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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, August 19, 2002

Eagles' drives stall in Rangers' 4-0 scrimmage win

Staff Writer

The score was the same as their opening scrimmage a year ago _ a  4-0 loss — but the effort and the offense were both a little better  for the Pecos Eagles in their Saturday scrimmage at home against the  El Paso Riverside Rangers.

However, the injuries were also a little worse for Pecos than in their scrimmage last season against Carlsbad, as the Eagles lost quarterback Freddy Torres for at least a couple of weeks due to a separated shoulder, one play after he had re-entered the scrimmage after having a dislocated finger popped back into place.

Riverside _ which will probably be one of the best offenses the Eagles will see this season _ went down and scored twice during their initial 20 play series, then scored once on each of their final two series. Pecos, meanwhile, never got the ball inside the 20 yard line, but unlike a year ago, when the Eagles managed only 38 yards rushing in their entire scrimmage, Pecos had some success moving the ball in the middle of the field, but could never break a big play on the Rangers.

"We looked OK, but we still have a lot of people who don't know their assignments," said Fred Carter, in his first scrimmage as the Eagles' head coach. "I thought it was a good learning experience for us. The kids saw they have got to come together as a football team.

Riverside ended up with 326 yards in total offense, most of that out of fullback Shawn Jordan and quarterback Mike Stephenson. Jordan bulled his way behind the Rangers' big line for several key gains, including El Paso's initial touchdown from six yards out, while Stephenson had two of Riverside's three touchdown passes in the scrimmage, and had a couple of long bootleg runs for first downs.

Under regular conditions, two of El Paso's TD passes would have been called back due to holding and clipping calls, and the Eagles' best chance at scoring was foiled by a what normally would have been a pass interference call on a Torres toss to Jason Sanchez on the opening 20-play drive. But Carter said while the Rangers had their share of infractions, so did the Eagles.

"According to the officials, we would have received about 16 penalties in a regular game, so we've got to cut that down. That's entirely too much," he said.

Torres' injuries came on quarterback option keepers around the left side during the final series on offense. The senior had opened the scrimmage with an 8-yard run around the right side, and Pecos ended up picking up five first downs in their initial 20 plays. But a nine-yard scramble by Torres ended up being the longest gain, and the first drive ended with an interception, while the last ended with the interference against Sanchez.

In contrast, 12 of Riverside's first 20 plays on offense went for six yards or more. Their biggest gainer was a 25-yard pass completion by Stephenson, though the series did end with the quarterback getting picked off on a screen pass attempt by Victor Reyes.

Pecos' best offensive gains came with the second team players in for both sides on the second series. Running back Bino Barreno had a 15-yard run around left end and quarterback Jose Reyes followed with a 10-yard gain. But the drive stalled after two dropped passes by the Eagles.

Riverside's second team would score off a blown coverage on a 35-yard screen pass, though a downfield clip did affect the play, while the Rangers' last score came with their first team back in, on a 14-yard pass by Stephenson which was set up by a 45-yard run by Jordan.

Aside from Torres' injury, junior Oscar Parada was the other Eagle forced out of the scrimmage with an injury. Parada suffered a pinched nerve in his shoulder after being hit while on defense in the second scrimmage series.

With the Eagles starting their season in August last year, the Carlsbad scrimmage was the only one for Pecos before they began the 2001 season. This time, the Eagles will play one more scrimmage, on Friday against Fabens in Van Horn, before opening regular season play on Sept. 6 at Alpine.

"We need to see what we need to do to improve," said Carter. "Some kids need to be put on notice that if they don't do what they have to do we've got some other kids to take their place."

Before the varsity scrimmage, the sub-varsity teams held their opening scrimmages of the season, with the Eagles' junior varsity shutting out Riverside, 5-0, while the Rangers' freshman defeated Pecos, 7-1. Rashad Terry had three touchdown runs for the JV of six, 18 and 20 yards, while Aurelio Lopez had a 17-yard TD run and Gilbert Gonzales caught a 20-yard pass from Saul Pina. The ninth graders' only score was a 14-yard run by Julio Orozco.

Finishes better than starts for Pecos in scrimmages

The Pecos Eagles started slow and finished fast during their weekend scrimmage games leading up to their 2002 volleyball opener on Tuesday night in Odessa _ or at least the Eagles had more energy than most of their opponents the second time around in Friday and Saturday's 20-minute scrimmage games.

Pecos lost all three of their scrimmage games to start off on Friday against Alpine, Wink and Fort Davis at the Pecos High School gym. The second time around, they were edged by the Bucks again, by a 10-9 score, but came back to defeat the Wildcats and Maidens to close out the scrimmage.

On Saturday in Monahans, Eagles' coach Becky Granado said her team again played better in their second scrimmage matches of the day, two against their new District 4-3A rivals Kermit and the host Loboes, while the other was against the Odessa Permian Panthers.

"We looked a little better as the scrimmage went on," Granado said. "We had our moments, but we also had a couple of plays where we forgot what we were doing."

Granado said setting was Pecos' biggest problem on Friday, while on Saturday, "Our setting was a little better, but we still need to improve."

"Against Kermit we looked real good. Kermit was having trouble with our serves, and we had a couple of good rallies, she said. "With Monahans we just couldn't get anything going that first time. We missed serves, and as far as defense, we'd be there, but we wouldn't react to the ball.

"They've got some tall girls that can block, but Stephanie (Herrera) went around them. As far as blocking, my girls were having a tough time getting to the ball at first, but towards the end Mindy (Harrison) and Jennifer (Martinez) started getting their hands on the ball."

On Friday, the Eagles were outscored by Wink in their first 20-minute scrimmage, 20-10, then edged the Wildcats the second time around, 15-13, as Pecos was able to move faster at the end of the scrimmage than Wink's players. The same thing was true against Fort Davis, who the Eagles beat, 13-6, after losing the first time by a 13-10 score.

"We've got some kids in new positions, and they've still got to learn what to do," Granado said. "I was very surprised with our passing. I thought we would have a problem with that, but that was one of our bright spots."

The Eagles will be seeing more of Alpine this week, and could see several other District 4-3A rivals at the outset of the 2002 season. They'll face the Bucks and Odessa High to start off the season at OHS on Tuesday, then will play Alpine, along with Seminole and Frenship, in pool round play at the Sandhills Tournament in Monahans on Friday. Along with the Loboes, district rivals Midland Greenwood and Presidio also are entered in the tournament.

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Pecos Enterprise
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