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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pecos JV, freshmen teams edged by Andrews

The Pecos Eagles freshman and junior varsity football games both lost their 2007 home openers on Thursday, dropping a pair of close games to the Andrews Mustangs.

The JV, which won their opener in Alpine, were beaten at home by Andrews, 13-6, while the ninth graders, who opened with a win at Fort Stockton, lost a high-scoring game to the Mustangs, 36-33. Nick Granado’s 6-yard touchdown run for Pecos accounted for all of the JV’s scoring, while the ninth graders failure to come up with some two-point conversions in the second half cost them a chance at a win.

Donovan Rodriguez’s five-yard TD run and Arturo Munoz’s extra point gave Pecos a 7-0- lead in the first period, but Andrews scored two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions in the second period, and added another TD in the third quarter for a 22-7 lead. The Eagles’ second score was a 35-yard pass from Dominic Bejarano to Ariel Salgado, with Rodriguez added a two-point run, but the Mustangs would go up 36-15 entering the final period, before Pecos scored three times, on an Isaiah Patino 19-yard run, a 10-yard pass from Bejarano to Arthur Navarette and a 52-yard pass from Bejarano to Patino off a double-reverse.

Pecos’ junior high teams had been scheduled to open their 2007 seasons with games on Thursday at Andrews, but coach Art Rios said due to the late start to school this year, the teams opted to change those games to an open date on the schedule on Oct. 11. The seventh and eighth graders instead will start their 2007 seasons this Thursday, with the purple teams playing in Kermit and the gold teams in Stanton, while the JV and freshman Eagles host Kermit, in 5 and 7 p.m. games.

Cross-country boys place 6th at San Angelo

The Pecos Eagles cross country team came in sixth on the boys’ side and 10th in the girls standings in the Class 2A-3A division over the Concho Valley Invitational on Saturday at Carlsbad State Park near San Angelo, with one Eagle runner placing in the Top 20 in both the boys and girls divisions.

Wall took first place in both the boys and girls divisions, beating out Abilene Wylie in the girls’ bracket and Ozona on the boys’ side. Pecos’ boys placed just behind Wylie and ahead of meet host San Angelo Lake View out of the 10 teams entered, while the girls were 10th out of 14 schools which fielded enough runners to post a team score.

Gus Mendoza had the best finish on the morning for Pecos, ending up in 12th place with a 18:32 time for the three-mile course. Kermit’s Trey Bale finished one minute ahead of Mendoza to win the 2A-3A division title. The Eagles’ other finishes included a 33rd place by Edward Rodriguez, with a 19:50 time; a 36th by Jesse Juarez, with a 19:57; a 48th by Rey Gonzales, with a 20:45 time; a 50th by German Rodriguez, with a 20:56 time; a 70th by Stephen Apolinar, with a 22:17 time; a 74th by Edgar Madrid, with a 22:27 time; and a 100th by Elias Alvarado, with a time of 30:37.

The best time for Pecos’ girls was turned in by Kayla Natividad, who finished 19th in the two-mile race, with a 14:58 time. Wall’s Colleen Adams won the race with a 13:10.4 time. After Natividad, Aileen Rayos was 29th with a time of 15:31; Ashley Ornelas was 74th with a 17:11 time; Heather Lamka was 76th with a 17:16 time and Lilly Gutierrez was 78th, with a 17:19 time.

Pecos will have this coming weekend off. The Eagles had been scheduled to travel to Big Spring for their next meet, on Sept. 22, but instead will run that day in the Wink Invitational at the Winkler County Golf Course.

Bears lose ball, players, lead against Indians

Hot temperatures and high humidity for West Texas weren’t a help for the Balmorhea Bears football team, in their season opener Friday night against the Fort Davis Indians.

The Southeast Texas-like conditions combined with some turnovers to allow Fort Davis to rally from an early deficit against Balmorhea, scoring 62 straight points in a 62-16 win on the Bears’ home field.

“They took over right before the half,” coach Debiasie Mendoza said. “We did exactly what we wanted to, but then we just had some turnovers, and in the second half, I lost my whole backfield with leg cramps.” Mendoza said the Bears, with just 17 players on their roster, weren’t able to keep up with the Indians in the second half, when they were outscored 46-0. “By the end we had nothing but JV kids in there, so it was tough, and Fort Davis finally had their back, Andrew Hernandez back, and he did his thing.”

Hernandez ran for 165 yards and two scores, one on a 71-yard run after Balmorhea had taken a 16-0 lead, and the second a 55 yarder early in the third period that broke a 16-16 tie. The Indians would end the game with 3:28 to play under the 45-point rule on Jon Salcido’s second touchdown of the night, on a 28-yard interception return.

For Balmorhea, Mendoza said freshman quarterback Nigel Lozano did a good job before leaving the game. “He threw for 91 yards and a TD and rushed for 31 yards and had about 11 tackles on defense. Russell Garlick also had a touchdown and ran for 58 yards and on defense he carried the load, with 16 tackles.”

Mendoza said Garlick had a 38-yard touchdown run, while Lozano had a three-yard TD pass to Rodney Fuentez. Ryan Mondragon added both extra point kicks for the Bears, who will be at home again this Friday to face El Paso Jesus Chapel, which was shut out on Friday by Balmorhea’s district rival Sierra Blanca, 45-0.

In other District 1-A six man games, Dell City lost to El Paso Faith Christian, 74-36; Marathon was blanked by Grandfalls, 51-0; and Sanderson was edged by Water Valley, 47-44.

Mustangs’ TD passes zap Eagles

There was a lot of lightning in the sky, but not all that much on the field Friday night for either the Pecos Eagles or the Andrews Mustangs, in Pecos’ first road game of the 2007 football season.

But the host Mustangs did convert enough plays to come up with a first quarter touchdown, then took advantage of a special teams mistake by Pecos to score again late in the second period, which turned out to be just about all of the game the teams would be able to get in.

Storms just to the north of Andrews halted play just 1:45 into the third quarter, and after a delay of almost 90 minutes, the teams cancelled the rest of the game, with the Mustangs ending up on top by a 14-0 final score.

Rules call for suspension of play if lighting is detected within three miles of the football field, and while only a few sprinkles fell on the Mustang Bowl, new lines of storms kept forming, and new lightning strikes kept pushing back the resumption of play another 30 minutes, until the teams finally gave up at 10:10 p.m.

“We got up and started stretching to get ready several times when another lighting strike would go off, and we’d have to wait another 30 minutes,” said Eagles’ coach Chris Henson. “We did that 3-4 times and decided that wasn’t doing either team any good.

“Coach (Blaine) Springston had an injury-free game, and we didn’t have anyone injured, so we decided for a non-district game this was the best way to go,” the Eagles’ coach said. Henson added that by mutual agreement, the final results will be counted as an official game by both teams.

While Andrews was a big winner in their season opener, and the Eagles lost big in their first game the previous week, the two teams had rolled up over 300 yards rushing in those games. But for two-plus quarters on Friday, the teams could manage just a combined 32 yards on the ground – 18 yards for Andrews and 14 for Pecos.

The difference in the game was the Mustangs’ passing game. Quarterback Eric Kelton was 10-for-16 for 107 yards, including a pair of touchdown passes. The first game on the second series of the game for Andrews, when he dumped a pass off to receiver Corey Lee, and he was able to cut back inside and use a couple of blocks to spring fee for a 25-yard touchdown.

Kelton, who ran for 173 yards a week ago, also had his best run of the night on that series, a 21-yard run on a 2nd-and-19 play following an 15-yard penalty against Andrews. The gain was more than double Kelton’s total yardage on the night, as the senior finished with 10 yards on nine carries.

“We made some adjustments to stop their quarterback,” Henson said. “Our linebackers adjusted to a lot of their sets. We’re getting better play, and we just need our secondary to play better out there, and I think by the time district comes around we’ll get that done.”

Pecos had running problems of their own on offense. Hector Ramirez, who ran for 224 yards in the Eagles’ lost to Alpine, was limited to 25 on 10 carries this time around. He did have an 18-yard reception on a Paul Zubeldia pass late in the first period, and then on a 4th-and-5 from the Andrews 21, broke loose for a 12-yard gain, setting the Eagles up with a 1st-and-goal from Andrews’ 9.

But on the next play, a miscommunication resulted in a bad pitch by Zubeldia on an intended sweep. He was able to recover the ball for a 12-yard loss, and the Mustangs would then stop the Eagles on downs. “They were big up front, and we knew that coming in, so we tried to throw the ball more to our receivers,” Henson said. “Andrews was probably a little tougher than we thought they would be on defense watching the films.”

After taking over at their own 27, a holding call would wipe out a 64-yard touchdown run by Kelton on Andrews’ next series, which would end with Jonathan Dominguez picking off a Kelton pass for Lee in the end zone. But Ramirez was stuffed at line on a 3rd-and-2 play forcing a punt, and a bad snap forced Vincent Palomino to get a kick off while on the run towards the Eagles’ sideline.

Lee took it with a big opening on Andrews’ side of the field, and returned the ball 35 yards, to the 20. Two plays later, Kelton rolled right and threw back towards the middle to Juan Contreras, who caught the ball at the 3 between two Pecos defenders, and then was able to cut back across field to the end zone for the second TD of the night.

The Eagles would drive into Andrews' territory just prior to halftime, only to see Andrews strip Zubeldia of the ball, with Jessie Holguin recovering near midfield. Pecos’ Michael Tarin was able to knock away a throwback pass attempt from Lee to Kelton near the Pecos 20 as the half expired, and the Mustangs then stopped Pecos on downs following a 30-yard kickoff return by Chris Sotelo to start the third period, before the game was called with Andrews starting its first drive of the second half on their own 25 yard line.

Despite the loss, and the lost two periods of play, Henson said. “I love games like that against tough teams like Andrews, because that gets us ready for teams like Monahans.”

Andrews’ win improved their to 2-0 on the season going into their game this Friday against Pecos’ District 1-3A rival Fort Stockton. The Panthers are also 2-0 after scoring late in their game to defeat San Angelo Lake View, 22-15.

Monahans was off on Friday, while the other teams in Pecos’ district all won. Anthony shut out Van Horn, 41-0, Fabens blanked El Paso High, 34-0, Clint edged San Elizario, 21-15, and Tornillo, idle last week, won their season opener against Marfa, 18-14.

Kermit also won their game on Friday, and like Pecos, also had their game suspended and then cancelled due to lighting. The Yellowjackets held a 7-0 lead in Lamesa when the storms hit. Pecos has won the past two meetings with Kermit, including a 30-10 win at home last season.

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