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Thursday, October 3, 1996

Redesigned Jackets look to halt

turnover troubles against Eagles

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Oct. 3 -- A lot has happened for both the Pecos Eagles and Kermit
Yellowjackets in the three years since the teams last met.

For one thing, the Eagles have changed coaches. And the Yellowjackets
have changed coaches.

And changed coaches.

And changed coaches.

Todd Pearson is the team's fourth head coach in as many seasons, and
he'll be seeking to get his first home victory Friday night, when the
Jackets host the Eagles in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Pecos had won six straight games from Kermit when the series was halted
the past two seasons. In their last meeting, in 1993, the Eagles posted
a 21-6 win over a playoff-bound Kermit squad.

But all these changes have spoiled the continuity in Kermit, and the
team slumped to a 1-9 mark last season and come into Friday's game with
a 1-3 record.

"It's a very, very difficult situation to try and get the kids to
compete and get some stability, said Pearson, whose team comes off a
26-8 loss at McCamey. "We've made some slight adjustments and have gone
to a more conventional West Texas style of offense and defense."

"We were about 65-70 percent pass last year, and its hard to adjust your
blocking right away to a different style. We're about 65-70 percent
running this year, so our linemen need to learn to fire off the ball,"
Pearson said.

The Jackets racked up 312 yards on the ground two weeks ago, in blowing
out Presidio 56-0 on the artificial turf at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa,
and still rain for 187 yards and threw for 108 more last week despite
scoring just eight points.

"They're a much better ballclub than their record indicates. We're going
to have a play a real good football game to win," said Eagles' coach
Mike Belew, who'll be seeking his first road win as a head coach. Pecos
dropped it's season opener at Lamesa, then went 2-1 in their three week
homestand, with a win over Alpine, a loss to Monahans and last Friday's
28-7 victory over Fabens.

The Wildcats' early turnover problems helped stake the Eagles to a 21-0
lead after one period, while Kermit ran into turnover troubles after the
half of their game a week ago. "We caught the turnover bug at the end of
the third quarter and set them up for two easy touchdowns," Pearson
said. Overall, Kermit lost three fumbles and threw three interceptions
against the Badgers.

Quarterback Todd Allen did have a touchdown pass to Jarred Mills, while
fullback Jason Harris has run for about 75 yards in each of the last two
games, and Arnold Navarro picked up 145 in the win over Presidio.

"I thought from what I saw on the film they're both hard-running kids,"
Belew said. "I feel like they're on the verge of being a very good
football team. I just hope they don't explode on us."

"We're a very young club with only a few seniors, and right now we're
looking for a little bit more success that will get us to the next
level," said Pearson.

Defensively, McCamey gained 191 yards both on the ground and through the
air last week, while Presidio managed just 39 yards the previous week.

"Offensively, if we don't do a good job with our execution and with our
audibles I would expect we'll be in trouble," Belew said. "They try to
stunt and put a lot of pressure on you with an eight man front, so our
guys are going to have to play a lot of heads-up football to counter

The Eagles burned Fabens' eight-man front for three touchdowns from
quarterback Jason Abila to wide receiver Moses Martinez. Pecos had 145
yards through the air last week, despite a number of dropped passes.

"I feel like it's just a matter of concentration. Some of those balls
were tough ones to catch, but I feel like we will be able to improve on
that and do a better job catching the football," said Belew, whose team
will open District 4-4A play next week in Big Spring.

Pearson said his defense has been hurt in their three losses in part due
to problems on offense. "Seminole put us in pad field position all
night, and we were backed up in our own end of the field, while the
Seagraves game was the same as McCamey. It was 7-0 at the half, and then
they scored three times in the first five minutes of the second half due
to our mistakes.

"We've got to try and hold onto the ball better in the second half," he

While the Eagles came out of last week's game fairly healthy, Belew said
grades will cost Pecos eight players for at least the next three weeks.

Belew said all his starters remain eligible, while the biggest loss was
the team's only backup quarterback, Eric Aguilar, who also served as
extra point holder. "It's going to be a big blow for us, because we just
have one experienced quarterback on the varsity," Belew said, adding
that sophomore Oscar Luna was brought up from the junior varsity to take
Aguilar's place.

"I hated to do that, because I wanted Oscar to get a chance to take
every snap on the JV, but I had to pull him up," the Eagles' coach said.

Cowboys to give Bears first tough test

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PECOS, Oct. 3 -- The Balmorhea Bears will finally get the test they've
been waiting for Friday night, when they travel to Grandfalls to face
the Cowboys, in a 7:30 p.m. game.

Both teams come into the game with perfect 4-0 marks. Balmorhea opened
District 8-A six-man play a week ago with their second 52-7 win of the
season over Marathon, while the Cowboys were finishing up their
pre-district schedule by thumping Midland Trinity, 68-6.

"They look pretty good. They're undefeated, and offensively, they're
running the same stuff we're running with our tight offense and our
split offense," said Bears' coach Michael Barrandey, whose team remained
eighth in the latest Lubbock Avalanche-Journal six man football poll for
the third straight week.

He said the Cowboys also run a similar defense as the Bears. "All that's
different from last year. They've changed up entirely on defense."

"I expect to go the full game. We're just going to go down there and
play our ball and hope we can come away with a victory," Barrandey added.

The Cowboys, tied for 14th in the poll this week, also own wins over El
Paso Faith Christian, Grady and Lake Arthur, N.M. so far this season,
though they did have a little more problems with Faith Christian than
the Bears did. Grandfalls went the distances in a 50-18 victory, while
Balmorhea needed just 61 seconds of the third period to end their game
with the Lions under the 45-point rule.

Last season in Balmorhea, the Cowboys controlled play in the first half
of their game against the Bears, which ended up deciding the second
district playoff berth. However, some key fourth down plays by Balmorhea
allowed them to turn a 27-16 second quarter deficit around, as they
scored 34 straight points on the way to a 50-33 win.

The two teams also played a non-district contest in Grandfalls last
season, and Balmorhea had to come from 22 points down in that one to
earn a 60-60 tie.

Arturo Miranda had a pair of touchdown runs in last season's victory,
while Debe Mendoza ran for two scores and threw for two more in the game
that clinched Balmorhea's second straight post-season trip. However,
Barrandey said Mendoza is one of a couple of players hampered by
injuries suffered in practice.

"He got leg whipped by accident and got hit on the knee. The doctor said
its strained, and he's working on it, but it still hurts him," the
Bears' coach said.

Grandfalls' Alfonso Marquez threw touchdown passes to Jon Richardson in
both of the Cowboys' games with the Bears last season. In last Friday's
win, Marquez ran for two touchdowns, caught another from Corey Moore and
ran an interception back for a score, while Richardson had a TD catch on
a Roy Vasquez pass in the win over Midland Trinity.

"They probably have a little more speed than they did last year,"
Barrandey said of Grandfalls, which is seeking its first six-man playoff
berth after dropping down from 11-man four years ago.

Sub-varsities tackle Kermit today

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PECOS, Oct. 3 -- After adding a couple of games, and a couple of wins,
to their schedule last week, Pecos' junior varsity and freshman teams
will be at home today, for games against the Kermit Yellowjackets.

While the high school sub-varsity teams play here, Pecos' junior high
teams will be in Kermit, for seventh and eighth grade `A' games. The
freshman and seventh graders are scheduled for 5 p.m. starts, while the
eighth grade will begin about 6:30 p.m. and the JV at about 7 p.m.

The JV improved their season mark to 4-0 last Thursday with a 36-8
victory over Coloroado City in a last-minute addition to the schedule.
However, they will be working without their regular quarterback in
sophomore Oscar Luna, who was moved up to the varsity this week.

The freshmen went to 3-1 with a 16-0 victory over Van Horn's junior
varsity at home a week ago, scoring both touchdowns in the second period.

Pecos' eighth graders evened their record at 1-1, winning a 32-0
decision over Alpine at home last week, while the Eagles' seventh
graders were idle a week ago, following their season-opening 30-14
victory at home against Monahans.
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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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