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Thursday, October 28, 1999

Eagles face struggling Canutillo

Staff Writer
PECOS, Oct. 28, 1999 -- Last year, when the Pecos Eagles lost a wild 26-23 decision to the Canutillo Golden Eagles, the game ended up giving both teams a share of the District 2-4A title.

This time, when the teams meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Stadium, Pecos will be trying to maintain control of their own playoff destiny while Canutillo looks for a win _ and some help _ to keep their post-season hopes alive.

The Eagles come in off a 41-18 loss last week at Clint, which left them with a 2-1 record in district, and a 4-4 mark on the season. Pecos can clinch its second straight playoff berth with a victory combined with either a win by San Elizario over Clint or a victory by Fabens over El Paso Mountain View.

Canutillo needs a lot more help, after their 20-6 loss last week at Mountain View dropped them to 1-2 in district and 1-7 on the season.

"We have an outside chance, but I don't know. I kind of felt last week was the key game," said Golden Eagles coach Scott Brooks.

While Canutillo has posted just one win, that came two weeks ago at Clint, and in all but one of the Golden Eagles' losses, they've been in the game at least through the third period.

"We play good about two or three quarters and then get tired," Brooks said. "Part of that is our off-season program needs to get stronger next year, and we're also pretty young. I think we've got eight underclassmen starting on defense this week."

One of those, sophomore strong safety Mark Dominguez, will probably be handling the quarterbacking duties as well, after starter Jesus Navarette injured his back early in last week's game.

"He played both ways almost all night," Brooks said of Dominguez, who had one touchdown pass a week ago. However, he added, "He's not the thrower the other one is, and he's not going to be a big threat to run."

"They don't have that (Ignacio) Jurado kid, but when they do throw it, they're not bad," said Eagles' coach Gary Grubbs. Eloy Gonzales, with 11 catches for 340 yards, has been Canutillo's main receiving threat this season.

Navarette ran around the Eagles' defense in the closing seconds last year to hit Israel DelaRosa with the winning touchdown pass as time expired after Pecos had taken a 23-20 the lead with under a minute to play. While DelaRosa has graduated and Navarette is injured, Canutillo still has running back Gilbert Gonzales, who has teamed with fullback Pete Terrazas this season.

Gonzales gained 58 yards in last year's win over Pecos and has run for 662 yards this season, while Terrazas has gained 367 yards. "He ran for about 1,000 yards as a sophomore, but broke his leg and couldn't play all of last year," Brooks said.

"They've got two that just run right at you," Grubbs said. "They run some veer (offense) stuff and down block with some dives. That's their bread and butter."

"We're just kind of excited not to be playing a team that spreads us out so much on defense," he added.

Gilbert Gonzales also has filled the kick return role Jurado and David Rodriguez handled last year, when each scored a touchdown against the Eagles. He leads the district with a nearly 40-yard average on kickoff returns and two touchdowns, including the game-winner two weeks ago at Clint.

"We'd like to get somebody to kick it to him. Clint did, but mostly we've bee trying for three weeks to get the ball to him, because he has a knack for returning it when he does get it," Brooks said.

Defensively, Canutillo's big problem has been against the pass _ they've allowed nearly 1,100 yards through the air this season, and last week gave up 251 to Mountain View, while surrendering just 74 yards on the ground.

"They looked pretty aggressive against Mountain View. They run a defense a lot like them with the split, and it was pretty even for most of the game. It was only 7-6 at the half," Grubbs said.

"We did all right against the pass. They just dinked us to death with little 5-6 yard passes, and at the end we got tired and broke down," Brooks said. "That's been the thing all year."

The Eagles did all right against the pass last week as well, but Jeremy Arnold ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns, while Check scored twice rushing.

Grubbs said Ian Dominguez would start on the offensive line in place of Micah Huffman, who was lost for the season with a knee injury, while Matthew Levario may start at safety in place of Mason Abila, who sprained his ankle in last week's game.

Rocket lands first Series title, Yanks 25th, 4-1

AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 1999 What a way to say goodbye to a century of baseball: one of the game's greatest pitchers wearing the pinstripes of its greatest team in the most storied ballpark of them all.

Roger Clemens validated his greatness. And so did the New York Yankees.

With Clemens pitching shutout ball into the eighth inning, the Yankees became the first team in 60 years to sweep consecutive World Series with a 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 Wednesday night.

"This must be what it's like to be a Yankee," said Clemens, who before the game gave a little pat to the monument honoring the most famous Yankee of them all, Babe Ruth. "This is what everybody said it was all about."

Clemens captured the only prize that had eluded him in his 16-year career as the Yankees won their record 25th championship and third in four seasons. They also won their 12th straight Series game, matching the mark set by their Murderers' Row teams.

"To do this on top of what we did last year, this is even better, I think," manager Joe Torre said. "We don't rest on our laurels. We went out and proved we belong here."

As did Clemens.

A five-time Cy Young winner with 247 lifetime victories, the Rocket had never won in the World Series. But that all changed once he arrived in the Bronx this spring in a trade for David Wells, a deal that Yankees fans disliked.

Booed at Yankee Stadium this year, Clemens went 14-10 with a 4.60 ERA and rarely showed the form that put him on the all-century team. But on a cool October night, he was in total command and, at 37 the same age John Elway was when he won his first Super Bowl earned his first ring.

Clemens walked off in the eighth to a huge ovation, tipping his hat and holding both arms high to acknowledge the cheers.

"It seemed like a perfect setup," Torre said. "I couldn't see it not happening tonight, not with the way his career had gone."

With the final out, Clemens bolted for the mound and, flanked by two of his sons, grabbed Torre in a bear hug that lasted a full minute.

Then, while his teammates were still dousing each other with champagne, Clemens sprinted back out to the field, climbed on the dugout roof and ran up and down, slapping every outstretched hand in the front row.

Clemens recalled seeing his teammates get their 1998 World Series rings in April, and being a bit envious.

"I was sitting there watching them receive them. They said, `We're going to get you one,"' he said.

With raucous fans waving yellow, plastic brooms all over the ballpark, Clemens outdueled John Smoltz.

Mariano Rivera, who had two saves and a win in the four games sweep, was named Most Valuable Player for the Series, the third time the award has gone to a reliever.

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