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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pecos-Denver City sub-varsities split games; JH team beats Owls

The Pecos Eagle sub-varsity football teams split for games this past weekend against Denver City, while the Eagles’ combined seventh and eighth grade ‘B’ teams won their game on Thursday at home over Reagan County.

Playing in Denver City, the Eagles’ freshmen scored a 36-8 win over the Mustangs while the junior varsity lost by a 10-0 score. Playing on Saturday at home, the seventh grade purple team was outscored by Denver City 38-34, while the eighth graders posted a 32-0 shutout, after the combined gold teams won their game over Reagan County two days earlier, 14-6.

The JV fell to 1-3 with their loss, in which all of Denver City’s points were scored on defense. The Mustangs got a safety on a sack, and then recovered a fumble in the end zone for their only touchdown. Pecos’ defense also had a good night, coming up with four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in the loss.

The ninth graders had two defensive touchdowns, a recovery of a blocked punt by Ramiro Pinales and a 72-yard interception return by Isaiah Patino. Their other first half score were on a 22-yard TD pass to Arturo Munoz from Arthur Navarette, while in the second half, Pecos scored on a one-yard run by Munoz and an 18 yarder by Edmundo Dominguez. It improved the ninth graders to 3-1 on the season.

The seventh graders scored five times in the first half then were shut out in the final two quarters, as Denver City rallied from a 34-24 halftime deficit with two fourth quarter touchdown, including the winner with under one minute to play. Pecos struggled on defense most of the game, while Denver City had their own problems on special teams, as Devante Jenkins returned kickoffs 68- and 70-yards for touchdowns. He also scored on 55- and 46-yard runs, while Pecos’ other touchdown was a 52-yard interception return by Ismael Salcido. The seventh grade purple team is now 1-1 on the season.

The eighth graders, who opened their season with a scoreless tie at Kermit, got their first TD of the year on a 28-yard run by Luis Villescas in the second period. Pedro Cano then passed 27-yards to Eddie Pando for a touchdown, while Cano and Josh Aguilar had two-point conversion runs. Villescas then scored from 22 yards out in the third quarter, with Aguilar again adding the two-point conversion, and he got Pecos’ final TD in the fourth quarter on a three-yard run, with Cano passing to Ronnie Licon for the conversion.

The combined gold teams are 1-1 on the year after their win over the Owls. Manuel Lujan had a 37-yard TD run to tie the game at 6-6, and then Joe Aaron Arnivas scored from 36 yards out just before halftime, with Lujan adding the two-point conversion.

This week, all the Pecos sub varsity teams will play on Saturday, with the junior varsity and freshmen in Crane while the junior highs host the Golden Cranes, with games scheduled to start at 10 and 11:30 a.m.

Eagle cross-country teams 2nd, 3rd at Wink

Pecos Eagles cross-country runner Kayla Natividad placed second in her division, while Gus Mendoza was sixth on the boys’ side in the high school division of the Wink Invitational meet, while the boys placed second in the team standings and the girls third on Saturday at the Winkler County Golf Course.

Natividad ran the two-mile course in 15:04 to earn second place overall in the high school division 19 seconds out of first. The other finishes for Pecos were Carissa Cerna, who was 15th with a 15:53 time, Aileen Rayos was 21st with a time of 16:15; Ashley Ornelas placed 26th with a 16:50 time; Lilly Gutierrez was 28th with a 16:58 time and Diahnn Alvarez was 36th, with a time of 18:27. Assistant coach Teresa Bigham said the Eagles ran without senior Heather Lamka, who missed the race due to illness.

The boys also were missing a couple of runners, German Rodriguez and Edgar Madrid, due to illness, while several others didn’t go after missing workouts during the week. Mendoza had a 17:50 time for the three-mile course in finishing sixth, and was followed by Edward Rodriguez, 13th with an 18:18 time; Rey Gonzales, 22nd with a 19:00 time; Jesse Juarez, 28th with a 19:32 time; Stephen Apolinar, 31st with a 19:54 time; and Joel Chavez, 54th with a 23:54 time.

On the junior high level, Pecos’ girls had two Top 10 finishes and were second overall in the team standings. Sabryna Moya was fifth with a 15:49 time out of 51 overall runners, while Krystal Carrasco was ninth, with a 16:38 time. They were followed by Katrina Maldonado with a 14th place finish and a 17:02 time; Jenica Tersero, 19th with a 17:13 time; Megan Apolinar, 23rd with a 17:34 time; Lucero Sandoval, 24th with a time of 17:37; and Erika Garay, 36th with a 19:23 time.

The junior high boys only had three runners, two short of the five needed for a team score due to a conflict with Saturday’s seventh and eighth grade football games. But Pecos got a 10th place finish from Anthony Natividad, with a 14:59 time, followed by Alvaro Dominguez, 24th with a 17:25 time; and Chris Medina, 26th with a time of 17:41.

The Eagles’ next meet is this coming Saturday in Lubbock, which will be the site of the Region I-3A cross-country meet in early November.

Swimmers set to start season with Stockton

The Pecos Eagles swimming team will start off their 2007-08 season at home Tuesday afternoon, with a dual meet against the Fort Stockton Panthers.

Head coach Terri Morse said the diving would begin at 4:30 p.m., while the swimming events will start at 6 at the Pecos High School pool. “The diving won’t take long. We’re the only ones who will have any divers,” she said.

The Eagles won both the boys and girls district titles this past season, but will be looking to replace several swimmers for the new season, mainly on the boys’ side. Pecos still returns three state qualifiers for the boys, in senior Matthew Florez and juniors Matt Elliott and Hector Roman. Meanwhile, the girls will be trying to return to the state meet in Austin this coming February, after failing to qualify any swimmers this past season for the first time since the Class 4A and below division was established in 2000.

Morse said she would be working with her relay teams at the start of the season, looking for the best combinations for when the invitational meets get underway towards the end of October.

“I’m going to try some different things on the relays. They will probably be different fro the first two or three meets,” she said. “I’ve got a few people above everybody else, but most of my swimmers are about even, so I’ll change a few things up for the first couple of meets, and one of those is a relay meet.”

Morse said she will have all of her swimmers available on Tuesday, though with the current numbers and the practice schedules, the boys will only have one relay entered in the 200 medley, and the girls will just have two relays for the 400 freestyle.

First half mistakes cost Eagles in homecoming loss

All the little things that contributed to the Pecos Eagles’ winless run through their first three weeks of the 2007 football season made an appearance on Friday night, in the Eagles’ 17-14 loss to the Denver City Mustangs.

The Eagles, who fumbled three times in the red zone and had problems with big plays in their losses to Alpine and Kermit, would turn the ball over again once inside the 20 with a chance to take the lead, while allowing Denver City freshman Alberto Alarcon to score both of the Mustangs touchdowns, on a juggling catch in the first quarter and a 58 yard run off a lateral in the second period.

Meanwhile, having lost a starting receiver and starting running back after the Alpine and Kermit games, the Eagles found themselves minus their starting quarterback on Friday, when junior Paul Zubeldia suffered a knee injury in the third quarter. Chris Sotelo would later lead Pecos on their second scoring drive, cutting a 17-7 halftime deficit to three points, but the Eagles would turn the ball over on downs with under two minutes to play, and then see Alarcon seal the victory with an interception in the closing seconds of play.

“We’re thin, and a little injured up, and we’re two weeks away from our open week,” Henson said. Zubeldia’s knee injury was not as serious as first feared, though the junior may miss this week’s District 1-3A opener in Anthony.

Pecos already had gone without receiver Jeremy Martinez for the previous two games, including the suspended game at Andrews, and on Friday played without halfback Timo Reyes due to a leg injury. That left Hector Ramirez as Pecos’ main runner for the game, and he ended up with 122 yards on 27 carries. But the Eagles had just one running play of more than 20 yards, and saw several drives stall out due to one bad play.

“The offense had some good drives and several first downs, but the we’d stall out or make a mistake. Percentage-wise, it’s hard to sustain a drive that far without making a mistake,” Henson said.

Ramirez picked up two first down on the opening series, but was then stopped for a one-yard loss, and after a dropped pass, Vincent Palomino’s punt was deflected, giving Denver City possession at their own 40. Quarterback Colt McDowell immediately hit Gustavo Burciaga with a 33-yard completion, and running back Zach Roman gained 14 yards before McDowell connected with Alarcon, who bobbled the ball before gaining possession as he crossed the goal line.

Pecos’ next series started at their own 10 and went backwards to the four. Palomino then shanked his punt out at the 22. Pecos had a chance to get the ball back on a bad pitch from McDowell to Alarcon, but the Mustangs’ receiver was able to recover and Eduardo Tovar than hit a 35-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

Pecos finally got on the board on their third possession, a drive Denver City kept alive with an out-of-bounds hit on Zubeldia following the quarterback’s seven-yard scramble on a 3rd-and-11 play. Two plays later Zubeldia didn’t go out of bounds on a run to the other side of the field, and was able to sidestep a trio of Mustangs along the sideline for a 22-yard score.

Pecos then stopped Denver City on their next possession, as Bert Sotelo would come up with a sack on a 3rd-and-3, and Bryan Mora would then get around the right side for the Eagles’ longest run of the night, a 25-yarder to the Denver City 28. Zubeldia followed with an eight-yard gain on a 3rd-and-5, getting to the 15, but on the next play the quarterback was hit before he had a chance to pitch the ball, with Taylor Williams recovering at the 23.

The blocking mistake was followed by three bad plays, with an offsides wiping out an 8-yard sack of McDowell, who then hit Nik Gudel for 16-yards on a 2rd-and-12. On the next play, he dumped a lateral off to Alarcon on the right side, and what appeared to be at best a short gain suddenly turned into a 58-yard touchdown run.

“We had a kid in position to make the tackle and dove at him, and I think everybody let up for a few seconds, and their kid made a great play down the sidelines and outran us,” Henson said.

Pecos would get four more first downs before halftime, but saw one drive stall at midfield and the other run out of time at the end of the half. Then in the third quarter, the Mustangs started with a kickoff return by Burciaga to midfield, and while the defense kept Denver City from adding to their lead, the Eagles’ offense struggled for most of the quarter.

“The defense did a great job in the second half, but it seemed like we couldn’t get field position in the second half, and their kicker pinned us deep,” Henson said. Denver City punted three times inside the Eagles’ 45, the second time pinning Pecos back at the four. The Eagles then dodged a bullet, when Bryan Navarette was able to recover a fumble at the 2, but on the next play Zubeldia was pulled backwards on a run up the middle, injuring his knee.

The Eagles went with three running plays on their next series, which began at their own 12 and ended with another punt, before the defense would get the offense out of the hole just before the quarter ended. Wayne Sparkman pulled down Roman for a two-yard loss on a 4th-and-2 at the 35, giving the offense some breathing room.

Sotelo came on as quarterback, and on a 3rd-and-7 was able to scramble around before finding Dominguez for a 36-yard gain to the Denver City 26. Ramirez then went 14 yards for a first down and followed that with a 12-yard run to the end zone. Daniel Sotelo’s extra point cut the lead to three with 110:18 left in the game. Pecos would then stop Denver City after one first down, but a muffed punt by Drake Bradley set the Eagles back to their own 14. Runs by Ramirez and Chris Sotelo would pick up two first downs, but Sotelo then fumbled a snap for a 4-yard loss, and was stopped for a two-yard gain on 4th-and-6, giving Denver City the ball back with two minutes to play.

Pecos would stop Denver City on downs and got the ball back when Mustangs’ coach Terry Summers went for a fake punt at midfield, only to see Alarcon underthrow Gudel with 1:07 remaining. Pecos would get inside the 35 when Elias Valenzuela hauled in a double-deflected pass from Sotelo, but two plays later Alarcon would come up with the game-ending interception on a deep pass to Jeremiah Soto.

Denver City improved to 2-1 with their win, while the Eagles are now 0-3, going into their District 1-3A opener against Anthony. The Wildcats improved to 4-0 with a 33-0 win on Friday at Lordsburg, N.M., and have outscored their four opponents 158-0 so far this season.

Four of the district’s seven teams won on Friday night. Along with Pecos, Monahans was beaten by Andrews by a 41-13 score, El Paso Mountain View edged Clint, 28-22, while joining Anthony were Fort Stockton, which shut out Seminole 25-0, Fabens, which beat El Paso Cathedral, 41-19, and Tornillo, which routed Fort Hancock, 51-6. Fort Stockton faces Fabens and Clint plays Tornillo in this week’s other district openers, while Monahans plays a non-district game against Graham

Bears outgun Trojans for second win, 72-71

When two teams combine for a total of 19 touchdowns, and one walks away with a one-point decision, it does not sound like the defenses contributed much to the game.

But, while the Bears posted ten touchdowns in Friday night’s homecoming victory over the Midland Trinity Chargers, it was the defense that shut the Chargers down when it counted; it was the defense that scored the opening and deciding touchdown; and it was the defense that took the ball away from the Chargers five times (three fumble recoveries and two interceptions). The defense also had a goal-line stand that ended the first half and dashed a golden opportunity for the Chargers to get back into the game.

That said, neither team had a lot of trouble finding the end zone for most of the night, and while the Bears’ extra-points team is posting more points than any team in recent memory, four missed extra points in nine tries nearly cost the Bears a game when they scored more touchdowns than their opponents.

Balmorhea’s defense opened the scoring with a fumble recovery in the Charger end zone five minutes in to the first quarter, setting up a 6-0 lead after the points kick failed.

Midland Trinity answered 42 seconds later and took the lead 7-6 and that quick exchange of touchdowns set the tone for the rest of the night between two evenly matched teams.

After the first half of play the Bears led 30-23, but not for long in a game where the lead changed hands 16 times.

Trinity kicked to the Bears to start the second half of play. A fumble bounced the ball into a Charger’s hands and nine seconds into the half the Chargers were back on top, 31-30.

Balmorhea returned the next kickoff to their own 25-yard line and proceeded to mount one of the best drives of the night, predominantly behind the hard running of Adam Roman following blocking quarterback Russell Garlick.

Nine plays later Roman spun loose up the middle to score with 6:02 left in the third quarter, putting the Bears on top 38-31 and good momentum.

Three plays later the Chargers took the momentum back when Senior defensive back Sean Enloe stumbled as a near-perfect pass floated into the receivers hands. Enloe managed to save the touchdown at the one-yard line, but this time there was no replay of the first half goal-line stand and the Chargers again owned the lead 39-38.

Trinity scored five times in the 3rd quarter to the Bear’s four TD’s but as the quarter’s final seconds ticked off Harry Barron covered a Charger onside kick at the Charger 35-yard line, setting up the Bear offense with great field position.

A quick touchdown pass from Garlick to Rodney Fuentes closed the gap to five and Barron and Enloe combined to sack the Charger quarterback on the final play of the quarter.

Marcos Beltran and Danny Estrada combined for a sack on the next play. Then the Chargers handed the Bears a gift. Leading by five points early in the fourth quarter, facing fourth down and 19 yards for a first from inside their own 20-yard line, the Chargers went for it with a long, and incomplete, pass.

This time it was Barron’s turn to haul in a Garlick pass. The hard-thrown pass bounced around in Barron’s hands as he stutter-stepped toward the back of the end zone before he finally got control as he fell out of the end zone stiff-legged, but with both toes in bounds.

The score put the Bears in the lead 64-63 and a few minutes later Roman followed Garlick around the left side for a 14-yard touchdown run. Freshman Ryan Mondragon kicked the points after and the Bears led 72-63, hardly a comfortable margin in this game.

With 2:03 left in the game the Chargers found paydirt again after an impressive drive. The point-after kick was good and the Bear lead was cut to one point.

A minute later the Bears came up short on fourth-and-six and the explosive Charger offense had 68 seconds left to score — more time than they had needed to find the end zone for most of the night.

On the first play from scrimmage the Chargers went deep on a route similar to the one they had burned Enloe on earlier in the game.

This time, however, Enloe’s cleats didn’t slip in the turf and the senior defender hauled in his second interception of the night to put the game away.

Balmorhea is now 2-1 on the season, with all three games having been played at home. The Bears’ first road game of the season will be this Friday at Imperial, against the Buena Vista Longhorns.

Pecos’ next meet will be the Lubbock Relays on Oct. 7. They’ll have a dual meet in Monahans after that, before their first regular invitational of the 2007-08 season, on Oct. 19-20 at Big Spring.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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