats lead the district with 1,574 total passing yards, and quarterback Adrian Solis has thrown for 21 touchdowns and only five interceptions, two of those coming in last week’s loss.
“They (Monahans) had several interceptions, and just overwhelmed them with their speed and size,” Henson said. “Monahans had two touchdowns called back, so the score is not quite as bad as it could have been.”
Solis came on at quarterback as a sophomore last season against Pecos, and almost led Fabens back from a 28-7 third quarter deficit, before the Eagles held on for a 35-28 win. He threw for 141 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third in that game.
“Solis is a very mobile quarterback and runs the spread offense well,” Henson said, while his main receiver is wingback Adrian Estrada. He had just one reception against Pecos last season, but leads the district with 32 catches for 739 yards this year, 12 of those going for touchdowns.
“They like to try to set everything up to him. About 75 percent of the passes are to him,” Henson said. Split end Travis Garay is second on the team in receiving, with 16 catches for 390 yards and four TDs, and the Wildcats also like to throw to running back Jaime Garcia, who has caught 12 passes while running for 814 yards and five scores, second among district rushers.
“They throw about 80 percent of the time, but they also run him on some leads and counters,” Henson said. “He’s a pretty good back, and like most of their kids, plays both ways.”
Garcia was held to just 31 yards rushing by Pecos last season, but the Eagles have struggled on defense this year. In last week’s 37-22 loss to Clint, they gave up 188 rushing yards while allowing the Lions’ Anthony Aguilar to catch three touchdown passes in the second quarter.
Defensively, the Wildcats have been allowing about the same amount of yards per game as the Eagles, and have given up about 220 yards per game rushing. Monahans got most of their yardage on the ground last week, running for 385 yards in their shutout win.
Fabens comes into the game with a 5-3 record, 2-2 in district, tied for third with Clint and Anthony. The Wildcats close out their regular season by hosting Clint next week, and after beating Anthony two weeks ago by a 28-27 score, would be in line to earn the third and final District 1-3A playoff berth win a win over the Eagles on Friday and over the Lions next week.
Pecos falls to Stockton in last fall home match
The Pecos Eagles tennis team closed out the home portion of their fall 2007 season on Tuesday with a 10-7 loss to the Fort Stockton Panthers.
“On the girls’ side we ended up winning, 6-4, and we were short four of our varsity players due to illness,” said Eagles’ coach Bernadette Ornelas. “On the boys’ side we lost 1-6, but we were short one of our varsity players due to illness.
“Overall our kids are continuing to improve, and I was real happy with the girls at the bottom of the ladder. They all ended up doing well,” she added, as the Eagles won five of six matches at the lower seeds.
Doni Marquez won at No. 1 singles over Fort Stockton’s Reba Subia, 6-3, 6-4, while Meagan Lopez and Amanda Renteria both picked up wins in singles and doubles play.
The boys got their win at No. 1 seed in singles, where Cody Zamarripa won by 6-4, 6-4 scores over Fort Stockton’s Nati Salmanca. The next closest match for the boys was by No. 4 seed Tanner Hardwick, who lost in split sets in singles play.
Tuesday’s match originally was scheduled as the final one for the Eagles during the fall season, but Ornelas said Pecos has added one more match, at 4 p.m. on Monday against Big Lake in Monahans. “That match will replace the Sweetwater match that was cancelled,” she said.
Fort Stockton (10) at Pecos (7)
Cody Zamarripa defeated Nati Salmanca, 6-4, 6-4; Derek Barron lost to Jorge Sanchez, 6-1, 6-1; Tanner Hardwick lost to Alec Milam, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; Avery Valeriano lost to Jose Reyes, 6-2, 6-2; Derrick Abila lost to Kalan Thomas, 6-0, 6-1.
Doni Marquez defeated Reba Subia, 6-3, 6-4; Janette Perea lost to Genna Young, 6-3, 6-1; Jessica Munoz lost to Leslie Bliznak, 6-3, 8-6; Meagan Fuentez defeated Amy Baiza, 6-4, 6-1; Meagan Lopez defeated Desireee Navarette, 6-0, 6-2; Julie Licon lost to Bliznak, 6-4, 6-2; Amanda Renteria defeated Sayra Natividad, 6-4, 6-1.
Barron and Hardwick lost to Sanchez and Milam, 6-0, 6-1; Zamarripa and Valeriano lost to Reyes and Dylan Magee, 6-2, 6-2.
Perea and Marquez lost to Subia and Young, 6-4, 6-3; Munoz and Fuentes defeated Navarette and Natividad, 6-0, 6-0; Lopez and Renteria defeated Gomez and Baiza, 6-0, 6-2.
Pecos clinches 2nd with sweep against Presidio
The Pecos Eagles volleyball team will take on the Tornillo Coyotes for the second year in a row in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs this coming Tuesday, when the teams meet in a 7 p.m. game at Van Horn High School.
The 26-6 Eagles will take on the 11-15 Coyotes after Pecos clinched second place in the District 2-3A standings on Tuesday night with a 25-5, 25-11, 25-10 win over Presidio to close out regular season play. Pecos ended up with a 4-2 record in district, while Tornillo finished third in District 1-3A with a 3-6 mark.
Presidio had been eliminated from the playoff race on Oct. 16 with a loss to Fort Stockton, and didn’t give the Eagles much competition in their season-ending match. Eagles’ coach Helen Kimbrough said the easy win did allow her to move some people around in the line-up in preparation for the start of the playoffs.
“I was trying to play different people in different places, so if I have to put that person in that position in the playoffs, it won’t be hard for them,” she said, looking ahead to both Tuesday’s match and a potential area round playoff match the weekend of Nov. 1-3 against the winner of District 3-3A.
Lamesa, Andrews and Sweetwater all finished tied for first in that district, and will hold a three-way playoff this weekend for the 3-3A title. Lamesa will take on Andrews on Friday and the winner will meet Sweetwater on Saturday afternoon in Big Spring, with the winner of that match taking on the Pecos-Tornillo winner next weekend.
“They’ve got a lot of people who are quick and fast in the other district, and we’re trying to get our offense to where it can just be natural, and not be nervous out there about what they’re supposed to do. I want them to be confident in our offense,” Kimbrough said. “We have to play hard every time out, because if you don’t, you’ll end up losing.”
Pecos defeated Tornillo in three games in last year’s bi-district playoff match, and the Coyotes will return almost all their players from that squad. The Eagles bring back about half of their starters from a year ago, when they went on to defeat Sweetwater in the area round of the playoffs and Lamesa in the Region I-3A quarterfinals, before losing to eventual I-3A champ Canyon in the regional semifinals.
Pecos hasn’t faced either Lamesa or Sweetwater yet this season, but has played twice against Andrews, winning a five-game match in the finals of the Pecos Cantaloupe Classic, before falling in three games on the Mustangs’ home court, in a match the Eagles played without leading hitter Jasmine Rayos.
Rayos and the other Eagles didn’t have much trouble getting shots off against Presidio, who had problems generating much of an offense in Tuesday’s loss.
“Like I told their coach, you can tell they’re trying hard, but they have to start teaching the fundamentals. If you don’t have your fundamentals down, it doesn’t matter what you do,” Kimbrough said.
She said her players have done well this season, though the Eagles still have some things to work on after placing second to Monahans for the second straight season in the 1-3A standings.
“The good thing about being here in Pecos is you have the parents’ support, and many of them used to play the game and enjoy watching it,” she said. “You can’t ask for a better group of girls, that will step up when they need to.”
Eagles claim 2-3A cross-country titles
The Pecos Eagle cross country teams came away with team titles in both the boys and girls divisions of the District 2-3A cross-country meet on Monday, while Pecos’ junior high teams placed second to the host Monahans Loboes in their divisions of the meet, held at the Ward County Golf Course.
The Eagles didn’t win any individual titles, but took the boys’ team title for the first time in four years with 30 points, to 41 for Monahans and 53 for Fort Stockton. On the girls’ side, Pecos won by seven over Monahans, scoring 36 points to 43 for the Loboes and 46 for Presidio.
“We won the boys and the girls titles, and we just missed winning the junior high boys and girls,” said Eagles’ coach Rudy Jurado, whose high school teams will now advance to the Region I-3A cross country meet, on Nov. 3 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.
Gus Mendoza placed second on the boys’ side to Monahans’ Bryan Azujae, who took the district title for the second year in a row by six seconds over the Eagles’ runner. He had an 18:33.95 time to Mendoza’s 18:39.44.
Three other Pecos runners placed in the Top 10. Jesse Juarez was sixth, with a 19:30.06 time for the three-mile course; Ray Gonzales was seventh, with a 19:34.31 time and Edward Rodriguez took eighth, with a 19:35.93 time. They were followed by Stephen Apolinar, 11th with a 20:04.41 time; German Rodriguez, 13th with a time of 20:36.31; Eduardo Madrid, 19th with a 22:52.28 time; and Elias Alvarado, who ran in the junior varsity division and was 24th, with a 30:41.94 time.
Pecos’ girls won despite Monahans runners earning the top two individual spots. Freshman Kayla Natividad was third with a 13:54.97 time, trailing the Loboes’ Deni Carrasco and Marissa Acosta, who had 13:46.28 and 13:46.41 times for the two-mile course. Natividad was one of four Pecos runners to place in the Top 10, and was followed by Monique Rodriguez, fourth with a 14:08.22 time; Carissa Cerna, seventh, with a 14:23.50 time; and Aileen Rayos, ninth with a 14:36.44 time.
Following Rayos for the Eagles were Ashley Ornelas, 11th with a 14:43.50 time; Lilly Gutierrez, 13th with a time of 14:51.06; and Heather Lamka, 16th, with a 15:21.34 time.
In the junior high school division, Monahans won the boys title with 12 points to 14 for the Eagle boys, and the girls were edged by the Loboes by a 30-33 margin. Individually, Fort Stockton’s Adan Martinez won the boys’ title with a 12:35.38 time and Monahans Samantha Santillon took the girls title, with a 13:55.34 time, two seconds in front of the Eagles’ Crystal Carrasco, who was second with a 13:57.18 time.
Carrasco edged out teammate Katrina Maldonado, who placed third with a 13:58.31 time. She was followed by Sabryna Moya, seventh with a 14:34.97 time; Megan Apolinar, ninth with a 14:57.69 time; Toni Garcia, 12th with a 15:12.38 time; Annie Cerna, 13th with a 15:22.81 time; Bianca Lascano, 15th with a 15:23.29 time; Vivian Lascano, 18th with a 15:46.25 time; and Gabby Levario, 22nd with a time of 16:58.78.
The boys’ best finish was by Anthony Natividad, who was third with a 12:47.06 time. Allen Medina was seventh with a 14:04.53 time; Alvaro Dominguez placed ninth with a 14:27.06 time; Joshua Hernandez was 10th with a 14:41.66 time; Chris Natividad was 11th with a 15:10.28 time; Diego Rodriguez was 14th with a time of 17:50.15; and Nick Ybarra was 16th, with a 17:53.50 time.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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