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Friday, September 15, 2000

Eagles look to corral Bucks

Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 15, 2000 -- The Alpine Bucks haven't had a lot of offense in their two games  so far this year, but they have had a lot of points.

Meanwhile the Pecos Eagles have had a lot of chances to score in the first two games of the season, and have taken advantage of some, but not enough to pull out a win last week against Fort Stockton.

The 1-1 Eagles will try to change that tonight, while the 2-0 Bucks will hope to continue their success on defense and special teams in setting up scores, when they travel to Pecos for the Eagles' 2000 home football opener, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Alpine is averaging under 210 yards per game so far this year, but they've rolled up 60 points in their 33-0 and 27-0 shutout wins over Anthony and Van Horn. Strong special teams play and takeaways by the defense have allowed the Bucks to do a lot with just a little offense in their opening games.

"I think that's something we've done, in that we've taken a lot of pride in our special teams," said Bucks coach Greg Althof, who came over from Class 2A Nocona to replace Ronnie Stookesbury this season. "You've got to take advantage of turnovers, and we've do a good job doing that as well."

Pecos, on the other hand, is averaging 265 yards in their first two games, about 50 better than they managed last season. The defense also has caused 10 turnovers in the first two games, but only three of those were converted into points, and just one or four last week, when the Eagles lost in overtime at Fort Stockton, 26-20.

"They've been feasting on turnovers," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs of the Bucks. "They've done a good job on capitalizing on turnovers when they get them, which is something we've got to do."

Fort Stockton turned two Pecos fumbles into touchdowns in a 5 ½ minute stretch of the second period, and the Eagles had to fight back from a 20-7 halftime deficit, tying the score on Jason Carrillo's one-yard run on the final play of regulation. But Pecos couldn't get off the potential winning extra point kick and lost on Ben Barron's two-yard TD run a few minutes later.

Pecos also lost quarterback Alex Garcia for a couple of games last week, after he bruised his left shoulder. Richard Rodriguez came in to quarterback the rest of the way for Pecos, but Grubbs said he didn't want the junior going both ways at quarterback and cornerback, so sophomore Freddy Torres was brought up from the junior varsity and will start at quarterback tonight.

"Freddy Torres is going to start, but Richard is going to get some reps," Grubbs said.

Alpine's quarterback situation has been a little more stable this season. D.T. Dominguez starts there and ran for 44 yards while throwing for 55 more against Van Horn a week ago. Backs Victor Torres and Anthony Ramon had touchdown runs, while the Bucks' other two scores came off a 67-yard punt return by Robert Rodriguez and a 99-yard interception return by Brent Matta. Alpine also runs the `starburst' play on kickoffs, which has given the Eagles problems over the years.

"They've got good special teams. They do a good job returning punts and covering kickoffs," Grubbs said. "They're a solid team, so it should be a good game."

Althof said the Bucks have used nine different running backs in their first two games, and Dominguez has thrown to seven different wide receivers and backs. "We try to use a lot of fresh people and get some fresh legs in there," he said. "We're pretty young. We've got 12 seniors on the team of 33, with five juniors and five sophomores starting.

Grubbs said the Bucks are running more of an I-back offense under Althof, and while the yardage numbers haven't been there, the Bucks haven't made any critical mistakes yet this season.

"To be 2-0 right now is a credit to our kids and what we're doing with a new system," Althof said.

Other than Torres at quarterback, the Eagles' lineup will be pretty much the same as a week ago. Tonight's game begins a stretch of five out of the next seven games at home for the Eagles, including a week from tonight against Presidio.

Pecos ends pre-district play

PECOS, Sept. 15, 2000 -- Pecos Eagles volleyball coach Becky Granado gets one last day  to tinker around with her lineup Saturday before the start of  District 2-4A competition, when the Eagles travel north to Plains to take on  the host Cowgirls and Denver City Mustangs in a pair of matches.

Pecos will face Denver City first, then take on Plains, after the Mustangs and Cowgirls meet, starting at about 11 a.m.

The Eagles had a little trouble in the second game of their match with Fort Stockton on Tuesday, but were still able to pull out a 15-7, 17-15 win over the Prowlers, after a 15-4, 15-7 victory over Presidio earlier in the day. The wins lifted the Eagles' record to 17-5 on the season, with the last five matches coming at home in the week following Labor Day.

"I think playing at home helped our kids get a little rest," said Granado, whose team will be back at home on Tuesday to take on Clint in their 2-4A opener. One of the Eagles' wins this season came over the Lions in pre-district play, but Pecos also beat Clint early last season, only to see the Lions come back to sweep their two district matches to win the 2-4A title.

Clint closes pre-district play by hosting Dell City and Granado said, "I'm going to send Veronica (Valenzuela) and Roxie (Chavez) up there on Saturday to see if their lineup is the same or if they've changed anything."

As far as Pecos' lineup goes, Granado has been using all of her players in the past five matches, but said that may change Saturday.

"I'm probably just going to work with my most consistent players, unless they really mess up, then I'll substitute," said Granado, who does plan one switch with her front line against the Cowgirls and Mustangs.

"I think I'll switch Michelle (Saenz) and D'Andra (Ortega). She's more aggressive on the net and she's quicker than D'Andra," Granado said. Ortega will move into Saenz spot alongside Philly Fobbs.

"I'll see what D'Andra and Philly can do, and see if we can have a big wall to get ready for Clint's big girls," the Eagles' coach added.

Junior highs get first wins, JV first loss

Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 15, 2000 -- The Crockett Junior High football teams got their first wins of  the season in a big fashion, while Pecos' junior varsity team suffered their  first loss and first shutout of the season, as all three teams took on the  Alpine Bucks Thursday evening.

The JV, narrow winners at home over Kermit and Fort Stockton, was blanked on the road by the Bucks last night, 22-0. At Eagle Stadium, the seventh graders improved to 1-1 on the season with a 58-6 win over Alpine, while the eighth graders defeated the Bucks, 34-6, for their first victory in three tries.

Quarterback Eddie Vela scored three touchdowns, on runs of four, eight and 14-yards while running back Julio Orozco scored from 80 yards out on the first offensive play of the game for the seventh graders, who built up a 38-6 halftime lead. Orozco also had a 40-yard scoring run, while Joshua Anchondo scored on a 12-yard reverse just before halftime, and Vela threw 14-yards to Edgar Villescas for a touchdown in the third quarter.

The eighth graders, who lost their first two games in the final minutes of play, made sure that didn't happen again with three second half touchdowns, after going in at halftime with a 12-6 lead. Quarterback Robbie Saldana hooked up with Gilbert Gonzales for 35- and 25-yard touchdown passes in the first half, and added touchdown runs of 13- and 22-yards in the third and fourth quarters. Backup quarterback Jarrett Grubbs got the final touchdown for Pecos, on a four-yard run in the final period.

The JV may have been thrown off by that strange thing falling from the sky in Alpine Thursday _ rain _ coach Brian Gibson said. "There were a couple of rain delays and after that I think the kids just weren't into it any more," he said, while adding the freshman players the Eagles carried with them did play well when they were in the game.

The JV also had to adjust to a new quarterback, with starter Freddy Torres going up to the varsity this week, but Gibson said that wasn't the main problem. "Ruvel (Carrasco) did a good job. He just got banged up a little early," he said.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Alpine's varsity travels to Pecos to face the Eagles in a 7:30 p.m. start. Pecos has won all four meetings since the series resumed in 1996, but had to rally from 12-0 and 20-6 deficits in the first half last year at Alpine to beat the Bucks, 34-20.

Four of Pecos' five District 2-4A rivals are also in action tonight. Clint hosts El Paso Bowie, Canutillo goes to El Paso Burges, El Paso Mountain View is at home to El Paso Parkland and Fabens hosts El Paso Cathedral.

El Paso Parkland (2-0) at El Paso Mountain View (0-1): Both teams come off games against Cathedral _ Mountain View lost their opener to them by a 27-20 score, while Parkland beat Cathedral last week, 28-19. The Lobos were hurt by five fumbles in their game against the Fighting Irish and fell behind 21-0 before staging a fourth quarter comeback that ended with a interception in the final minute at the Cathedral 5-yard line.

Arturo Muniz threw for 254 yards and one touchdown and ran for a second in the losing effort. Meanwhile, Parkland's RB Artiese Cheeks had touchdown runs of 73 and 45 yards last week while Michael Jefferson had a 90-yard kickoff return and a 55-yard punt return for scores. The Matadors also will be trying to avenge their only regular season loss last year, 17-13 to Mountain View.

Clint (1-0) at EP Bowie (0-1): The Lions showed they could still score last week, and actually had more rushing yards than passing in their win over Anthony. But they also gave up four touchdowns to a team that was shut out by Alpine the week before.

Clint's Emanuel Estrada ran for 151 yards and five touchdowns in their 46-28 victory. Bowie lost their opener to Las Cruces Onate, 31-14, but got 182 yards rushing out of back Ricky Tuda.

Cathedral (1-1) at Fabens (2-0): The Wildcats debut their new stadium against a team they lost to 7-0 a year ago. But Fabens played that game without running back Vicente Macias, who ran for 203 yards against Tularosa, N.M. and 204 last week, in a 46-20 win at Deming, N.M.

Cathedral's James Costanzo had a big night in a losing effort against Parkland a week ago, rushing 32 times for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 70 yards and two TDs in the win over Mountain View.

Canutillo (1-1) at EP Burges (0-1): After allowing zero points and under 70 yards to Santa Teresa, the Golden Eagles were touched for 40 points and 399 yards by El Paso High last Friday, in a 40-17 loss. Mark Dominguez had a touchdown pass in the loss, after Julian Lopez threw three TD passes in the opening win over Santa Teresa.

Burges lost their opener to El Paso Hanks, 42-14, but are picked to finish ahead of El Paso High in District 1-4A this season. Running back Frank Padilla got over the 100-yard mark for the Mustangs in last week's loss, gaining 106 and scoring one TD, while quarterback Eddie Mata had Burges' other score.

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