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Thursday, October 19, 2000

Eagles look to contain Macias, Wildcats

Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 19, 2000 -- Vicente Macias ran for a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns  three weeks ago -- even more than Daniel Terrazas ran for last week in the  Pecos Eagles' win over the Clint Lions.

And Macias ran well last year when the Eagles faced the Wildcats in Fabens.

But what he didn't run for against Pecos a year ago was a touchdown, and that's something the Eagles' defense will try to do again Friday night, when Pecos travels to Fabens for an 8:30 p.m. game.

The Wildcats have a new stadium and are trying to develop a new winning attitude behind Macias, who ran for 330 yards and eight touchdowns in a 68-0 win over Santa Teresa, N.M. back on Sept. 29. Last week, Fabens won their first district game in two years, beating Canutillo 27-13 as Macias scored two touchdowns and gained 153 yards.

"We've been staying on the ground only because that's what teams have given us," said Fabens coach Ronnie Hernandez, whose team is 4-2 overall on the season. "We have a pretty decent passing attack, and I'm sure on Friday night coach (Gary) Grubbs will be playing about eight on the line to stop Macias, so we've been working on the passing attack this week to try and air it out at times."

So far in 2000, Macias has run for 1,176 yards and 17 touchdowns, and while much of that yardage has come against weak opposition, the junior did gain 244 yards in a loss to El Paso Parkland, which is considered the top Class 4A team in the El Paso area.

His only sub-100 yard game was 48 yards in a 19-7 loss to El Paso Cathedral. "He just didn't get the ball that much. In all the other games, he's gotten the ball about 30 times," Grubbs said.

"I think we're a little better than last year," said Hernandez. "We had a hard time as far as injuries and a couple of bad breaks, and we were a really young team. We basically had sophomores and juniors playing for us, so it was a learning experience.

"We were 0-5 in district, and when you're 0-5 the coach usually wants the season to end, but I told the kids last year it was one of the few times I wanted it to continue, because I could see how we were improving," Hernandez said.

Last season in Fabens, Macias ran for 127 yards on 17 carries, but never got into the end zone against Pecos. He came close twice, but was caught from behind on a 56-yard run, then was tripped up by Terrazas at the one yard line on the final play of the game, as the Eagles scored a 6-0 overtime victory.

Aside from Macias, Fabens has fullback Beto Nunez and quarterback Rigo Estrada returning. Estrada started strong this season, but has struggled the past couple of weeks throwing the ball. He didn't have to throw in the rout of Santa Teresa, but was 0-for-5 with two interceptions against Canutillo last week.

Hernandez said Estrada hurt his leg against Canutillo, which hampered his ability to run the offense. "He was hobbled pretty much. He couldn't roll out and throw the ball," said Hernandez, who added the senior is much better this week.

"They were a running team in the videos we watched," said Grubbs. "They weren't real effective throwing the football, but they have the potential to throw it."

"The thing that scares me is when he hits the fullback in the flat when he rolls out on the bootleg or the waggle. But I think if we can keep them in front of us we won't get burned," Grubbs said.

Against Pecos a year ago, Estrada was 10-for-23 for 84 yards, with his longest pass a 20-yarder to Alozno Favela, who has moved from tight end to wide receiver this season and leads Fabens in receiving with 14 catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns.

"He's been out the last couple of weeks," Hernandez said, as the 6-foot-5 receiver was being tested for hepatitis. "Last week was his first week back and he looked a little sluggish and dropped a couple of balls he should have caught, but we really couldn't throw him the ball because Rigo couldn't roll out."

But while Macias and the offense has gotten most of the press, Fabens defense comes in ranked No. 1 in District 2-4A, allowing only 180 points per game, and came up big last week against Canutillo. The Wildcats picked off quarterback Julian Lopez three times and recovered four fumbles, with Turi Cleto returning one of those 30 yards for Fabens' first touchdown of the night.

"They've got a solid defense with good speed. Their big tackle (Josh) Rosas does a good job playing defense and offense," Grubbs said

"Rosas is the best defensive and offensive tackle in the league right now. When he blocks, he blocks," Hernandez said.

Grubbs said linebacker Joel Orozco looked good on the tapes they saw, while Hernandez said Juan Trevizo has been the Wildcats' top linebacker.

"He's only 165 pounds, but he goes all out," the Wildcats' coach said. "Joel is not bad. He's a hard-nosed kid, but Juan is the heart of our defense."

Pecos' defense failed to come up with a turnover for the second game in a row last week, but that didn't matter after the offense had its biggest night since the mid-1970s, rolling up 541 yards in their 46-7 win over Clint. Terrazas ran for 272 of those yards and scored three touchdowns, while Omar Luna ran for 113 yards and two scores, all of that after he replaced injured fullback Jason Carrillo in the lineup.

Carrillo went down without being touched on a 33-yard pass reception last week, suffering a hip muscle injury. "He'll be out until he's fully recovered," Grubbs said, which means more double-duty for Luna and Terrazas, who'll also start at linebacker.

Pecos did get three players, Jaime Herrera, Ricky Plummer and Peter Juarez back off the ineligible list, and will get Sebero Jaquez and Pifi Montoya off the injured list for Friday.

Grubbs said Plummer would start at cornerback and Montoya at end, while. "Jaime's going to play a lot on defense and special teams, but I don't know about Peter. He hurt his shoulder in practice on Tuesday," he said.

Pecos seeks district title at tourney

PECOS, Oct. 19, 2000 -- Having a District 2-4A fall team tennis tournament worked to  the Pecos Eagles' advantage last season. Today, they'll try to  make sure it doesn't work against them, as the top-seeded Eagles  compete in the district tournament at San Elizario High School.

Neither San Eli nor Canutillo have tennis teams, and the three other district schools _ Fabens, Clint and El Paso Mountain View — voted two years ago to hold a tournament after the regular fall dual meets, something Pecos never had to deal with when they were a part of District 4-4A.

The district tournament didn't change the results in 1998, as Pecos and Clint were seeded first and second and finished 1-2 in the tournament. But last year, the Eagles lost their dual meets to both Clint and Fabens, but then came back to down the Wildcats in the tournament to earn a second straight trip to regionals.

Last year's tournament was a hectic one for the Eagles; since it was the same day regional band competition was held in Odessa. After beating Fabens to earn a playoff spot, several of the Pecos players were hustled off in a van and driven 250 miles to Odessa in time to march at Ratliff Stadium. As a result, Clint beat the Eagles in the tournament finals, 14-4.

Today, when the Eagles took the court at 9 a.m. to face Mountain View, they were again t he No. 1 seed, thanks to their 10-9 win at home last Saturday over Clint. The Lions, meanwhile, will be in Fabens to face the Wildcats in the other semifinal match

Despite the close score against Clint, coach Bernadette Ornelas said, "I believe we're going to face Fabens in the finals," after the Wildcats down the Lions in their match two weeks ago.

Pecos swept all their girls matches from Clint while the boys were swept by the Lions, with the different being a forfeit win for the Eagles in mixed doubles. "As far as scoring is concerned, we still have a few things we need to work on," Ornelas said on Monday. "On the boys' side we had three split set matches we lost, so we have to work on improving our results in those long-distance matches."

This year, the district tournament was to have fallen on the same weekend as the area marching contest at nearby Socorro Stadium. But while the stadium and the tennis courts are only 10 miles apart, Ornelas said the tennis tournament was moved up from Saturday to Thursday to avoid any conflicts for the Eagle band members on the tennis team, along with others playing for Clint, Fabens and Mountain View today.

The top two finishers will advance to the Region I-4A tournament, scheduled for Oct. 27-28 at Wichita Falls.

Swimmers host Stockton in dual meet

PECOS, Oct. 19, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles' swimming team will host their second dual  meet of the season tonight, when they face the Fort Stockton  Panthers starting at 6 p.m. at the Pecos High School swimming pool. 

It's the third dual of the season for the Eagles, who begin invitational competition next weekend with a trip to the Big Spring Invitational, which will also be the site of January's District 3-4A swim meet. Coach Terri Morse said one meter diving would kick things off, with the 200 medley relay to follow at about 6:15 or 6:30 p.m.

The Eagle boys have swept both their meets so far this season against Class 5A El Paso Montwood and Odessa Permian, while the girls lost to the Rams in El Paso while defeating the Panthers in Pecos on Oct. 5.

Morse said she again would not have a full squad for today's meet because of other sports. "There are some JV football players, and tennis and volleyball who won't be here," she said.

As for the others, Morse said she wants to look at some of here swimmers in different events against the Panthers.

"A few of them are switched up," she said. "Fort Stockton doesn't have quite as many people as the others had, so I'm going to look at some people, and try and get some times on some others and see about filling some holes in some areas.

"I still think we'll do well tonight," Morse said.

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