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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, September 7, 2007

Bears start‘07 season with Indians

The Balmorhea Bears will try to avoid what happened to their District 1-A six-man football rivals last week, when they open their 2007 football season on Friday night with a 7:30 p.m. home game against the Fort Davis Indians.

The Bears, who are trying to improve on last year’s 2-7 season, and 0-3 record in district, won a scrimmage against the Indians in Fort Davis last month. But last week, Fort Davis started their regular season with an 82-52 victory over El Paso Faith Christian, while the Bears were idle.

Balmorhea suffered through their worst season since 1993 last year, as injuries and a lack of players hurt the Bears. After having only 13 players in 2006, Balmorhea will have 17 this season, as they try to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

All of Balmorhea’s district rivals did play last week, and all ended up losing their openers. Defending district champion Dell City was beaten by Abilene Christian, 90-48, while district runner-up Sanderson lost to Grady, 58-8. Sierra Blanca came closest to a win, falling to El Paso Immanuel Christian, 42-40, while Marathon was beaten by Imperial, 57-12.

Mix-up spikes Pecos’ game in Van Horn

The Pecos Eagles’ volleyball team took a trip through the mountains and back on Tuesday, but didn’t get to play a game due to a scheduling mix-up with the Van Horn Eagles.

Coach Helen Kimbrough said the Eagles arrived in Van Horn only to find that group of Eagles was out in Anthony for a match against the Wildcats. As a result, Pecos will be off for another seven days, before returning to action next Tuesday with a pair of matches in Andrews, against the Mustangs and Denver City.

The match was the second straight cancellation for the Eagles’ varsity, who didn’t make the trip last Friday to Dell City as scheduled, to face the Cougars. Pecos’ matches next Tuesday will be the first in two weeks for the Eagles, since wins on Aug. 28 against Alpine and Fort Davis.

Pecos’ sub-varsity teams also didn’t play on Tuesday, but the junior varsity will be in action this weekend at the Fort Stockton Tournament. The JV was scheduled to start pool round play on Thursday morning against Sierra Blanca, Midland Christian and Presidio, with the tournament quarterfinals set to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Williams Center in Fort Stockton.

Eagles look to stop mistakes, Mustangs

The Andrews Mustangs ground out a lot of yardage last Friday, in their season-opening game against Midland Christian. So did the Pecos Eagles, in their opener against the Alpine Bucks.

But Andrews was the only ones to get something out of their big night on the ground, as they took care of the visiting Mustangs, playing a turnover-free game and winning by a 36-6 final score, while the Eagles were suffering through a six-turnover night, and a 41-12 loss to the Bucks.

So holding onto the football, and slowing down the Mustangs’ running game, will be the main goals for Pecos this Friday, when they travel to Andrews for a 7:30 p.m. game.

The teams met for the first time in nine seasons last year in Pecos, with Andrews winning by a 35-10 score. The Mustangs used two botched Eagle punts to take a 14-10 lead at the half, and a big night passing to pull away in the final periods. Last week, they outscored Midland Christian in the final two quarters, 20-0, to break open a 16-6 game.

“It was just a good team effort,” said Andrews coach Blaine Springston, whose team advanced to the Region I-3A Division I quarterfinals last season after going 3-7 during regular season play.

“They’re a lot better than last year,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “They’ve got a great group of kids and a lot more team speed than they had.”

The bulk of Andrews’ yards last week came on the ground, led by quarterback Eric Kelton, who ran for 173 yards while going 8-for-13 for 76 yards through the air.

“We had success in our running game, so we just went with what worked,” Springston said. He added that while the Mustangs didn’t throw as much on Friday, Kelton “probably has a better arm” than last year’s quarterback, Fernando Guevara.

“Their quarterback will run the ball a lot and they like to spread the field,” Henson said. “The big key is trying to keep him in the pocket, and make him throw the ball.”

“Watching the film against Midland Christian, they did a great job. They love to run counters and pull their guards, and sometimes they just pull one. Our linebackers are going to have to close off the gaps and not leave any cutback lanes,” he added.

Springston said Kelton was a starter last season for Andrews, but at safety. The Mustangs’ lone returnees on offense are running back Oscar Moralez, who ran for 101 yards and had a 36-yard TD off a screen pass in last year’s win, and receiver Corey Lee, who had four catches against the Eagles a year ago and three last Friday night.

The Mustangs’ coach said Moralez and Michael Reid also had good games in the backfield against Midland Christian. “We use two running backs in our scheme, so running the ball we’ll use Reid and Moralez both,” Springston said.

Defensively, Henson said Pecos would get back lineman Bert Sotelo, who missed the final 2 1/2 quarters last week with a sprained knee. But they will have some of their starting secondary players seeing action on offense as well, due to the fractured ankle suffered by starting wide receiver Jeremy Martinez.

Springston said Andrews may also be minus one starter, offensive guard, John Morales, due to a concussion, but will have all their players available on defense, where the Mustangs held Midland Christian to 242 total yards a week ago.

“They’re very quick. Their defensive end is probably not as strong as last year, but their linebacker corps and their secondary is very quick, and they like to try and create double-teams,” Henson said.

“We’ve got a few new faces. The free safety is new, both defensive ends are new and one of our linebackers is new,” Springston said. “I think we’re about the same as last year. We just have a little more experience than we had.”

Andrews defense shut Pecos down in the second half last season, after allowing Luis Ortega 144 yards rushing in the first half. Last Friday, Pecos ran for 370 yards against Alpine, but fumbled six times, losing the five, including three inside the 20-yard-line.

“We’ve been working on discipline and carrying the football this week,” Henson said. “There won’t be a lot of flash on offense this week, but we’re going to take care of the football.”

“I’d say on five out of the six fumbles the ball wasn’t even touching the (runner’s) body when it got knocked loose. So we’ve been stressing the four points of pressure and holding it tight,” he added.

Hector Ramirez ran for 229 yards and two touchdowns, but also had two lost fumbles. Timo Reyes also went over 100 yards rushing in the game, part of the Eagles’ 370-yard night on the ground.

Henson said Luis Morales and Andy Ocon would replace Martinez at receiver initially. Aside from that injury, the Eagles’ coach said Heath Armstrong has been bothered by a bad knee this week, while Israel Villanueva has been suffering from a wrist injury.

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