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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, September 24, 2001

Eagles get back on track with 62-8 win over Blue Devils

Staff Writer
Taking care of business is something the Pecos Eagles football team had struggled to do during the first month of the 2001 football season _ until Friday night.

The Eagles didn't come up with a perfect performance, but they did go a long ways towards starting to turn things around after a shaky start to the 2001 season, as they went to Presidio and routed the Blue Devils by a 62-8 final score.

The Eagles scored twice in both the first and second quarters and added three more touchdowns in the third period against the Blue Devils as part of a 473-yard night on offense. Defensively, Pecos held Presidio to 88 yards in offense, 50 of that on their lone touchdown drive of the night, late in the third period.

Coming off of back-to-back four touchdown losses to Fort Stockton and Alpine, the Eagles needed to turn things around against Presidio both on offense and defense. "We decided this week we would work on fundamentals defensively and offensively we worked on running the option better," said coach Gary Grubbs. "This gets us going on the right track. We're a better football team than the way we were playing the last two weeks. We're still a young team, but we've got to grow up, and this is what it's all about, getting ready for when district starts."

Despite the 62-point effort _ the most points in one game by a Pecos team in 55 years, since a 78-0 win over Stanton in 1946 _ the Eagles' night didn't start perfectly, as they took the opening kickoff and drove down to Presidio's 7-yard-line, only to fumble the ball away into the end zone for a touchback.

It was the first of four turnovers on the night for Pecos, but that was more than offset by the Blue Devils' seven giveaways, which didn't include a play that resulted in the Eagles' first score. Jesus Baeza's punt following the Eagles' initial turnover was blocked and recovered by Peter Juarez, who ran untouched into the end zone for the first of his two touchdowns on the night.

"Justin (Evans) pushed his blocker back, and the ball hit him," Grubbs said of the play, which was followed three plays later by the first of three interceptions quarterback Isidro Pando would suffered Friday. All three went to safety Jason Gonzales, who picked off this one at the 29 yard line and returned it to Presidio's five, where Matthew Levario scored the first of his four touchdowns in the game, going through untouched on the left side of the line.

Presidio did get through the next series unharmed and then forced Pecos into its only punt of the night. But the Blue Devils were unable to move again on the next series, and as the first period ended the Eagles began a nine-play, 53-yard drive that ended with Levario's second TD, this one on a 16-yard run to make it 21-0.

Quarterback Freddy Torres, who provided almost all of Pecos' offense the previous week running the ball against Alpine, began the drive with a 16-yard run and finished the night with 17 carries for 142 yards. Oscar Parada also made it over the 100-yard mark, finishing with 17 carries for 112 yards, and his replacement, Mason Abila, had a 20-yard gain late in the first half that set up Torres' 16 yard scoring run with 1:43 to play.

Before and after that the teams exchanged turnovers, with Presidio recovering a Torres fumble, then giving it right back when Pando fumbled on an apparent first down run into Pecos territory. Will Armstrong recovered the ball to set up the Eagles' scoring drive. Pando was sacked an fumbled again after Pecos' fourth score, with Bobby Valenzuela recovering the ball, but Abraham Uribe picked off Torres' pass to Ricky Plummer at the 5-yard-line just before the half ended.

Valenzuela would recover another Pando fumble off a sack early in the third period, just after Presidio's David Wentworth ran 15 yards for the Blue Devils' initial first down of the game. Two plays later Abila went over from 19 yards out to make it 34-0. Pecos missed the extra point, but things went their way so much on Friday that they got the point back after their next touchdown, when Levario picked up his own blocked kick and ran it into the end zone for two points.

That came after Levario's two-yard TD run, set up by a 37-yard run by Roy Jimenez one play earlier. That made it 42-0 before Presidio broke the shutout thanks to a 34-yard kickoff return by Joseph Sauceda and Pando's only two completions of the night, a nine-yard pass to Sauceda followed two plays later by a 41-yard touchdown pass to Angel Garza.

Juarez had just missed intercepting a pass by Pando to Garza on 2nd-and-1, and the TD came as he went for the interception again but saw the ball go over his hands and into Garza's, who then had an open run to the end zone.

Pando ran in the two-point conversion, but things went even further downhill for Presidio after that. Uribe suffered a hyperextended knee and Wentworth bruised his shoulder in the fourth period, leaving the Blue Devils with only 15 players to finish the game. Meanwhile, Pecos responded to Garza's score with their seventh touchdown late in the third period, a 2-yard run by Jimenez to cap a seven-play, 56-yard drive.

Torres scored on Pecos' next series, off a 13-yard run to finish off a 69-yard drive that also included the Eagles' only pass completion of the night, a 22-yarder from backup quarterback Richard Rodriguez to Abel Lopez, who reached over Uribe to pull the ball in near midfield. Juarez then played quarterback on the final series and scored on a 14-yard keeper, after Parada had run for 46 of his 112 yards earlier in the drive.

Aside from the turnovers on offense, the Eagles' biggest problem on Friday was kickoff coverage. Along with Sauceda's third period runback, David Neri broke tackles on three other kickoff returns when he appeared trapped deep in Blue Devil territory, which is something Grubbs said Pecos can't afford to do this coming Friday, when they host Monahans for their 2001 homecoming game.

"We definitely have to get better in those areas. We're not going to be able to turn the ball over or miss tackles like that against Monahans and not pay for it in some area," he said.

Friday's game is both homecoming for Pecos and their final game before the start of District 2-4A play in Clint on Oct. 12. Clint improved to 2-0 with a 23-10 win over El Paso Cathedral on Friday, while Fabens is 3-0 after upsetting El Paso Parkland, 34-23; El Paso Mountain View is 2-0 after routing Santa Teresa, N.M., and San Elizario fell to 0-2 with a 38-0 home loss to Deming, N.M.

Pecos rallies to get victory over Fabens

Staff Writer
It wasn't quite the way Pecos Eagles' coach Becky Granado would have liked to have seen her team come away with a win, but it was still way better than what happened the last time the Eagles faced the Fabens Wildcats.

The Eagles, who looked bad in the final two games of their three-game loss last month to Fabens in the new Pecos High School gym, didn't look very good at the start of either game on Saturday in the old PHS gym, when the teams met for their first District 2-4A match of the season. But unlike the 15-3, 4-15, 4-15 loss in the Cantaloupe Classic Tournament, Pecos was able to regroup this time after falling behind 13-6 in the first game and 14-7 in the second to pull out a 15-13, 18-16 win over Fabens.

"We didn't quit, and I'm very proud of that," Granado said. "They got to game point and we still didn't stop fighting.

"We did a good job on defense, it's just on offense we're still having a hard time getting anything going," Granado said, though the same held true for Fabens, especially at the end of both games, when their leading hitters Lizzy Avitia and Mari Lu Lopez couldn't get their kills down.

Avitia had a pair of kills in the first game to spark an 8-1 run by Fabens that turned a 3-3 tie into an 11-4 lead. Lopez also had a kill during that streak, which was finally ended when Christina Arenivas came up with a block on Andrea Bustamante. But after cutting the lead to 11-6, the Eagles lost serve and saw Fabens score twice off unforced errors before the Eagles began their game-ending 9-0 run.

Jessica Martinez and Leslie Rodriguez had kills during the run, while Fabens had three bad spikes for points and a couple of bad passes. They included one by Suzie Mendoza at game point, after a block by Martinez of a Mendoza tip tied the game at 13-13 and a bad spike by Lopez gave the Eagles their first lead of the game.

Pecos wouldn't lead the second game until it was 15-14 when Arenivas spiked a Fabens overset. The Wildcats earlier had gone out to 7-1, 9-2 and 12-5 leads, mainly due to the fact that even when the Eagles broke serve, they couldn't get their own serves back over the net.

"I don't know what it is, a lack of concentration or what, but we need to work on our serving," said Granado, whose team had the same problem at home a week earlier against Presidio. "When we get our serves in I thought the kids did a good job placing the serves. We watched the film of when we played them in the tournament, and we were serving to the right spots."

Rodriguez had a couple of kills along with Arenivas in the 8-0 run that took Pecos from a 14-7 deficit to a 15-14 lead, though the sophomore did get overanxious at one point, and went to get her own blocked spike that was headed out of bounds for match point.

"That's just inexperience. She was trying to save everything that comes to our side," said Granado, as Rodriguez touched the ball, giving the Wildcats back the serve. Fabens then scored twice, off a block out by Arenivas on a Bustamante spike and a bad spike by the senior, to get to game point again, before the Eagles were able to break serve and re-tie the score on a tip by Arenivas.

Lopez then spiked a shot out to put the Eagles ahead 17-16, and Pecos won when Bustamante couldn't get to a bad relay off a serve by the Wildcats.

The victory put Pecos in a four-way tie with Fabens, Clint and San Elizario for second in the district standings, all with 1-1 records. Pecos is now 8-16 on the season, while Fabens drops to 13-5 overall.

The Eagles will be on the road for both their games this week, against 0-2 Canutillo on Tuesday night, and against 2-0 El Paso Mountain View this coming Saturday. Mountain View defeated Canutillo on Friday 15-10, 15-2, to take sole possession of first place in the 2-4A standings.

Fabens did win both of the sub-varsity matches on Saturday, taking the freshman contest, 15-1, 9-15, 15-3, and the JV match by 15-6, 15-12 scores.

Bears shut down Cougars, 48-0

Round two of the three-round contest between the Balmorhea Bears and the Dell City Cougars went all Balmorhea's way Friday night in Dell City, as they bounced back from their first loss of the 2001 six-man football season two weeks ago to shut out the Cougars by a 48-0 final score.

The Bears had beaten the Cougars last month in a scrimmage game at Van Horn, and will face them again next month, in District 8-A six man play at Balmorhea. Friday's game was a non-district contest, and the Bears ended up allowing just eight yards on defense, while gaining over 350 yards against Dell City, most of that on the ground.

"We played a little bit better overall. The only problem I guess you'd say we had was our turnovers," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson. Balmorhea fumbled the ball seven times, losing four of them, which helped keep the game going into the fourth quarter, before the Bears ended things under the 45-point rule.

However, Dell City also had four turnover,s including three interceptions, two which were returned for touchdowns. Arturo Rodriguez returned a pass 28 yards for a score just before halftime and Isaiah Rodriguez had a 60-yard interception return for a score in the fourth quarter.

Robbie Mendoza had a pair of 1-yard TD runs for Balmorhrea, while Adriel Ramon gained 112 yards for the Bears, more than half of that on a 61-yard touchdown run in the second period. Urban Baeza had a 48-yard TD run in the opening quarter and finished with 71 yards rushing on the night, and also had a 25-yard touchdown pass to Joe Luis Lopez in the third quarter, along with three extra point kicks.

The Bears ended up with 272 of their 357 yards overall on the ground, while Dell City ended up with zero yards rushing and eight yards in total offense.

"We really didn't have to do much else but run for the largest part," said Erickson, who had to play his starters most of the way on Friday. "We had a JV game on Thursday, so I only had 10 kids on Friday."

The Bears will be back on the road this Saturday, for a neutral site game at Klondike, south of Lamesa, against the Trent Gorillas. Saturday's game replaces the scheduled contest this week against Grandfalls, which did not have enough players for a full six-man team this year. Erickson said the game on Saturday would be a 5:30 p.m. start at Klondike.

Pecos seventh grade girls win own tournament

The Pecos Eagles' seventh grade purple girls volleyball team came away with first place in their own tournament on Saturday at the Pecos High School gym, while Pecos' eighth grade purple team finished second to Monahans in the eight-team tournament.

The seventh graders defeated Van Horn in the tournament title match by 15-7, 15-9 scores, after defeating the Eagles' seventh grade white team in the tournament semifinals, 15-1, 15-8. Pecos' gold team lost to Van Horn in the semifinals, and ended up winning third place over the Eagles white team.

All four of Pecos' seventh grade teams were entered in the tournament, while all three eighth grade teams were in their division of the tournament. The eighth grade purple team downed Fort Stockton in the tournament semifinals before falling to Monahans in the title match, 15-12, 15-2, while Fort Stockton ended up finishing third with a victory over Van Horn.

The Eagles junior high purple and gold teams will face Monahans again this Thursday, with the seventh graders playing at Zavala Middle School and the eighth graders at the Crockett Middle School gym.

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Pecos Enterprise
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Copyright 2001 by Pecos Enterprise