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Monday, October 18, 1999

Eagles cage Lobos' offense at finish, 28-20

Staff Writer
PECOS, Oct. 18, 1999 -- Going up and down the field with lots of scoring opportunities is not the Pecos Eagles' style of football.

It is the style of the El Paso Mountain View Lobos, and their way was the way both teams played the first half of Friday's game at Eagle Stadium.

The two teams combined for 419 yards on offense in the first half, with the visiting Lobos holding a slight advantage in yards and taking a 14-12 lead on the scoreboard.

But the second half was more of the Eagles' style of play, as they were able to put together their two best scoring drives in a month, while limiting Mountain View to just 52 yards total offense, as Pecos rallied for a 28-20 victory.

Donnie Winfrey ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries, while the Eagles' passing attack which had just three completions on the night made two of them count in the second half. The first was a 22-yard touchdown pass from Alex Garcia to Derek Zubledia that gave Pecos a 20-14 lead, while the second was thrown by Zubledia in the fourth quarter, after the Lobos rallied to tie the score at 20-all.

Zubeldia, who started the season as one of the Eagles' quarterbacks, took the ball off a double reverse and found Kevin Bates 36 yards downfield. Coming on a 3rd-and-12 play from the Eagles' 25 it turned the momentum of the game, and four plays later Winfrey scored his second touchdown of the night, a 30-yard run that put Pecos ahead to stay.

"We just decided that it was time to take a chance," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs. "Kevin ran a real good route and Derek made a good pass where only Kevin could get to it.

"We also had great protection from our offensive line on the play. He had a good pocket to throw, but what set it up for us, I think, was the play we ran earlier that we had the penalty on. That made them think it was a reverse."

Pecos attempted a reverse to Zubeldia earlier in the game that was stopped by an illegal procedure call, one of 15 penalties on the night for Pecos. But unlike last week's game in Fabens, the penalties Friday were easy to see, especially a series of offsides calls against the Eagles' defense in the first half.

"He (Mountain View quarterback Arturo Muniz) was changing up his cadance, and our kids said a lot of it was also where their linemen were clutching up their hands before the snap and we were jumping," Grubbs said.

Pecos went offsides four times on the Lobos' first scoring drive. Two came on back-to-back plays that offset a procedure call against Mountain View and helped set up the first of Muniz' three touchdown passes on the night, a 4-four yard toss to Ebert Munoz. Jaime Arellanes added the extra point to give the Lobos a 7-6 lead.

The Eagles had gotten on the board first, when Mason Abila returned his second punt of the season for a tochdown, this one a 63-yarder that was broken by a series of blocks on the right side of the field. However, extra points were a problem for Pecos all night, as Roy Marta missed the first of two attempts.

Pecos' next series started at the 38 and drowe inside the Lobos' 25, but ended when a sack of Garcia killed the drive, after a fumbled snap put the Eagles in a hole.

Mountain View then drove the ball into Eagle territory off a couple of Muniz passes to Albert Jaurietta and a first down run by Ricky Lopez, before they were hurt by a pair of motion calls and were forced to punt.

This time, it took only two plays for the Eagles to score, as Winfrey took a pitch to his left, dodged one tackler at the line and then raced 80 yards to the end zone.

"We figure he's good for about 10-15 carries a night. He's not a big, physical kid, but he does run hard," Grubbs said. "This is going to help us, because the other kids can't sit there and gang up on Jacob (Esparza)," who drew most of the Lobos' attention and needed 20 carries to gain 68 yards.

A two-point conversion pass to Zubledia failed, and just as they did after Pecos' first score, Mountain View answered with a touchdown of their own.

This one was a 75-yard drive the Eagles kept alive with a roughing the passer call on a 3rd-and-18 play. The Lobos then escaped a 1st-and-15 hole when Muniz found Isaac Andazola across the middle for 35 yards, and went back over the middle a few plays later for a four-yard touchdown pass to Jaurrieta.

Pecos' final two drives of the half ended in failure, as Garcia threw low to an open Esparza on a 4th-and-6 play at the Lobos' 15, then was picked off by Rafael Carrasco at the Mountain View 22. They also failed to move on their first series of the second half, and penalized themselves out of a scoring chance a short time later after Jayson Payne intercepted Muniz at the Lobos' 45-yard line.

The next series again looked as if it would end in failure, as the Eagles drove inside the Lobos' 20 but then were thrown back, and faced a 4th-and-11 at the 22. But this time, Garcia was able to roll left and find Zubeldia in the back of the end zone for his second touchdown catch of the year, putting Pecos back ahead. Winfrey added a two-point conversion run for a 20-14 lead.

Special teams and peanlties were a big factor in the final period. Mountain View again launched a scoring drive right after an Eagle TD, going 81 yards in seven plays to score on a 10-yard fade pass into the corner by Muniz to Lopez. A 42-yard toss to Munoz was the big play in the drive, and the Eagles also contributed with three more minor penalties. But Arellanes missed the extra point, keeping the game tied.

Arellanes would have more problems later on in the period. Marta missed the extra point after Winfrey's go ahead touchdown, keeping the score at 26-20, but this time the Lobos couldn't answer with a score of their own.

Two penalties wiped out Muniz completions, and after he was sacked by Sebero Jaquez on a 3rd-and-20 play, the ensuing punt snap went over Arellanes' head and out the back of the end zone, giving Pecos an eight-point lead with 4:11 to play.

The Eagles were then able to kill off the clock, thanks to one last key penalty, a rare defensive illegal procedure call on Mountain View on a 4th-and-2 play at the Lobos' 42.

"They got the penalty and we kept the ball because they barked out "Go" on the line," said Grubbs, who opted to punt one more time with 4.3 seconds to play.

Mountain View sent 10 in a block attempt, but Daniel Terrazas was able to get a punt off that was too short for Jaurrieta to field in fact, Terrazas ended up downing his own kick at the 28-yard-line, ending the game.

"I thought about it (not punting), but I didn't know if Daniel could run around for 4.3 seconds," Grubbs said. "All he had to do is put the ball in the air and it would run four seconds off the clock, and we have a real good deep snapper."

The win puts Pecos over the .500 mark for the first time this season at 4-3, and the Eagles improved to 2-0 in District 2-4A play. Mountain View fell to 3-3 and 0-2 in district, with a game against Canutillo next.

"I still think they can win all three of their games. They've got a real explosive offense," said Grubbs, whose team faces another explosive offense in Clint next.

Like the Eagles, the Lions scored a six-point win in Fabens. Unlike Pecos, which won in overtime, 6-0, the Lions put up a few more points, beating Fabens, 48-42 on a touchdown pass from D.J. Check to Patrick Tullius with 1:15 to play. In Friday's other district game, San Elizario improved to 2-0 with a 21-0 shutout at Canutillo.

at Pecos

EP Mountain View     7     7     0     6     -20
Pecos                         12     0     8     8    -28

First Quarter
Pec. - Abila 63 punt return (kick failed), 1:42.
Mt.V - Jaurrieta 11 pass from Muniz (Arellanes kick), 4:20.
Pec. - Winfrey 80 run (pass failed), 11:36.

Second Quarter
Mt.V - Jaurrieta 11 pass from Muniz (Arellanes kick), 2:19.

Third Quarter
Pec. - Zubledia 22 pass from Garcia (Winfrey run), 11:37.

Fourth Quarter
Mt.V - Lopez 10 pass from Muniz (kick failed), 2:53.
Pec. - Winfrey 30 run (kick failed), 6:03.
Pec. - Safety, punt snap out of end zone, 7:49.

                                      MtV                     Pec
First Downs                       16                        11
Rushes-Yds                  25-81                40-262
Passing Yds                     188                        86
Passes                      13-26-1                 3-10-1
Punts-Yds                   4-23.8                    3-28
Fumbles-lost                     1-0                     2-0
Penalties-Yds                13-85                 15-95

Rushing - Mountain View, Lopez 19-84, J. Garcia 1-10, Munoz 1-5, Muniz 3-(-3), Arellanes 1-(-15). Pecos, Winfrey 12-189, Esparza 20-68, Carson 4-13, A. Garcia 3-(-3), Abila 1-(-5).
Passing - Mountain View, Muniz 13-26-1-188. Pecos, Garcia 2-9-1-50, Zubledia 1-1-0-36.
Receiving - Mountain View, Jaurrieta 6-84, Muniz 4-51, Andazola 2-46, Lopez 2-7. Pecos, Bates 1-36, Payne 1-28, Zubledia 1-22.
Missed Field Goals - None.

Clint ends Pecos' 2-4A road streak, title hopes

PECOS, Oct. 18, 1999 -- The Pecos Eagles' winning streak in District 2-4A road games and their hopes for a district title bit the dust on Saturday in Clint, as the Lions wrapped up the 2-4A crown with a 15-13, 15-5 victory.

Pecos trailed most of the way in Game 1, but battled back at the end from a 9-5 deficit to grab 12-10 and 13-11 leads. But the Eagles then lost the serve and saw the Lions score four straight points to pull out the victory.

"I changed my lineup. I had D'Andra (Ortega) and Philly (Fobbs) on the front line to take care of their two big hitters (Collanne Bramblett and Michelle Tullius), but when Philly went to the back we just couldn't hit," said Eagles' coach Becky Granado. "I think we had three b alls we hit out where there was no one blocking up there.

"Philly and Ashley (Salcido) had five kills between them, and it's tough to win a match with that few kills," she said. "Philly had some beautiful blocks, but not even that got us going."

Pecos led early in the second game a couple of times, but after taking a 4-2 lead were outscored by the Lions the rest of the way, 13-1.

"We just got outplayed," said Granado. "They wanted it more, and their kids made less mistakes."

Clint is now 8-0 in district and 17-3 on the season, and holds the tiebreaker over Pecos, which is 16-10 and 5-2 with three games left in regular season play.

While the loss assures Pecos of playing a bi-district match the weekend of Oct. 28, they can assure themselves of playing the third place team in District 1-4A with a win at home on Tuesday against Canutillo. The Eagles then may face a string of three trips to El Paso in eight days, depending on the playoff situation for both them and the El Paso Mountain View Loboes.

Mountain View is battling San Elizario and Fabens for third place, and would have to make up their canceled Sept. 25 match with Pecos in El Paso due to a lack of referees. The Eagles _ who already are going to San Elizario this Saturday _ may have to go to Mountain View a week from tonight, though Granado said the game could be played in Van Horn.

"We'll see. I know we're going to have to go to El Paso for our bi-district game," Granado said. It would be part of a doubleheader on Oct. 30, with El Paso Burges or El Paso High the Eagles' likely opponent.

Loss threatens Bears' playoff chances

PECOS, Oct. 18, 1999 -- Another slow start turned into another loss for the Balmorhea Bears Friday night in Dell City, and the Bears now can't afford any more if they're to make a run at the playoffs.

The Bears fell to 0-2 in District 7-A six-man football play and the Cougars improved to 2-0 with a 42-18 home victory over Balmorhea.

Jonathan Barker ran for five touchdowns, three in the first half, as the Cougars went out to a 22-0 lead in the second period and ended up with nearly 300 yards rushing on the night.

"We just made a lot of mistakes," said Bears' coach Ennis Erickson. "We just missed some tackles. He (Barker) does have a lot of speed, so it was a combination of the two."

The Bears finally got on the scoreboard off a 13-yard pass by Billy Lozano to Ryan Clark and trailed by just 16 at the half. But Barker would break a 50-yard TD run and then add a shorter 15-yarder in a four minute stretch of the third quarter to break the game open.

The Bears wouldn't get on the scoreboard again until 3:30 was left in the game, as Josue Mendoza scored from 19 yards out, but the Bears couldn't get the ball back and the Cougars added their final score, off a Barker pass to Jaime Garcia.

Balmorhea's final points came off a 46-yard pass by Manny Mendoza to Adriel Ramon. But overall, the Bears were just 10-for-29 in passing on Friday.

"Our passes were either high and away instead of on target or they were a little low," Erickson said.

With four games left in district play, the Bears will have to run the table if they're to earn their fifth trip to the playoffs in six years. The Bears host Buena Vista on Friday and Erickson said they'd also need help from other teams over the final four weeks of the season.

"Out of Dell City, Grandfalls (3-0 in district) and Sanderson (2-0) two of those teams have to lose twice, and we have to win the remainder of our games," Erickson said. Balmorhea already has lost to Grandfalls, but has yet to play Sanderson, so the Bears will be rooting for a win by the Cowboys at home over the Eagles this Friday.

Score unsettled, but Mets stun Braves in 15

AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 1999 After 5 hours, 46 minutes of incredible twists and overwhelming drama, no one could figure out the score.

Was it 4-3? 5-3? 7-3?

It didn't matter. The New York Mets, once again salvaging their season with an improbable comeback, lived to play another day in the NL championship series.

Robin Ventura's grand slam-single huh? drove home the winning run in the 15th inning Sunday, giving the Mets a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of a series that is rapidly becoming one for the ages.

Certainly, the game that cut Atlanta's lead in the best-of-7 series to 3-2 will be remembered as one of the greatest in postseason history, "one of the ones they show on the sports classic channel," in the words of Orel Hershiser.

The 482-pitch epic ended in confusion, with two runners crossing the plate while Ventura was mobbed by his teammates before he could get to second base after hitting an apparent grand slam. Workers pulled up the bases, the umpires left the field and everyone in the press box desperately sought out the actual score.

"As long as I touched first, we won," Ventura said. "That's fine with me."

About 10 minutes after the game ended, official scorer Red Foley said Ventura was credited not with a grand slam but with a run-scoring single, and the final was 4-3. The umpires insisted the score was 5-3, counting both runners who came home before the celebration. The NL eventually ruled it 4-3, saying Foley and the Elias Sports Bureau were responsible for the final decision.

In Boston, where the New York Yankees were playing the Red Sox in Game 4 of the ALCS, they put up the 4-3 score on the manual scoreboard, drawing cheers. Then it changed to 7-3, and the reaction turned to confusion. Finally, the electronic scoreboard reported the Mets won 4-3 on Ventura's grand slam.

Officially, it was a single that went over the right-field fence. The result: Game 6 will be played Tuesday night at Turner Field.

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