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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Thursday, November 1, 2001

Eagles, Lobos battle for first place again

Staff Writer

Same teams, different location _ and, the Pecos Eagles are hoping, a different result as well.

The Eagles will take on the El Paso Mountain View Lobos on Friday night at 8 p.m. CST in El Paso, with first place on the line for the second straight year. Both teams are 3-0 in district, while the Lobos are currently 6-1 on the season while the Eagles come in with a 6-2 mark.

Last season, the teams were both unbeaten when the met in Pecos, a game the Lobos won in overtime, 27-21, on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Arturo Muniz to Ebert Munoz. Both those players have graduated, as has most of the other offensive starters from last year, and while Mountain View was still expected to compete for a playoff spot, their 6-1 start is a bit of a surprise even to coach Mike Jackson.

"I've been pleasantly surprised. But the young kids have stepped up and done nicely," he said. "I thought we looked real good against Clint (in last week's 55-30 victory). The offense gelled and started doing things the way they should."

Mountain View's offense has gone to the run more this year than in past seasons, due mainly to the success of sophomore Joey Amaya. He added to his district-leading rushing totals last Friday with 224 yards and two touchdowns against Clint, and has run for 1,311 yards so far this season.

"He seems like he's got really good speed and is really quick," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs, whose team allowed the district's No. 2 rusher, Hector Saldivar, 95 yards last week, while holding Canutillo to just 148 yards overall in their 23-7 win.

"We had him up there on the varsity at the end of last season. I don't want to say he was a surprise, because I knew he was good, but I didn't know how good he would be," said Jackson. "He's done some phenomenal things this year. He's got some good speed and some good vision, so I'm glad he's here, and I'm glad he'll be here the next two years."

At quarterback, Eddie Gonzalez has taken over for Muniz, and while he hasn't put up the same type of numbers, Gonzalez has thrown for 878 yards, with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

"Arturo was a lot taller than Eddie and had a lot better vision," Jackson said. "Eddie's also a different personality. He's not as relaxed, but he's coming around."

Gonzalez also hasn't had the same success running the ball as Muniz, but has done well down near the goal line, running for three touchdowns last week and six so far this season, despite gaining just 56 yards on 36 carries. "He doesn't run as much overall, but he does a good job eluding the pass rush and finding his receivers," said Grubbs.

Gilbert Lopez is one of the few returning offensive starters for Mountain View, and has been Gonzalez' main target this season, with 22 catches for 359 yards and four touchdowns, while Ramon Pena has been more of a deep threat, with 219 yards on only eight catches, with two TDs.

"They do have a couple of good receivers who can do some things that can hurt you," said Grubbs. "That's the thing about their offense. They want to spread you out and do some things that hurt you, then run that little running back up the middle."

Defensively, the Lobos returned several players from a year ago and are currently first among 2-4A clubs, having allowed just under 190 yards per game. "One thing we've really stressed is defense. We were not bad last year, but when the whistle blows this year we're running to the ball," said Jackson.

"It's hard to tell size of film, but they don't look as big on film as they did last year, but I'm really impressed with their quickness," said Grubbs. "They look super-quick and I'm impressed with their defensive tackles' play. They're really quick up front."

"We knew we had some people back we could count on in (defensive back) Rudy Meija and (linebacker) Carlos Gonzalez, but the one who has done a super job for us is Danny Hernandez. He's a senior who didn't play last year, but he had three interceptions last week," Jackson said, and leads the district with six overall, while up front, he said linemen Jose Campa and Sergio Gutierrez have also played well this season..

The Eagles have yet to allow a point in the second half of their three district games, and gave up only a 97-yard kickoff return on the opening play last week against Canutillo. Offensively, Peter Juarez ran for 153 yards and a touchdown in place of Matthew Levario last week, though Grubbs said the junior would return as the starting tailback on Friday after suffering a mild concussion against Canutillo.

"He's fine. We just held him out for precautionary reasons, and we wanted to have him available for this week," the Eagles' coach said. "Hugo (Rodriguez) also didn't play last week because he had water on the knee, but he'll be back Friday."

The winner of Friday's game will clinch a playoff spot outright, while the loser could also clinch a post-season berth if Fabens defeats Clint. The Eagles also are trying to clinch No. 1 seed out of District 2-4A in the Class 4A-Division II playoffs and a home playoff game for the second year in a row, while the Lobos are pretty much locked in as the Class 4A-Division I team, and will face El Paso Ysleta, the only team they've lost to so far this season, by a 35-7 score back on Sept. 28.

PHS swimmers facng Stockton in meet tonight

The Pecos Eagles swim team will get in the third of their four home meets this season and the last of their three scheduled dual meets, when they host the Fort Stockton Panthers this evening at the Pecos High School Natatorium.

The swimming events will start at 6 p.m., while coach Terri Morse said she would have two of her divers competing at 4:30 p.m., even though Fort Stockton won't be bringing any divers with them to Pecos today.

"I'll have Michael Juarez and Cheyenne Grice out there, since they haven't dove yet this season," she said. "I'm doing it more for experience. It's just practice for them, so they won't have the Pecos Invitational (next weekend) for their first meet."

Pecos' girls have won all four of their meets so far this season, two duals at home against Monahans and El Paso Montwood and last weekend's Big Spring Invitational. The boys were beaten by Montwood and finished second to Big Spring last week, while defeating Monahans in their dual meet. The Eagles won the most races at the Big Spring Invitational, but lost out to the Steers due to a lack of depth, with only seven swimmers competing in the meet.

Fort Stockton's boys and girls both placed seventh this past weekend at Big Spring. Their best individual finish on the girls' side was a fourth place by Puja Chopra in the 50-yard freestyle, just ahead of the Eagles' Kelsey Holt.

On the boys' side, the top finish was by Mikel Talley, who placed second in the 100-yard freestlyle, which was won by Pecos' Max Key.

Sub-varsity teams end years with VH, McCamey

The Pecos Eagles sub-varsity football teams close out their 2001 seasons this afternoon and evening, with three teams playing at home while the other travels east to McCamey.

The Eagles' seventh graders will face the Badgers in McCamey, beginning at 4:30 p.m., while Pecos' junior varsity closes out its season by hosting McCamey, in the last of today's home games at Eagle Stadium, starting at 8 p.m. Before then, the Eagles' eighth graders and the freshmen Eagles will host Van Horn's junior high and junior varsity squads, beginning at 4:30 and 6 p.m.

The junior varsity and freshmen teams were the only ones in action last week, with the JV tying Andrews at home, 20-20, while the freshmen lost at the Mustang Bowl, 38-0. It dropped the ninth graders to .500 on the season at 3-3-2, while the JV will get one last shot tonight at their first win of 2001, as they come into play with an 0-6-2 record.

The eighth grade purple team's last game was at home against McCamey, and they won by a 35-12 final score, which improved their record to 4-3, while the seventh grade purple team has been off for the past three weeks, and are 3-2 on the season after a win over Fort Stockton

The seventh and eighth grade gold teams were scheduled to play tonight, both at home against Van Horn, but those games have cancelled, and the gold teams will play with the purple teams in their final regular season games this afternoon.

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Pecos Enterprise
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