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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pecos-Tornillo volleyball winner to face Andrews

The Pecos Eagles or Tornillo Coyotes will take on the Andrews Mustangs in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs this coming weekend, after Andrews won a pair of matches to decide first place out of District 3-3A on Friday and Saturday.

Pecos takes on Tornillo in Van Horn on Tuesday night in the bi-district round of the Class 3A playoffs, with the winner advancing to face Andrews in the area round, after the Mustangs defeated Lamesa on Friday and Sweetwater on Saturday. The three teams had tied for the 3-3A title, and Sweetwater won a coin flip last week for a first round bye, while Andrews faced Lamesa.

The Eagles placed second to Monahans for the second year in a row, and swept Tornillo in the bi-district round of the playoffs in 2006, before defeating Sweetwater and Lamesa to advance to the Region I-3A Tournament, where they lost to regional winner Canyon. Monahans will face the winner of the Sweetwater-Levelland match in their area round contest after drawing a first round bye, and third place Fort Stockton will play Fabens on Tuesday night in Alpine, with the winner facing District 4-3A champ Lubbock Cooper in the area round.

Lamesa will play in the first round against Seminole on Tuesday, with the winner going on to face Clint, the District 1-3A champ, in the area round. The winner of that match will face either Pecos, Andrews or Tornillo for the right to advance to the Region I-3A Tournament on Nov. 9-10 in Lubbock.

Sub-varsity squads get road win, suffer home losses

The Pecos Eagle sub-varsity football teams suffered three losses at home and one win in their only game on the road Thursday, facing teams from Midland Christian, Kermit and Fabens.

Playing at Eagle Stadium, Pecos’ seventh and eighth grade teams lost to Midland Christian by 28-14 and 32-0 scores. Pecos’ ninth graders swapped with the junior high and played over at the Crockett Middle School Field, where they lost to Kermit by a 20-18 score, while the Eagles’ junior varsity won their game in Fabens, beating the Wildcats, 34-12.

Midland Christian scored twice in the first half and took a 14-8 lead on the Eagles, then added two touchdowns around the Eagles’ second score in the fourth quarter of the seventh grade game. Both of Pecos’ TDs came on long runs, a 68-yarder by Justin Thornton in the first half and a 62-yard run by Zack Roman in the second. Brandon Garnto added the two point conversion for the Eagles.

The eighth grade continued to struggle on offense in their loss, as Midland Christian scored twice in the first half against Pecos and once in the final period.

Full information on the JV’s win was not available, but the victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Eagles after a season-opening victory. The ninth graders, meanwhile, fell to 4-4 on the season with their loss, as the Eagles failed on a game-tying two-point conversion try in the closing seconds.

Ramiro Pinales had a 42-yard touchdown run in the first half and Mark Martinez had a 1-yard touchdown following a long run by Eduardo Dominguez. Kermit would take a 20-12 lead in the fourth period, before Pecos scored at the end on a Maurice Johnson pass to Larry Sparkman. But coach Eric Garcia said Martinez was stopped short on the two-point conversion try.

“It was a real good effort by the kids overall, with a lot of kids in new positions,” said Garcia, who lost half his ninth grade squad to grades two weeks ago. Pecos’ sub-varsity teams will all be in action this Thursday, with the junior high teams at Fort Stockton while the JV and freshman teams host the Panthers.

Pecos girls struggle at Abilene golf tourney

Pecos Eagles golf coach Tina Doan plans a tough week for her golf team, after a poor outing over the weekend at the Abilene Halloween Tournament.

Pecos finished 17th in the 36-hole tournament at the Diamondback and Maxwell golf courses in Abilene, shooting a 374-375-749 score for 36 holes. That left them 133 strokes in back of tournament winner Aledo and 119 shots behind defending Region I-3A and Class 3A state champion Andrews.

“I’m real disappointed in my senior girls,” Doan said. “The younger ones came through. Tatum (Windham) shot a 96 the first day and an 89 the second, which was real good for her first varsity tournament, but the seniors let me down.”

Windham’s 185 was the second-best total of the tournament for Pecos. No. 1 golfer Carolina Briones was one shot better, with a 90-94-184, while Kayla Natividad shot 96s both days for a 192 total, Rica Pino shot a 92-104-196, and Ari Alligood shot a 104-96-200.

Briones and Pino were both members of the 2006 Eagles’ golf team that placed fourth at state, and Doan said, “My seniors should be in the 80s every time they go out. Shooting in the 90s and the 100s is unacceptable.

“We have a lot of work to do, and we have to learn to go out and compete,” she said. “We can go out here and shoot in the 70s and 80s, but when we go and compete against other teams, we just tighten up.”

Doan said aside from Pecos and Andrews, Sweetwater was the only other area Class 3A team in Abilene, and placed just behind the Eagles, shooting a 385-371-756.

Doan said she would have qualifying this week for the Andrews Fall Invitational on Friday and Saturday, the last tournament on the fall schedule for Pecos’ girls. They’ll return to play on Feb. 1-2 with the San Angelo Girls Classic.

Pecos’ boys also will be in Andrews for tournament play on Friday and Saturday. The boys then open their spring season with the El Paso Cathedral Irish Open on Jan. 25-26.

Shorthanded Eagles rout Wildcats for first victory, 41-8

The Pecos Eagles came into Friday night’s game winless, having not scored more than 22 points in a game this season and having not allowed less than 17, with a quarterback making his first varsity start and a tailback making only his second, and with a new starting guard, starting linebacker and three of their four players in the secondary new from the first two weeks of District 1-3A play.

So with all that going against them, the Eagles naturally came out and dominated the Fabens Wildcats, scoring twice in the first four minutes and five times overall in the first half while shutting down the district’s leading passing attack on the way to a 41-8 victory.

Hector Ramirez ran for 287 yards and five touchdowns, part of a 506-yard night on offense for the Eagles, who scored all but one of their six touchdowns in the first half. “We just went back to basics with Paul (Zubeldia) out and with Timo (Reyes) out. With what coach (Derek) Price was calling, we probably ran three plays the whole night,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “We did move some people around and did some misdirection to keep them from keying on our runners, and it seemed to disrupt their linebacker play.”

“We got some great play out of our offensive line,” he said, adding that the group had gone out to work with assistant coach Jeff Green three hours before kickoff. “Justin Contreras, Efrian Sosa, Daniel Sotelo, Bryan Navarette, Levi Cobos and Jeremiah Soto had the game of their lives. They opened up holes you could drive a truck through.” Pecos had led at the half in their first two district games, but fell apart in the final periods against Anthony and Monahans. Last week, the Eagles fell behind Clint at halftime, 20-8, and went the second half with Nathan Duke at quarterback, after Zubeldia reinjured his knee.

Duke got the start on Friday, but spend almost all night handing the ball off, including to tailback Bryan Mora, who was replacing Reyes, after he reaggravated a knee injury earlier in the week. Reyes did handle punt returns, and brought Jaime Garcia’s first attempt back from midfield to the Wildcats’ 35. Two plays and two yards later, Mora went through the left side of the line and raced 33 yards for his first touchdown of the season with just under two minutes gone in the game.

Pecos had gotten the ball after quarterback Adrian Solis missed on a third down pass to Travis Garay on Fabens’ opening series. On the next series, he connected with his wide receiver, but Garay was hit and fumbled, with Joseph Ontiveros recovering at the Wildcats’ 22.

Mora then ran for eight yards and Pecos gained another six when Fabens was flagged for a late hit. One play later Ramirez scored the first of his five touchdowns, and Pecos was up 12-0.

The problems for Solis, who came in averaging just under 200 yards passing per game, continued on the next series. He missed on two passes and then Ramirez dragged down district-leading receiver Adrian Estrada after a one-yard gain, forcing another punt to midfield. This time, the Eagles needed seven plays to score, with Ramirez covering just under half that distance with a 24-yard scoring run with 3:03 left in the period. Mora then added the two-point conversion for a 20-0 lead.

“We saw their sniffer back and keyed on that, and it took us to the ball,” Henson said. “A lot of our defense was set around No. 6 (Estrada), and stopping him, so in the passing game we were trying to blanket him, and got two people over the top and one undernearth. We did a good job of that until he went out.”

Estrada would leave the game with a leg injury and Garcia would hurt his leg on the next series after gaining the Wildcats’ first first down of the night. Fabens was then forced to punt, with Pecos taking over at their own 19, but it took just five plays to cover 81 yards for the fourth touchdown of the half.

Forty of that came on a run by Chris Sotelo to close out the first period. It put the ball on the Wildcats’ 18, where two runs by Ramirez got it in, the last a 15-yard dive up the middle.

Pecos missed another two-point conversion try, but would be back to try again a few minutes later, after forcing another punt. This time, it was an 82-yard drive, the final 60 coming on a 3rd-and-4 run by Ramirez that put him over 100 yards on the night with 6:47 left in the second period.

Pecos’ first pass attempt came on the two-point try, as Jonathan Soto couldn’t haul in Duke’s first pass of the night. But Garcia, who had returned to the game on defense, was flagged and ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play, and one minute later his replacement as punter, Abel Hernandez, had to run out of the back of the end zone for a safety, widening the Eagles’ lead to 34-0.

Fabens finally stopped Pecos on downs after the Wildcats’ free kick following the safety, and Solis finally connected up with his receivers, hitting Garay for 13 yards and then two deep passed to Enrique Nunez, the first for 36 yards and then for 24 yards and a touchdown with 2:46 left in the half.

The Eagles answered back with Duke’s only completion of the game, a 37-yard pass to Luis Morales. His only other pass would be to spike the ball to stop the clock a few moments later, but the Eagles failed to score when Morales’ 30-yard field goal try was blocked as time expired in the half.

Morales finally had to punt on Pecos’ next series, and while Solis connected with tight end Mark Miller on a 15-yard pass into Pecos territory, he was then sacked by Martin Jasso and Bert Sotelo, hurried on another pass by Michael Tarin, and then threw short to Nunez on a fourth down try, giving the ball back to Pecos.

The Eagles then got their final score of the night, another 24-yard run by Ramirez, who broke a couple of tackles along the way. Morales’ extra point would make it 41-8. Fabens’ next series would end at Pecos’ 30 after pass drops by Nunez and Garay, while the Eagles would see their next series end at Fabens’ 4-yard-line on a fumble by Duke, after Ramirez had just missed his sixth touchdown of the game.

Duke, who had problems handling the snap during his second half appearance against Clint, didn’t have any problems in the first three quarters, but had a couple of bobbles before his fumble in the final period.

“He just had a little trouble when they started brining their linebackers up and started pulling out too fast,” Henson said. “We’re going to work with that, because I know Fort Stockton’s going to see it in the game films, and they’ll move their linebackers up next week.”

Fabens’ last series would again end on downs, this time at Pecos’ 38. The Eagles then ran out the clock, while Sotelo would join Ramirez in gaining over 100 yards on the night, after a 24-yard run helped him finish with 112 yards on just 11 carries. Overall the Eagles ran on 57 of their 59 plays, picking up a season-high 473 yards.

The win kept Pecos in the District 1-3A playoff picture, with a 1-3 record and 1-6 overall mark, while Fabens fell to 2-3 in district and 5-4 on the season. The Wildcats end their year at home this Friday against Clint, and would still have the inside track for the playoffs with a win over the Lions.

Pecos has the longest odds on advancing to the playoffs, based on both schedule and head-to-head tiebreakers. The Eagles will need wins in their final two games, including this Friday at Fort Stockton, which clinched a playoff spot with their 21-14 win over Monahans. The Panthers are 7-1 on the season and 4-0 in district play. Anthony took over sole possession of third in the 1-3A standings with a 48-15 win over Tornillo, but closes the season with a trip to Monahans. Pecos hosts Tornillo and Clint takes on Fort Stockton in the other final week games.

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