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Monday, September 27, 1999

Cranes dominate Eagles' home opener

Staff Writer
PECOS, Sept. 25, 1999 -- OK, the bad numbers first.

It was the worst loss for the Pecos Eagles since a 62-0 drubbing at Andrews in 1992, and their worst loss at home since a 54-0 defeat back in 1985 to eventual Class 4A state champion Sweetwater.

But there are no Andrews or Sweetwaters on the rest of the Eagles' 1999 football schedule, so even after Friday's 61-8 thrashing at the hands of the Crane Golden Cranes, the Eagles still can win all of their remaining regular season games.

Bouncing back mentally from a loss like Friday's is the big question coach Gary Grubbs and his staff will have to deal with this week, as Pecos prepares to meet Kermit, which is also struggling after a 19-0 home loss to McCamey.

"We're going to have to regroup. We've got kids who aren't going to quit, and they're going to work as hard has they can to win the football game next week," Grubbs said following a long coaches meeting after the game.

"We've got two weeks to get ready for district, and we're going to be there. People forget we were only 2-3 going into district last year and I really feel like we're going to be 2-3 going into district this year."

Crane scored their nine touchdowns despite barely gaining over 300 yards on the night in total offense. That was mainly due to the fact the Cranes racked up another 275 yards in return yardage on punts and kickoffs, including a 79-yard punt return by Phillip Tarin in the second period, starting a 3 ½ minute stretch in which the roof really fell in on Pecos, which actually ran five more plays in the game than Crane.

Crane already led 14-0 at the time, scoring after returning the opening kickoff to the Eagles' 38, and then after quarterback Alex Garcia was hit by lineman Alonzo Garcia and fumbled, with Clay McGuire recovering at Pecos' 9-yard-line.

Two plays after Tarin's return, J.C. Carrasco stepped in front of a Garcia pass for Jason Gonzales and raced 37 yards into the end zone, and four plays after that, Garcia and Mason Abila failed to connect on a handoff, with McGuire again recovering the ball, this time at Pecos' 25.

McGuire is better known as the Cranes' starting quarterback, and he would run for two touchdowns and connect with Tarin for a third, as Crane coach Alan Cherry elected to work on his team's passing game in the second half. He ended up with 90 yards passing, and 41 rushing, while Luther Davenport also had two scores and led Crane in rushing with 46 yards, as five Crane rushers had 30 or more yards on the night.

Abila ended up leading all rushers with 65 yards on 19 carries, but thanks to 39 yards in quarterback sacks, the Eagles ended up with just 44 yards on the ground on 41 attempts, as linebacker Willie Morris spent much of the night deep in Pecos' backfield.

The Eagles' offensive highlight came in the fourth period, when Garcia rolled left and found Kevin Bates with a 55-yard touchdown pass. Defensively, Jacob Weidner broke up a few plays on the line for the Eagles, while Jason Payne had two solid shots, once breaking up a McGuire pass to Joe Henderson and also hitting Tarin for a five yard loss on a punt return, the only time Crane gained less than 15 yards on a return in the game.

Crane's win improved their record to 4-0, while Pecos is 1-3 going into homecoming on Friday against Kermit. Pecos then opens District 2-4A play at Fabens on Oct. 9.

Fabens had to rally from a 12-8 hafltime deficit to beat winless Presidio, 24-12, while san Elizario was the only other District 2-4A team to win on Friday, 24-21 at El Paso Bowie. El Paso Burges beat El Paso Mountain View, 42-14, El Paso Parkland defeated Clint, 51-21, and Canutillo lost in overtime to El Paso High, 34-28.

at Pecos

Crane     14 27     7     13 61

Pecos     0     0     0     8     8

First Quarter

Cra. _ Davenport 1 run (L. Hernandez kick), 4:13

Cra. _ Jeffrey 3 run (L. Hernandez kick), 9:01.

Second Quarter

Cra. _ Tarin 79 punt return (L. Hernandez kick), 2:35.

Cra. _ Carrasco 37 interception return (L. Hernandez kick), 2:59.

Cra. _ Daveport 11 run (kick blocked), 6:02.

Cra. _ McGuire 32 run (L. Hernandez kick), 10:27.

Third Quarter

Cra. _ Tarin 21 pass from McGuire (L. Hernandez kick), 4:32.

Fourth Quarter

Pec. _ Bates 55 pass from A. Garcia (Zubledia pass from A. Garcia), 0:33.

Cra. _ Morris 5 run (L. Hernandez kick), 3:21.

Cra. _ McGuire 2 run (kick failed), 7:47.

Cra Pec

First Downs 13 10

Rushes-Yds. 34-214 41-44

Passing Yds. 90 74

Passes 6-14-0 3-12-2

Punts-Avg. 2-36.5 7-33.2

Fumbles-lost 4-0 2-2

Penalties-Yds. 7-75 3-13

Individual Statistics

RUSHING _ Crane, Davenport 6-47, Morris 9-42, McGuire 9-41, Carrsco 1-35, Jeffrey 5-33, Henderson 1-15, Garcia 2-2. Pecos, Abila 19-65, Carson 8-14, Winfrey 6-2, Marta 2-2, Rodriguez 2-(-14), A. Garcia 4-(-25).

PASSING _ Crane, McGuire 6-14-0-90. Pecos, A. Garcia 3-11-2-74, Carson 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING _ Crane, Tarin 3-61, Jeffrey 3-29. Pecos, Bates 1-55, Terrazas 1-10, Winfrey 1-0.


Coyotes beat Bears again, 51-6

Staff Writer
BALMORHEA, Sept. 27, 1999 -- The Balmorhea Bears lost big Friday night to the undefeated Borden County Coyotes, 51-6. The game was stopped with 7:27 left in the fourth quarter when the 45-point rule was invoked.

It was a game where the final score doesn't tell the whole story.

All night the Bears' defense refused to roll over for a strong Coyote offense. On a regular basis, though, the after holding the Coyotes for two or three downs the defense would give up a long gain and the Coyotes would start with four more downs.

The Coyotes defense, on the other hand, stifled the Bears offense.

The opening series set the tone for the game.

Balmorhea took the kick but three plays later punted the ball to the Coyotes.

Borden County started the night with a pounding running game that ate up yardage and brought them to a first and goal from the Bears' two yard line, where Balmorhea's defense stiffened.

On first down the Coyotes ran it up the gut where Bears linebacker Josh Pogue stopped Borden County's back cold with a textbook tackle.

On second down the Coyotes found themselves with Bears in the backfield. Borden County fumbled but managed to recover the ball and on third down, end Nick Flanagan took a flip pass around the end and rumbled into the end zone from nine yards out.

Coyote kicker and running back Ed Rodriguez added the extra points and it was 8-0.

Balmorhea took the kickoff and again ran into a brick wall. On fourth down and six, the Bears went for it and came up short. The Coyotes took over on downs and on their first play from scrimmage tossed a long ball down the sideline and scored. The Bears blocked the extra points attempt and the score was 14-0.

After taking the kick the Balmorhea offense was again forced to punt after three downs.

At the top of the second quarter the Coyotes took over and this time the Bear defense turned in four solid downs. Strong efforts by linebacker Josh Pogue and defensive end Larmer Lethco brought the Coyotes up short and the Bears took over on downs.

The Bears opened it up after that, coming out in a loose formation. But after a first down and several good gains the Bears came up short on fourth and nine and turned the ball over on the Coyote 33 yard line where Borden County began another long drive.

Good plays by the Bears defense left the Coyotes with a third and 18 situation when Coyote running back broke loose around the left end and found pay dirt again.

Borden County added another score late in the second quarter and then kicked an on-side kick.

The Bears recovered on their own 35.

On second down, with no time left on the clock, Bears quarter back Isaiah Rodriguez went deep. A Coyote defender tipped the ball and Bears end Kevin Rodriguez snagged the ball and hustled into the end zone. At the half the score was 29-6.

The second half was a frustrating replay of the first for the Bears.

Again and again the defense would turn in two or three good plays before the Coyotes would break a long run or pass. The Coyotes turned in another 16 points in the third quarter.

With 7:27 remaining on the clock, the Coyotes scored again when running back T.J. Sharp punched the ball in from the two-yard line.

It was a disappointing night for head coach Ennis Erickson.

"This should have been a close game," he said. "We did not play well, and Borden County played good, and we helped them along."

Looking forward to this week's district opener against Grandfalls, Erickson hopes that his team will react well to Friday's defeat.

"If there is a bright spot, it is this should be an eye opener for us. I think we've learned that we can't just show up and expect to win," he said.

Balmorhea hosts undefeated Grandfalls on Friday night. The Cowboys are seeking their fourth straight District 7-A six-man football title.

Volleyball team's long trip wasted

PECOS, Sept. 27, 1999 -- The El Paso area is home to about 500,000 people, 499,975 of whom are not volleyball referees.

The Pecos Eagles found that out on Saturday, when they were unable to play their second District 2-4A game of the season after driving 195 miles to El Paso Mountain View.

"Their AD (Clint ISD's Rudy Avalos) called the president of the association, and he said all his officials were booked," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "He said the president of the association told him there were three other games without referees, so it sounds like they have a shortage of referees out there."

"We called over to Clint to see if we could get their officials to come over here, but we couldn't get anyone to answer," Granado said. There were eight matches scheduled Saturday in the El Paso area, five of which were held in the morning, four hours before the Eagles were scheduled to face the Loboes.

As a result, the Eagles may have to make the trip out to El Paso one more time in late October. "If it's going to affect the final standings we'll go back out there," the Eagles' coach said.

Pecos' junior varsity and freshmen teams played with coaches acting as referees, and the JV beat Mountain View, 15-10, 15-6, while the ninth graders won 15-11, 15-12.

The Eagles don't have to worry about travel on Tuesday, when they play their first home match in over a month against the Clint Lions at 6:30 p.m.

Rangers win AL West title

AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Sept. 27, 1999 As the struggling Texas Rangers prepared for a weekend series against top division rival Oakland, Rafael Palmeiro challenged his teammates to pick up their intensity.

Their response was overwhelming.

The Rangers blasted the Athletics for 32 runs in a three-game sweep, capping it with a 10-3 victory Sunday that clinched their second straight AL West title and third in four years.

It was the first time Texas sealed the crown with a victory. It also was the first time the Rangers' home fans got to see the on-field celebration.

"We knew that we could do something special at home in front of our fans and the team came out excited," said Todd Zeile, who had a grand slam Saturday and a two-run homer Sunday. "I think we played our best baseball."

The Rangers came into the series having lost four of five to teams with losing records. Texas starters had been getting rocked and the offense had been quiet.

Oakland came in trailing by 4 1/2 games and, with a sweep, would have been within 1 1/2 games going into the season's final week.

Instead, the A's left with only a glimmer of hope left for making the postseason. Boston has a magic number of two to clinch the wild-card berth.

"We had a good year," A's outfielder Matt Stairs said. "But the Rangers kicked our butts."

Oakland brought out the best in Texas, as seems to happen a lot when the Rangers face winning teams. Over the last six weeks, Texas is 15-3 against teams above .500 and 9-15 against teams below .500.

That bodes well going into the playoffs, especially for a franchise that has only won one postseason game.

The Rangers have had the misfortune of facing New York in the first round in 1996 and '98.

The teams are on course to meet again, but Texas players are confident.

"I think everybody in this room knows we have the talent to do it," Zeile said. "The way we've played all year against the good teams, I think we all realize that we have the mental makeup to do it.

"Now it's a matter of putting those two things together at the right time."

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