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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Thursday, September 13, 2001

Eagles look to stop Bucks' early run

Staff Writer

The Alpine Bucks have two shutouts in two games this year  and one shutout in their game against the Pecos Eagles last year.

The Eagles just avoided a shutout in their game last week, and will try to get both their offense and defense going Friday night, when the Eagles travel to Alpine for their first road game of the 2001 season.

The starting time is set for 8 p.m. and will be the only game involving a District 2-4A school on Friday. All of the games involving Pecos' district rivals have been canceled in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

The Bucks opened up 2001 with a 27-0 win over Anthony and followed that up last Friday by dismantling Van Horn, 48-0. Overall this season Alpine is expected to battle for a playoff spot with Crane, Monahans and Fort Stockton, whom the Eagles lost to last Friday by a 32-8 score.

"We feel like we're playing pretty good ball right now," said Bucks' coach Greg Althof. "I don't know if we've really been tested, but I think that Pecos is going to give us a good test."

Alpine returns almost all their skill position players and most of their defense from last year's team, including quarterback D.T. Dominguez, whose 24-yard touchdown pass to Roman Rodriguez in overtime last year gave the Bucks a 6-0 victory over the Eagles.

"They're good. They've got a great group of skill players and have a good defense. They're averaging 400 yards a game and only giving up 56," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs.

Rodriguez is also back this year and ran for one touchdown and caught another against Anthony. Anthony Roman did the same, while George Keller and Ian LeBlanc combined to run for 202 yards. Last week, Dominguez ran for 101 yards and passed for 255 more while scoring one TD and throwing for four more.

"They run the option just like us and he's good at running the ball," said Grubbs.

"We've got five or six kids we feel can carry the ball and carry it well," Althof said. "I think that adds a lot to our offense to be able to use several different ball-carriers."

This is Althof's second year as Bucks' coach, and he said the team is running his systems better this time around. "Offense, defense or whatever, the kids are better adapted and know what we want and know how to run it."

"They can throw the ball a lot better than Fort Stockton does and they have better skill position players than Fort Stockton," Grubbs said. "They're not as big as Fort Stockton up front, but they still have good size."

Defensively, Grubbs said, "They're very aggressive, and stunt a lot. (Brent) Mata is their outside linebacker, and he's the guy they really move around a lot. He's doing a lot on defense, but he's not all they have."

Althof agreed. "He's one of our leaders, but we've got a couple of other good kids with good experience who are seniors."

Defensively, Pecos will be trying to cut down on their yards allowed rushing so far in 2001. They're averaging 266.5 per game so far and allowed Fort Stockton 361 yards, most of that up the middle.

Grubbs said he didn't plan any personnel changes on the front line, but added, "We had better workouts this week. We're still a young football team and have kids up there who are still learning."

On offense, the Eagles will be hoping for a better start Friday than they've had so far in their first two games. They scored three of their four touchdowns against Kermit in the second half and were shut out until the closing seconds of last week's loss to Fort Stockton.

Grubbs said the Eagles should have all their players available for Friday, including fullback Ray Parada, who had to leave last week's game after taking a hard shot while pass blocking for quarterback Freddy Torres. "He's back and he'll start," Grubbs said.

Torres started last years game against Alpine in an emergency situation after being brought up from the junior varsity and struggled before being replaced by Richard Rodriguez. So far this season, the junior has had better success along with the rest of the offense in the second half of the Eagles' games than in the first half, with all three of his touchdown passes so far coming in the fourth quarter, including last week's 4-yard toss to Matthew Levario.

Friday's game begins the first of a stretch of five road contests in their next seven games for Pecos. Their only home games between now and the final game of the season are homecoming on Sept. 29 against Monahans and a home game three weeks later against pre-district favorite Fabens.

Pecos sub-varsity squads

face Alpine, Crane today

The Pecos Eagles' sub varsity teams will all be trying again for their first wins of the season today, when they face the Alpine Bucks and Crane Golden Cranes in afternoon and evening contests.

The only team not able to do so tonight will be the seventh grade gold team, which was scheduled to host Crane. That game has been canceled, but the eighth grade gold team's game with the Cranes is still scheduled, though it may be moved up from its original 6:30 p.m. starting time at the Crockett Middle School field.

Over at Eagle stadium, Pecos' freshman and junior varsity teams will be facing Alpine in 5 and 7 p.m. starts, while down south, the Eagles' seventh and eighth grade purple teams will take on the Bucks, at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

The seventh grade purple team was the only one not to lose last week, as they tied their opener at Fort Stockton, 0-0. The eighth graders lost their two games to the Panthers, 14-0 in the gold game at 16-2 in the purple contest.

The JV and freshmen teams tied their season openers with Kermit and Carlsbad but lost to the Panthers, the ninth graders by an 18-14 score at home and the JV by a 27-14 margin at Fort Stockton.

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Pecos Enterprise
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