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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, October 22, 2001

Eagles down San Eli, play Clint for second place

Last year they were playing for the District 2-4A title. Tonight, the Pecos Eagles and Clint Lions will be playing for a chance to stay home this weekend, when the teams meet in a 6 p.m. game at Van Horn.

The Eagles and Lions will be trying to secure second place in the district standings and a home match this weekend against the No. 3 seed from District 1-4A when they face each other for the third time this season. Last year, the teams met in Van Horn to decide the 2-4A title and Pecos came out on top by a 15-4, 15-9 score.

Both Pecos and Clint earned playoff spots on Friday, thanks to the Eagles' 15-12, 15-4 win at San Elizario, Clint's 15-4, 15-5 win over Canutillo and district champ El Paso Mountain View's 15-8, 15-6 win over Fabens, which broke the three-way tie for second in the 2-4A standings. Both the Eagles and Lions are 6-4 in district, while Pecos is 13-19 and Clint is 11-16 on the season.

Pecos and Clint split their two regular season games in district, with the Lions winning a 13-15, 15-1, 15-9 decision at home back in September, while the Eagles won at home two weeks ago 15-3, 15-10. In that game, the Eagles were able to contain Lions' hitter Collanne Bramblett through the early parts of both games, which allowed the Eagles to jump out to leads over the Lions, and then add to them when the senior rotated to the back line.

For tonight, coach Becky Granado said, "Our goal will be to contain Collanne, and we had two kids that we were picking on last time with our serves. Our game plan will be the same _ keep the ball away from Collanne and serve it to those back line girls."

The winner of tonight's game is scheduled to host a bi-district round playoff game this weekend while the loser will have to go on the road, which would mean only a short drive for Clint, but a 200-mile trip for Pecos. However, as far as the opponents go, there won't be much difference for the winner or loser of tonight's game, since El Paso High, El Paso Burges and El Paso Riverside all finished tied for the District 1-4A title with 8-2 records.

In Friday's win at San Elizario, the Eagles had to rally in the opener after San Eli scored five straight points to turn a 9-7 deficit into a 12-9 lead. In the second game, the Eagles were ahead almost all the way, using a 9-0 run to turn a 4-3 lead into a 13-3 advantage.

"At that time we were hitting the ball out and passing it into the net," Granado said of San Eli's first game streak. "Plus, that was when their big hitter (Valerie Soto) was up front. She came back and was eligible (after missing the first game between the teams) and had a couple of good hits."

"We had a couple of blocks on their big girl, but they landed out. But once we started blocking her she started dinking the ball," the Eagles' coach added.

Rebecca Wein and eight kills for Pecos, Leslie Rodriguez had seven and Stephanie Herrera and Christina Arenivas four apiece for the Eagles. "Offensively we were much better at hitting the ball, but if you look at our ballhandling errors, we had a bunch," Granado said. "They ran a 1-man block again and at times didn't have anybody there, but I think that's when we made most of our mistakes."

Pecos' freshman and junior varsity teams ended their seasons on Friday against San Elizario. The ninth graders lost to the host Eagles, 15-11, 15-2, while the JV won a 15-9, 12-15, 15-10 decision from San Eli.

Bears down Mustangs, clinch playoff spot

The playoffs are still almost a month away, but the Balmorhea Bears assured themselves of another post-season spot on Friday night, with a 51-6 victory in Marathon over the Mustangs.

With Sierra Blanca unable to field a team this year in District 8-A six-man football, the Bears will pick up an automatic win on Nov. 2, to go along with their win Friday over Sanderson and their victory the previous week over Dell City in their district opener. That leaves only Balmorhea's first regular season game on Nov. 9 at Sanderson, which helped the Bears earn their sixth trip to the playoffs in eight seasons with a 70-22 win over Dell City on Friday.

Marathon actually scored first on Friday, on a pass from Hector Hernandez to Daniel Aguilar on their opening possession. "They completed one long pass and got down into position to score, and then on fourth down they were able to complete the pass for the touchdown," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson. "But after that we didn't have much trouble."

The Bears tied the game 90 seconds later on a 5-yard run by Isaiah Rodriguez, and took an 8-6 lead on Jerry Mendoza's extra point kick.

Six other players scored touchdowns for Balmorhea, and the Bears scored their 51 points despite only 246 yards in total offense. "We rotated everybody around on rushing. We only had 114 yards, but that was with six different people, so all the yardage was spaced out. Three or four players threw passes and six or seven caught passes, so no one person had really big numbers," Erickson said.

Isaiah Rodriguez hit Logan Humphries with a 35-yard TD pass in the second period, after Adrial Ramon scored from a yard out late in the first period. Mendoza would connect with Artutro Rodriguez on a 9-yard pass less than a minute later, and three minutes later caught a 13-yard TD pass from Ivan Rodriguez. He would get the Bears' sixth touchdown with 2:34 left in the half, scoring on a four-yard run, with Mendoza's kick giving Balmorhea a 43-6 halftime lead.

The Bears were able to end the game less than four minutes into the third quarter under the 45-point rule. Josue Carrasco scored on a 1-yard run with 3:17 gone in the period, and 23 second later, after Mustangs were stopped on downs, Balmorhea won the game when Marathon's punt snap went out of the end zone for a safety.

Defensively, the Bears held the Mustangs to minus-4 yards on the ground, though Marathon ran the ball on only eight of their 31 plays. "They kind of passed the ball more than we expected. They didn't try to run the ball at all," Erickson said.

The win was Balmorhea's third straight after a 1-2 start and put the Bears at 4-2 on the season, and 2-0 in district. Marathon is 1-1 in district and 4-4 overall.

The Bears will take a break from district play this week, and will take on the Aspermont Hornets, who were granted a special waiver by the University Interscholastic League to drop down to six-man football this season after playing at the 11-man level in 2000. Erickson said the game has been moved a few miles south from Klondike to Sands, and will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Big plays carry Eagles to 45-14 rout of Wildcats

Staff Writer

Big-play offense is not what the Pecos Eagles are normally  associated with, while the Fabens Wildcats had come up with a number of big  plays through the first five games of their 2001 season.

The Wildcats also had a defense that had bent, but hadn't broken, through three early season wins on the way to a perfect 5-0 record coming into Pecos. The Eagles, meanwhile, had bent three times and were broken twice to start the season, but had played better defense in their last three games going into Friday night's match-up against the Wildcats.

When it was all over, the Eagles had surrendered a season-high 452 yards, but after allowing two touchdowns on the Wildcats' first three drives, Pecos shut out Fabens the rest of the way, stopping four drives inside their own 20-yard-line. Meanwhile, the Eagles scored five touchdowns on plays of 35 yards or more while the defense came up with five turnovers on the way to a 45-14 victory.

"We were playing the team picked to win the district, and I think that fired the kids up," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs, whose team played a turnover-free game and racked up 347 yards in total offense, while scoring twice immediately after Fabens touchdowns to take away any momentum the Wildcats might have.

Matthew Levario returned Adrian Telas' kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown right after Vicenta Macias' first quarter touchdown run and Telas' extra-point had tied the score at 7-7. Then, after the Wildcats tied the game again at 14-14 following a Tury Cleto 1-yard TD run in the second period, the Eagles needed only 1:09 to regain the lead, as Freddy Torres found an opening over the left side of the line and raced 50 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

Three minutes later, Levario would go through the left side and run 53 yards for his second TD, right after Hugo Rodriguez recovered a fumbled handoff between Macias and quarterback Rigo Estrada. Levario then added the extra point kick, giving the Eagles a 28-14 lead.

"We have big-play potential," said Grubbs. "Tonight we saw they were bringing their strong safety to the wide side of the field, and they were moving the nose to the tight end side, so we started moving the ball over to the weak side."

"It's always nice to have a 10-play drive and score, but it's also nice to get a big play and score quickly to put the pressure back on them," Grubbs said.

Pecos' first score had a couple of little `big plays' both involving Torres and receiver Abel Lopez. The first came just after the opening kickoff, when Torres hit Lopez for an 18-yard gain on a 3rd-and-13 play from Pecos' 36-yard-line. Two plays later Torres took off on an option run, and after getting hit nine yards downfield the ball ended up in the hands of Lopez, who ran another 22 yards to the Fabens 12-yard-line.

Torres then picked up nine yards on a 3rd-and-8 play, then got his first touchdown on a quarterback sneak on the ensuing play.

Fabens had driven out from their own 4-yard-line past midfield when the fumble between Estrada and Macias occurred, and on the ensuing kickoff the Wildcats drove from their own 38 to a 3rd-and-goal at the 2-yard-line as the clock went under a minute to play in the half. Estrada had used a couple of passes to David Huarte combined with his own runs to set up what looked like Fabens' third TD of the game.

But on third down Fabens tried a naked bootleg with Estrada, only to see the quarterback tackled by Robert Natividad and Jason Gonzales for a two-yard loss. Then on fourth down Estrada rolled right but threw short to Huante in the end zone, and the Eagles took over on downs and were able to run out the clock.

Fabens would get another chance to cut Pecos' lead after getting the second half kickoff, but when Estrada tried to throw a slant-in pass to Carlos Cadena _ a play that went for 27 yards in the first half _ Cadena cut the wrong way and Peter Juarez picked off the ball and returned it to the Wildcats' 5-yard-line. Pecos could gain just one yard on their next three plays, but Levario then came on and hit a 21-yard field goal to widen the lead to 31-14.

Juarez would account for Pecos' final two touchdowns, on a 75-yard reception from Torres early in the final period, and on a 39-yard run with 2½ minutes left in the game. But before that the Eagles would stop two more Fabens drives inside the Pecos 20-yard-line.

The first stop was on a 4th-and-1 after Fabens drove from their own 20 to Pecos' 9. Macias, back in the lineup after missing the Wildcats' last two games due to grades, was stopped by Justin Evans inches short of the first down. Then a few minutes later, after Fabens again drove deep into Eagle territory, Estrada tried to hit Huante with a pass that was picked off by Jason Gonzales at the Pecos 16-yard-line.

The interceptions and the early fumble spoiled a 300-yard night offensively for Estrada. The quarterback ran for 116 yards, mostly on bootlegs around the end, and threw for 213 yards, the longest a 49-yarder to Cadena that set up Fabens' first score.

"We tried to put some pressure on them, but he made some good plays," said Grubbs. "But I thought we made some good adjustments in the second half both defensively and offensively. In the second half we went back to our basic defense and we may have given up some yards, but we shut them out."

Macias, the state's leading rusher in Class 4A a year ago, was held to 85 yards by the Eagles' defense. Meanwhile, Levario finished with exactly 100 yards on the night, and Torres had his first 100-yard passing game of the season, going 5-for-7 for 107 yards.

"What I saw tonight was some leadership from the kids. I was pleased as a coach to see some of the kids come in all fired up and ready to play," Grubbs said.

Fabens' first loss of the season left them tied with Clint for third place in the District 2-4A standings at 1-1, while Pecos stayed tied for first with El Paso Mountain View, 18-12 winners of Canutillo this past Friday. The Eagles are 2-0 in district, 5-2 overall going into back-to-back road games at Canutillo this Friday and Mountain View on Nov. 2.

Pecos netters win 2-4A fall tournament

The Pecos Eagles tennis team picked up their first District 2-4A title in three years on Thursday, as they defeated the El Paso Mountain View Lobos and Fabens Wildcats in the district team tournament at San Elizario.

The Eagles defeated Mountain View in their morning match, 18-1; then scored a 10-4 victory over Fabens, earning them No. 1 seed from the district at this coming weekend's Region I-4A Tournament at Wichita Falls.

"The kids played great. They were all so pumped up and excited," said coach Mike Ortiz. "I give all the credit to them, they took it to them."

Pecos lost only one boys match in the win over Mountain View, in which all the singles matches were pro-sets. In the victory over Fabens, Pecos' third of the year against the Wildcats, the Eagles led only 4-3 after doubles play was completed, but won four of the five boys singles matches and both of the girls singles contests before play was ended when Pecos reached the 10 victory mark and clinched the tournament title.

Ortiz said the district runner-up still has to be determined between Fabens and Clint, but the eventual runner-up and the Eagles will go to Wichita Falls on Thursday, where seedings will be done among the 16 regional qualifiers. The Eagles drew tournament No. 2 seed Wichita Falls Rider in 1998 and 1999, while facing El Paso Burges at regionals a year ago.

Pecos (18) vs. EP Mountain View (1)

Boys Singles

Trent Graham defeated J. Arevelo, 8-0; Bobby Sotelo defeated M. Sauceda, 8-2; Stephen Lamb defeated L. Guerrero, 8-5; Jay Dannelley defeated O. Talamantes, 8-3; Michael Orona defeated J. Lopez, 8-0; Orlando Mendoza lost to J. Arrieta, 8-2.

Girls Singles

Natalia Ornelas defeated C. Falcon, 8-3; Brenda Fuentes defeated D. Ceniceros, 8-6; Kristina Dominguez defeated B. Nieto, 8-0; Elizabeth Carreon defeated T. Buckingham, 8-6; Jennifer Rayos defeated J. Villalobos, 8-5; Amanda Fleming defeated M. Gonzales, 8-3.

Boys Doubles

Graham and Dannelley defeated Arevalo and Saucedo, 6-0, 6-2; B. Sotelo and Lamb defeated Guerrero and Talamantez, 6-1, 6-4; Orona and Joel Sotelo defeated Arrieta and Lopez, 6-0, 6-2.

Girls Doubles

Ornelas and Fuentes defeated Falcon and Ceniceros, 6-2, 6-0; Carreron and Rayos defeated Nieto and Buckingham, 6-4, 6-0; Fleming and Chantel Orona defeated Gonzalez and Villalobos, 6-3, 6-0.

Mixed Doubles

Dominguez and Mendoza win by default.

Pecos (10) vs. Fabens (4)

Boys Singles

Trent Graham defeated Orlando Olmos, 6-0, 6-0; Bobby Sotelo defeated Victor Sigala, 6-1, 6-3; Stephen Lamb lost to Simon Trujillo, 6-1, 6-1; Michael Orona defeated Monty Morales, 6-7 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5), 6-0; Orlando Mendoza defeated Florencio Arriola, 6-0, 6-1.

Girls Singles

Natalia Ornelas defeated Ana Garcia, 6-3, 6-0; Amanda Fleming defeated Alyse Ramos, 6-0, 6-2.

Boys Doubles

Graham and Dannelley defeated Olmos and Sigala, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1; B. Sotelo and Lamb defeated Trujillo and Aldo Gutierrez, 6-3, 6-4; Orona and Joel Sotelo lost to Lopez and Morales, 6-2, 6-2.

Girls Doubles

Ornelas and Fuentes defeated Garcia and Samirah Ihmud, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3; Carreron and Rayos lost to Dyana Montoya and Daisy Gonzalez, 3-6 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Fleming and Chantel Orona lost to Jennifer Ramos and Alyse Ramos, 6-3, 6-4.

Mixed Doubles

Dominguez and Mendoza win by default.

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Pecos Enterprise
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