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Thursday, September 26, 1996

Inexperienced Wildcats hoping

to spoil homecoming for Eagles

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Sept. 26 -- Talk to Fabens coach Ronnie Hernandez about the
problems his new team has gone through during their 1-2 start to the
1996 season, and you'll hear a lot of the same problems Pecos Eagles'
coach Mike Belew says have held back his team in their first three
outings of the year.

"We've got five returning players and a lot of inexperienced kids" the
former El Paso Montwood assistant said Tuesday about his team, which
will take on Pecos at 8 p.m. Friday in the Eagles' 1996 homecoming game.

Fabens opened the season with a 42-0 loss to Deming, N.M., bounced back
with a 28-14 victory over El Paso Cathedral, then were beaten a week ago
by Canutillo, 24-14. On Friday, they'll try to repeat last year's
results, when they rallied from a 14-2 deficit in the second half to
defeat Pecos, 22-14.

The Eagles, meanwhile, will be looking to rebound from last week's 28-8
loss to the Wildcats' new District 3-3A rivals, Monahans. The previous
week, the Eagles beat the Alpine Bucks, who figure to be Fabens' main
rival for the second bi-district playoff berth behind the Loboes this

The Eagles never really recovered from the broken leg suffered by senior
Ray Parada seven plays into last week's game. Pecos' opening drive was
stopped after that, and the Loboes used a strong running game and a
couple of long pass plays to jump out to a 14-0 halftime lead.

"We've got to stop stopping ourselves with penalties and key mistakes,"
Belew said, "And our pass defense has got to be better. We've got to
rush the quarterback better and do a better job of containment."

This week, Pecos' defense will try to contain senior quarterback Richard
Jimenez, who threw for 160 yards in a losing effort last week.
"He can make things happen. He can go back, scramble and throw the
ball," Belew said. "He's a big play type of guy, and if we don't do a
good job containing him, he can hurt us."

Jimenez was a wide receiver last year, and had a key catch in the second
half from quarterback Kerry Graham, who was able to scramble away from
Pecos' defense that night. But Jimenez is the only returning player who
touched the ball for Fabens a year ago, and Hernandez said the team is
also working with a completely new system this season.

"They ran the run-and-shoot last year, and now we're running basically a
wing-T," said Hernandez. He said his new quarterback, "is doing a good
job for us. He's a good athlete, that's why we put him back there.
"He hadn't played much last year, so he's excited and easy to coach.
He's real receptive to what you tell him to do," the Wildcats' coach
Jimenez still played more last year than another senior, Michael Jones.
"He'd never played before, and he's our starting tailback," Hernandez
said. "He's just a walk-on, but he's rushed for 140 yards in each of our
last two games. That's why even though we're 1-2, I'm pleased, because
we're getting a lot out of our kids considering their lack of

Belew said after a slow start against Deming, Jones has rushed for just
under 300 yards this season. "He's definitely the guy they want to get
the ball to," the Eagles' coach said.

Belew added that Fabens has been running on about two out of every three
plays this season. That's far more than with the run-and-shoot Fabens
used the past two years, though the no-huddle offense Hernandez is
running will try to keep the Eagles off-balance.

Fabens lost last week despite gaining over 300 yards, and Hernandez said
that was due to the same problems that have hampered Pecos in their two
losses. "What's hurt us is mental errors. We get a sustained drive
going, and we'll have a penalty, or we'll drop a pass, and that will
just stop us dead. We have to eliminate those mistakes, because when we
get down to the goal line, we have to score. We can't let those chances
get away."

Offensively, the Eagles will have to adjust to the loss of Parada, who
had gained 125 yards on just 10 carries this season when he fractured
his leg a week ago. Belew said Jason Aguilar and Mark Abila would see
more action in the backfield on offense, while Chris Matta would do the
same at tight end. That will give more rest to Richard Gutierrez and
Jose Contreras, who were sharing time on defense at linebacker with

"We went from having real good depth with Ray as a starter to having not
much depth," said Belew, who added that on defense, "We'll rest Richard
some with Rocky Urias. He did a good job when Richard got his shoulder
hurt (in the second half of last week's game), and he's looked good in
practice this week."

Hernandez said Fabens' defense has few players back from a year ago,
when the Wildcats advanced to the bi-district round of the playoffs with
a 7-4 mark. "David Gonzales, is one of our linebackers, and he's really
the heart of our defense. He's a real tough kid, and he's a starting
guard also," the Wildcats' coach said.

The Eagles took care of the Wildcats by a 38-7 score in their last visit
to Pecos two years ago, and another win Friday will be critical for the
Eagles, who play four of their next five games on the road, beginning
with their final non-district contest at Kermit on Oct. 4.

Bears seek second win over Mustangs

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PECOS, Sept. 26 -- It's not quite as quick a turnaround as Sanderson
and Dell City, who are completing a rare `home-and-home' football series
on consecutive weeks this Friday, but the Balmorhea Bears and Marathon
Mustangs will be getting together for the second time in four weeks,
when the Mustangs travel to Balmorhea for the Bears' 1996 homecoming

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and the Mustangs will be hoping to
at least take the Bears a little longer into the second half than they
did on Sept. 6, when Balmorhea ended Marathon's home opener 51 seconds
into the third period under the 45-point rule.

The Bears won that game, 52-7, and followed that up with easy wins the
past two weeks over Carlsbad Victory Christian and El Paso Faith
Christian. Big first quarters each time out have allowed Bears' coach
Michael Barrandey to get all his reserves ample playing time, though
that might have cost the Bears in the six-man state rankings.

Balmorhea has broken into the Top 10 in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's
six- man grid poll, but remain stuck at No. 13 in the Huntress Report,
despite their three wins. "We're playing all our kids throughout the
game, so we may not be running up the score like some of those other
teams are," Barrandey said. "I know there are some teams ahead of us I
think we're better than, but we're just going to work as hard as we can
and not pay attention to the ratings."

Marathon ran up an 83-point score on Midland Trinity last Saturday, but
that total is understandable, since their hosts put 66 on the board and
the win was the first in 11 games for the Mustangs, who have struggled
due to a shortage of players in recent seasons.

Anthony McGuire had seven of the Mustangs' 12 touchdowns against
Midland Trinity, and Marathon was able to end their losing streak with a
strong fourth quarter. "We played a little defense in the third quarter
and held them a few times, then in the fourth quarter was when we were
able to take over," coach Chad Smith said. "Until then it looked like
the team that had the ball last would win the game."

In last month's victory over the Mustangs, Balmorhea got first quarter
touchdowns from Scott Clark and Debe Mendoza in building a 43-0 lead,
before Barrandey let his freshmen see most of the action in the second

Friday's game is one of three District 8-A six man openers this
weekend. Along with Sanderson's rematch with Dell City, which the
Cougars won last week at home, 24-20, defending district champ Buena
Vista hosts Sierra Blanca on Saturday. Grandfalls will begin 8-A six man
play next week, but hosts Midland Trinity this Friday in their final
pre-district contest.

Pecos teams face Wolves, Bucks tonight

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PECOS, Sept. 26 -- Fabens to Pecos is a long trip on any night,
especially during the middle of the week. So is a trip between Colorado
City and Pecos.

But a Thursday trip to Odessa is within range of the Pecos Eagles'
junior varsity football team. So with no 170-mile trip west to Fabens on
tonight's JV schedule, and to avoid a 170 mile trip east to Colorado
City, the Eagles and Wolves will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight on the Odessa
High practice field, in a game added last week to the JV's schedule.

The JV is one of only two sub-varsity grid teams in action tonight.
Pecos' eighth graders, who opened their season with a loss last week at
Monahans, will host the Alpine Bucks in a 6:30 p.m. start tonight at
Eagle Stadium.

After a winless 1995, Pecos' JV is 3-0 after wins over Lamesa, Alpine
and Monahans at Eagle Stadium. Pecos handed the Loboes their first loss
last week, by a 14-6 final score, after Monahans opened with wins over
Big Spring and Midland High. This is the first road game of the season
for the JV, who'll be back at home the next two weeks to host Kermit and

The eighth graders opened with an 18-0 loss at week ago at Monahans,
while the Eagles' `B' team fell to the Loboes by a 6-0 score. Pecos will
have only single games tonight and next week at Kermit, before playing
`A' and `B' games on Oct. 10 against Fort Stockton.

Pecos' freshman and seventh grade teams are idle this week, and will
resume play against Kermit next Thursday.
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times

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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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