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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, October 19, 1998

Valencia gives kick to Eagles' air attack

Staff Writer
EL PASO, Oct. 17 -- Louis Valencia has played a key role in
the Pecos Eagles' game plan all season, but as a punter and
kicker, not as a receiver.

So what Valencia did in the first quarter of Friday's 24-14
win over the El Paso Mountain View Lobos may not have been
quite the same as turning, say, Morten Anderson into Michael
Irvin, Valencia's sudden appearance in the Eagles' pass
receiving corps definitely caught the Lobos -- and everyone
else at Lobo Stadium -- by surprise.

Quarterback Oscar Luna found Valencia open for a 31-yard
gain to the Mountain View 1 on Pecos' opening drive, setting
up the Eagles' initial score, then found him cutting across
the back of the end zone on the second series for a 12-yard
touchdown, as Pecos jumped out to an early 14-0 lead.

But the Eagles wound up needing Valencia in his normal role
as a kicker to clinch the victory, as his 27-yard field goal
with a minute to play made sure the Lobos wouldn't stage any
last-second rallies.

"We have a lot of confidence in that kid. He's a young man
out there to win, and you can see it," said Eagles' coach
Dan Swaim, whose team went to the air with more success in
the first half than they had in their last three games

Luna was 7-for-10 for 95 yards, including the TD pass to
Valencia and an earlier one to Manuel Contreras that gave
Pecos a 6-0 lead. Contreras would fight his way into the end
zone after a holding call set the Eagles back to the 12 yard
line, and Valencia's TD also came after a holding call
pushed Pecos backwards from the goal line.

"We just tried to open it up a little more, because we know
we've got to be more balanced on offense," said Swaim, "But
when it comes down to it and we've got to have it, we start
running the football."

Pecos stuck to its running attack through the game's first
10 plays, despite a back injury suffered by Lucio Florez.
The senior was hit on the game's second play and was forced
to the sidelines. Trainer Joel Birch said Florez was taken
to an El Paso hospital to be X-rayed for a possible broken
rib, but the results were negative.

Jacob Esparza, Mark Abila, Len Carson and, eventually,
Hector Garcia took up the slack for the Eagles, who finished
with 208 yards rushing on the night. The Eagles got there
even though they had just one run of more then 15 yards in
the game, a 24-yarder by Esparza that helped set up Pecos'
second score.

Meanwhile, Mountain View quarterback Adolfo Villa came in
averaging 220 yards passing per game, and having thrown the
ball 72 times in the past two weeks. But in the first half,
Villa's passing stats looked like ones the Eagles normally
put up -- seven attempts, four completions, 51 yards.

Most of that came in the second quarter, when the Lobos cut
Pecos' lead to 14-7. He found Mike Alcala on a sideline hook
for 17 yards early in their scoring drive, then scrambled
around before locating the Lobos' Albert Jaurrieta in the
back corner of the end zone for an eight yard touchdown with
7:41 left in the half. It was the first touchdown pass
allowed by Pecos this season.

But coach Howard Wells would gamble and lose that the
Lobos' attack could get a first down at midfield with 1:37
left in the half. Villa was hit by Jacob Esparza on a
4th-and-6 play and his pass fell incomplete and the Eagles
then marched the other direction for their third score and a
21-7 lead. Luna found Contreras twice for 16- and 12-yard
completions, and Esparza capped off the drive by leaping
into the end zone from a yard out with 8.3 seconds left and
Pecos out of time-outs.

Contreras' catches and Esparza's TD both turned out to be
the last of the night for Pecos, which needed a more typical
defensive performance in the final quarter to remain on top.

The Lobos were able to hurt Pecos at times by running draw
plays with Ricky Lopez, and by the scrambling of Villa, who
got loose for a key 19-yard gain on a 4th-and-15 play late
in the third quarter. Three plays later he dumped a pass off
to fullback Frank Carrejo, and he went 18-yards down the
right sidelines for the score.

Mountain View's only key penalty of the night came on their
next series, a holding call after Villa connected with Lopez
for a 16-yard gain. It stopped El Paso's momentum and forced
a punt, and while Pecos didn't score on their next series,
the Eagles' defense began getting through the Lobos' big
offensive line after that.

Joe Robert Lara, Orlando Orona and John Gutierrez would
record sacks of Villa down the stretch, the last two forcing
Mountain View back to their 13-yard-line, from where Juan
Pena's punt was returned by Jason Payne to Mountain View's

Luna hurt himself and the Eagles during El Paso's second
scoring drive, getting a leg cramp and a 15-yard penalty for
a late hit on Jaurrieta on the same play. But his legs were
in shape enough by the fourth quarter for him to get outside
for 12-yards on a 4th-and-1 play, going down to the 13.

Pecos was stopped short of the end zone, and had a scare
when Carson fumbled the ball at the 10, the Eagles recovered
and Valencia then hit his 27-yard field goal.

The Eagles went for the clinching kick instead of going for
it on fourth down and hoping Mountain View couldn't drive 90
yards in the other direction, even though El Paso had
blocked Valencia's first extra point try of the night. "We
know once we get inside the 15 or 20 yard line, we're going
to come away with points," Swaim said.

The win lifted Pecos above the .500 mark for the season, at
4-3, and kept them tied for first with Clint in District
2-4A play, at 2-0. The Lions outscored Fabens in overtime on
Friday, 49-42. Mountain View fell to 1-1 in district, 5-2
overall. Clint will bring its state-leading passing attack
to Pecos this coming Friday, with the winner clinching a
playoff spot. For the Eagles, that would be their first
playoff spot since 1975, but Swaim said right now, he wasn't
thinking about ending that long drought.

"We've got the No. 1 quarterback in 4A (D.J. Check) coming
to town, and we've got to figure out a way to stop him
before we start thinking about the playoffs," the Eagles'
coach said.

Eagles alone in first after taming Lions

Staff Writer
CLINT, Oct. 19 -- The Pecos Eagles clinched a playoff spot
Saturday afternoon in Clint, and saw their hopes for a
District 2-4A title greatly enhanced by what happened just a
few miles down the road. But the same results dealt a blow
to the host Lions' chances of advancing to post-season play.

The Eagles reversed their usual fast start, struggling
finish pattern against most of their opponents this season,
as they fell behind Clint 12-5, then roared back for a 16-14
victory before taking the Lions in Game 2, 15-7 to earn
their seventh straight victory.

While the Eagles were sweeping the Lions, San Elizario was
handing Fabens its second loss in the last three games,
15-8, 4-15, 15-8. The two results not only left Pecos alone
in first in the district standings, but moved San Elizario a
game up on Clint for the final post-season berth with two
games to play.

The Eagles tied Fabens for first a week ago with a win on
the Wildcats' court, but at the outset on Saturday it looked
as though Pecos would be the one falling back into second

"Everything was going wrong. We had a hard time getting on
track," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "We had a hard
time handling their serves. then Philly (Fobbs) got that hit
on that overset and that seemed to turn things around."

Fobbs' kill started a brief Pecos run that cut the 12-5 lead
to 12-9. But the Lions then broke serve and got to game
point off a couple of bad hits by the Eagles. They would
have game point three times without capitalizing, the last
coming after Fabens' Cynthia Ramirez had problems handling
Monica Meza's serves, cutting the lead to 14-12. The Lions
broke serve, but immediately lost it on another Fobbs kill
and then hard trouble with Amy Chabarria's serves,
misplaying two around a bad kill by Jessica Foster and a
block of Monica Rios by Linsey Hathorn.

"Linsey was on tonight. She was blocking and hitting and did
a good job," Granado said. "She said she was feeling sick
and I told her `maybe you need to be sick more often'."

Clint's gym is a fairly new facility, but the ceiling height
had to remind Eagles players of their days at Zavala and
Crockett middle schools. However, the low ceiling gave Clint
more problems than Pecos, especially in the second game,
when several high passes were redirected by the rafters and
fell in for points.

They helped the Eagles jumped out to a 10-2 lead. The Lions
did get back into the game briefly, off four bad spikes by
Pecos and a kill by Foster, but the Eagles were able to
straight things out and won off three more errors by Clint
and a pair of spikes from Sherrie Mosby.

"I thought some of our other kids did a good job filling in
where they had to," said Granado, who was missing Julie
Lujan due to a knee injury, and Maggie Mendoza and Lily
Payen, who were 10 miles away at the UIL area band
competition at Socorro Stadium. "Hopefully Julie will be
ready to come back by Tuesday, and if not, by next Saturday.
Suzanne (Carrasco) did a good job filling in for her."

The win improved the Eagles to 7-1 in district and 15-9 on
the season, while Clint fell to 4-4 and 12-13 and need a win
over San Elizario Tuesday to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Pecos can win the district title if they defeat Canutillo in
their final home game on Tuesday, and win at San Elizario
this Saturday.

Pecos' junior varsity and freshmen split their Saturday
matches. The JV swept Clint, 15-2, 15-4, while the freshmen
lost to the Lions, 17-15, 9-15, 11-15.

Win gives Pecos top seed in tournament

PECOS, Oct. 19 -- Top seed, but not home-court advantage,
was the reward for the Pecos Eagles' tennis team on
Saturday, as they completed their fall regular season
schedule with a win over the Fabens Wildcats.

The Eagles downed Fabens by a 14-4 score at the Pecos High
School tennis courts to finish District 2-4A play
undefeated, with a 3-0 mark. However, since there are only
four teams in the district, Pecos will still have to win one
more match this coming Saturday, at Fabens against the
Wildcats, to advance to the Region I-4A tournament. No fall
tournament was played under UIL rules in the Eagles' former
six-team District 4-4A.

"For the tournament this weekend, we're (seeded) No. 1 and
Fabens is No. 4," coach Bernadette Ornelas said. Clint and
Mountain View will play as well on Saturday, starting at 10
a.m. CDT at San Elizario High School, and the winners will
meet Saturday afternoon to decide the district championship.
The top two finishers will advance to regionals.

"The kids knew they needed to go out with a positive
attitude and a strong mental game," Ornelas said. "I said
what we do now will be setting things up for this coming
Saturday. We were able to get a mental advantage over them
by winning."

Pecos' boys again swept their nine matches, all but one in
straight sets, while the Eagle girls took two of three
matches in doubles play, then split their six singles
matches with the Wildcats.

Teresa Minjarez and Robin Matthews won both their singles
and doubles matches for the Eagles, while on the boys' side
the closest match was a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win in doubles by No.
3 seeds Allen Fleming and Casey Love over Fabens' Ricky
Barrow and Timmie Phelps.

The Eagles will be going for their first regional berth in
four years when they face Fabens on Saturday. Ornelas said
the Wildcats were expecting to get a couple of ineligible
players back for the match. "Their coach said they may drop
one boy (from varsity level) and pick up another one or two,
but I don't think it will affect us."

Fabens (4) at Pecos (14)
Boys Singles
Jonathan Fuentes defeated Mario Gomez, 6-2, 6-1; Mark
Marquez defeated Adrian Zavala, 6-3, 6-2; Tye Graham
defeated Martin Zavala, 6-3, 6-0; Jeff Lam defeated Daniel
Villanueva, 6-4, 6-2; Allen Fleming defeated Timmie Phelps,
6-0, 6-0; Casey Love defeated Ricky Barrow, 6-3, 6-3.

Girls Singles
Teresa Minjarez defeated Rebecca Campos, 6-0, 6-4; Erin
Dominguez lost to Cindy Cordero, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2; Vanessa
Miranda lost to Melissa Wilson, 6-2, 6-3; Rachel Pharoah
defeated Daisy Gonzales, 6-1, 6-4; Tiffany Jarrett lost to
Luz Sigala, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0; Robin Matthews defeated Jessica
Martinez, 6-0, 6-1.

Boys Doubles
Fuentes and Marquez defeated Gomez and A. Zavala, 6-1, 6-1;
Graham and Lam defeated M. Zavala and Villanueva, 6-1, 6-3;
Fleming and Love defeated Barrow and Phelps, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

Girls Doubles
Minjarez and Dominguez defeated Campos and Wilson, 7-6, 6-1;
Miranda and Phaorah lost to Cordero and Gonzales, 6-2, 7-5;
Jarrett and Matthews defeated Sigala and Martinez, 6-4, 6-2.

Well-rested Bears roll over Cougars, 60-13

PECOS, Oct. 19 -- The Balmorhea Bears used their well-earned
bye week in six-man football play to rest, recover and
re-load for this past Friday night, when the Bears went out
and rolled over the Dell City Cougars in their home opener
to remain in the District 8-A playoff race.

After losing to the state's No. 1 and No. 3 ranked teams on
consecutive Fridays, the Bears came back from their open
week and rolled out to a 38-0 halftime lead over the
Cougars, on the way to a 60-13 win, in a game stopped just
short of the final whistle by the 45-point rule.

The Bears got two touchdowns apiece from Travis Woodruff,
Jouse Mendoza and Billy Lozano, with a 15-yard run by
Woodruff opening the scoring with less than three minutes
gone by. Roger Lopez would score from 29 yards out on the
Bears' next possession, and then Mendoza picked off a
Cougars' pass and returned it the length of the field for
his first TD and a 22-0 lead after one period.

Both Woodruff and Mendoza would get their second touchdowns
in the second period, Woodruff on a 10-yard pass from
Matthew Sanchez and Mendoza off a nine-yard run. Dell City
would get their only points of the night in the third period
on TD runs by Jonathan Barker and Abel Garcia, but Lozano
also scored in the quarter on a 20 yard run, added another
from nine yards out in the fourth period, and the Bears then
ended the game with 2:11 to play when Sanchez found Abel
Roman with a 13-yard TD pass.

Lopez ended up with 76 yards rushing and the Bears finished
with 300 yard overall in improving their record to 3-2 on
the season and 1-1 in district, while Dell City fell to 0-2
in district, 2-4 overall.

After finally getting to play a home game six weeks into the
season, the Bears have to go back on the road this week to
face Buena Vista. The Longhorns edged Dell City for their
first 8-A six man win two weeks ago, but were edged
themselves on Friday by Sierra Blanca, 41-39. Grandfalls
routed Marathon in the other district game, while Sanderson
beat Midland Trinity on Saturday in a non-district matchup.

Padres look to follow Yanks' lead after 9-3 loss

AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK, Oct. 19 -- The last time a team left Yankee
Stadium after losing the first two games of the World
Series, they were given absolutely no chance of recovering.

Two years ago, the New York Yankees faced that deficit.
They looked simply overmatched against Atlanta -- that is,
until they won the next four in a row.

So naturally these Yankees were not about to begin
celebrating, not even after overwhelming the San Diego
Padres 9-3 Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead that makes them
look awfully tough to beat.

``In 1996, we were down two games and were able to come
back,'' Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. ``San Diego is
not out of it.''

Yet with several of their pitchers fighting the flu and the
entire team coming off a shaky performance, the Padres
surely are in big trouble going into Game 3 Tuesday night at
San Diego.

David Cone will start for New York against NLCS MVP
Sterling Hitchcock, a former Yankees pitcher. Of the
previous 44 teams to take a 2-0 lead in the Series, 33 have
won the championship.

``I'm glad it's a best-of-7 right now,'' Padres manager
Bruce Bochy said. ``We were at least hoping to win a
ballgame here.''

From the very first inning, it was clear El Duque and the
Yankees were not going to let that happen. They unleashed
the whole works --on the mound, at the plate, in the field
and on the bases.

While Orlando Hernandez shut down the Padres hitters,
Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada homered to lead New York's
relentless charge.

It was one-sided with the gloves, too. Yankees right
fielder Paul O'Neill made a leaping catch to cut down a
potentially big top of the first, then New York took
advantage of two dropped balls to score three times in the
bottom half.

``We are playing well in all facets of the game,'' Jeter
said. ``If we continue to do that, we're tough to beat.''

After winning Game 1 by playing home-run derby, the Yankees
showed off their whole potent package in Game 2 and
demonstrated how they've won 123 games and staked their
claim as the greatest team in baseball history.

``This is just the way we play,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre
said. ``We're just a confident club. The fact that we've won
so many times this season gives you the confidence to expect
to win.''

Surprising rookie Ricky Ledee's RBI single made it 7-0 in
the third and chased ill starter Andy Ashby. Not until Brian
Boehringer pitched a scoreless fourth did Padres pitchers
retire two straight batters.

Hernandez, meanwhile, set down 10 in a row in the middle
innings. With his navy blue socks pulled high, his unusual
array of motions and pitches limited San Diego to one run in
seven innings.

Facing a lineup that had never seen him, Hernandez struck
out seven and gave up six hits.

Exactly a year after his younger half-brother, Livan
Hernandez, pitched Florida past Cleveland in Game 1 on his
way to becoming MVP of the World Series, El Duque was in
complete control.

``We spoke over the phone and he spoke to me a little about
how to pitch to this team,'' Hernandez, smoking a cigar,
said through an interpreter.

The win was his second of the postseason. The Cuban
defector who floated to freedom less than 10 months ago
helped save New York's season with a win in Game 4 of the AL
championship series against Cleveland.

``I mean strike one, strike two, fastballs, curveball,
change, kept the hitters off-balance,'' said Posada,
Hernandez's catcher.

By the time Posada's two-run homer in the fifth made it
9-1, the sellout crowd of 56,692 was going crazy while
several Padres players were standing with heads down and
hands on hips.

At this rate, this might have been the last game at Yankee
Stadium this year. Yet the Yankees know how quickly fortunes
can change.

``We would love to win it in front of our fans, but we just
want to get it over with as soon as possible,'' Jeter said.

San Diego's best opportunity came in the first. Tony Gwynn
got his fourth hit of the series and Greg Vaughn walked, but
O'Neill made a catch as he crashed into the wall on Wally
Joyner's drive.

Actually, Ashby could have had a 1-2-3 bottom of the first
with any luck.

Chuck Knoblauch's foul pop was dropped near the screen by
sliding catcher Greg Myers -- it was correctly ruled no play
-- and then the leadoff man exemplified the Yankees'
patience at the plate, drawing an eight-pitch walk.

The Yankees planned to run on the Ashby-Myers combination,
and Knoblauch stole second.

One out later, O'Neill slapped a grounder at three-time
Gold Glove third baseman Ken Caminiti. Despite having plenty
of time, Caminiti rushed his throw and it was too high for
Joyner, an error that enabled Knoblauch to score.

Chili Davis and Scott Brosius added RBI singles, with all
three runs being unearned.

Cowboys' offense stalls in Bears' 13-12 win

AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO, Oct. 19 -- The Chicago Bears don't know themselves.
Are they better than 2-5 or were they just lucky to win a
game they so often lose?

``We've been close a number of times this whole season,''
Quarterback Erik Kramer said after driving the Bears to a
game-winning, fourth-quarter field goal Sunday for a 13-12
comeback victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

``We had eight turnovers last week and you obviously can't
win doing that. But we've been right there all along and
hopefully we convinced ourselves that we can pull out the
close ones,'' Kramer said.

And the Cowboys? They thought they had re-established
themselves as a force in the NFL but after Sunday's shaky
loss, they aren't really sure what kind of team they are,

``They played fundamentally sound football and just
outplayed us,'' said Deion Sanders, whom the Bears avoided
with passes to the opposite side and angling punts out of

``Right now we're a team without a personality, but it's
going to flourish. We need to establish ourselves and play
Dallas Cowboys football. Right now, we don't know what that
it is.''

The Cowboys are 4-3 and ready for the return of Troy Aikman
and a week off.

``I know this,'' Dallas coach Chan Gailey said. ``To be a
championship team you can't play sloppy. It doesn't matter
if you're playing the best team or one that hasn't won very
many. I don't know where we are right now.''

Jeff Jaeger kicked two fourth-quarter field goals, including
a winning 29-yarder with 11 seconds left after Kramer's
passes to rookie tight end Alonzo Mayes put him in position.

``It's not a breakthrough game,'' said Mayes, who made tough
middle-of-the-defense catches of 22 and 19 yards in the
final drive. ``It's a game that I know I'm able to play.
I've honestly shown myself I can play on this level. I just
have to go out and prove to the rest of the world that I

The Bears lost their first four games this season, even
though they led at the half in each one. They rallied to
beat Detroit for their first win, fell flat with eight
miscues against Arizona last week and then came back to beat
the Cowboys.

On Sunday, they limited Emmitt Smith to 78 yards, scored
their first points this season in the third quarter (they
had been blanked 61-0 in the period previously) and overcame
a third-quarter Kramer interception.

Chicago plays at Tennessee before going into its bye week.
There would be a big difference -- at least psychologically
-- between 3-5 and 2-6.

``We've dealt with adversity all season. We got our heart
broken week after week,'' Kramer said.

``The last time we won a game, we came out and turned the
ball over eight times. Now we are going to have to learn how
to deal with success.''

Kramer's attempt to Bobby Engram in the third quarter was
tipped by Kenny Wheaton -- straight into Dexter Coakley's
hands at the Chicago 47. Coakley rumbled all the way into
the end zone, but the score was waved off because of an
illegal block on the return.

The Cowboys scored anyway. After Chris Warren ran 17 yards
to the 2, Jason Garrett hit David LaFleur with a 1-yard
scoring pass. Dallas, however, missed what would turn out to
be a big two-point conversion pass from Garrett to Irvin.

``We had chances to put them away offensively and
defensively, and we didn't do that,'' Dallas corner Kevin
Smith said. ``Anytime you allow a team to hang around for
four quarters, anything can happen.''

Curtis Conway, who suffered a mild concussion after a
collision with Wheaton in the second quarter, set up
Jaeger's first field goal by taking final-quarter passes of
16 and 13 yards from Kramer. That cut the lead to 12-10.

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