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Monday, November 11, 1996

Eagles end grid year by downing Panthers, 17-7

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Staff Writer

PECOS, Nov. 11 -- Nineteen Fifty-Seven lives on, and the Pecos Eagles
are happy about that.

Facing the possibility of going winless in district play for the first
time since 1957, the Eagles came out Friday night and scored early
against the Fort Stockton Panthers. Then, after the Panthers tied the
score a short time later, the Eagles held their high-powered offense in
check the rest of the way, until a 60-yard run by Mark Abila set up the
go-ahead midway through the final period, and a 27-yard field goal by
Richard Gutierrez a with three minutes left clinched a 17-7 victory.

"We finally got some offense going," Eagles' coach Mike Belew said of
his team, which out-gained the Panthers on the night, 329 yards to 200.
"Mark Abila had a good night running the ball, even though we still had
some costly turnovers and penalties."

The Eagles' offense was far from perfect, as the penalties and turnovers
that doomed them in their first four district game were still around on
Friday. But this time, they were able to produce enough offense to
overcome those errors, while getting a strong performance out of the
defense, which held the Panthers to their second-lowest offensive total
this year.

"I thought our defense did an outstanding job in limiting them to 200
yards, because they've moved the ball consistently on a lot of teams in
the district," Belew said.

Abila didn't have a 448-yard night like Andrews' Shaud Williams had the
previous week, in a 43-27 win over the Panthers, but his 181-yard effort
was the first 100-yard game by a Pecos back since the fourth week of the

He got nearly a third of the way there on the Eagles' first offensive
play, taking a pitch around the right side, then cutting back left for a
32 yard gain to the Panthers' 26. On the next play Gutierrez broke over
right tackle and took it into the end zone, giving Pecos their first
lead in district play this season.

The Eagles had stopped Fort Stockton on their first series, and on the
next series almost had a score on defense when Jason Aguilar picked up a
fumble by Danny Diaz and raced towards the end zone. But Diaz was ruled
down before the fumble by the officials, and the Panthers kept the ball.

It was the second straight play to go the Panthers' way, after Mark
Abila was whistled for pass interference on a 3rd-and-2 call at the
Eagles' 41, and Fort Stockton took it from there, driving the final 38
yards to the end zone on six plays. Five of those were carries Eric
Dominguez, who had his second straight 100-yard night replacing Jacob
Vasquez at tailback.

Dominguez, who finished with 118 yards, scored from 5 yards out with
just under three minutes left in the opening period. Bryan Parker's kick
tied the game, but by the end of the quarter, the Eagles had driven down
to a 3rd-and-2 on Fort Stockton's 5-yard-line, with Mark Abila picking
up another 43 yards on the drive.

However, on the first play of the second period quarterback Jason
Abila's pitch to Aguilar was high, bouncing off his facemask and into
the arms of Panthers Steven Cordero.

That took some of the momentum out of the Eagles' attack, and they spent
the rest of the half struggling with their familiar penalty problems.
They got out of one 2nd-and-19 hole when Jason Abila hooked up with
Moses Martinez on a 34-yard completion, but after driving to a 2nd-and-1
at the Panthers' 22 the Eagles were flagged for holding, then illegal
motion, and then a personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct, and wound
up turning the ball over on downs at their own 39.

Pecos squandered another scoring chance early in the third period, going
13 yards backwards after B.J. Brack recovered a Dominguez fumble at Fort
Stockton's 25. The Panthers would then blow two scoring opportunities of
their own before Pecos finally broke the deadlock.

Taking over at their own 38, runs by Diaz, Dominguez and Parker took the
ball all the way to the Pecos 12. A 10-yard gain by Dominguez appeared
to set Fort Stockton up with a 1st-and-goal at the 2, but it was
nullified by a holding call. Quarterback Ector Lopez then tried a short
pass to James Matchett which was tipped and intercepted by Mark Abila at
the 14, and returned to the 19.

The Eagles again failed to take advantage of the turnover, and hurt
themselves even more with another 15-yard unsportsmanlike call. That set
the Panthers up at the Eagles' 42, and they needed only three plays to
get to the 21.

But Diaz was then stopped by Eric Abila for a four-yard loss on first
down, and Brack sacked him on an option pass attempt for another 10-yard
loss to the 35, Lopez passed 11-yards to Parker on third down, but
Parker then came up way short on a 41-yard field goal try, turning the
ball back to Pecos.

This time, the Eagles took advantage. Abila repeated his opening run,
this time cutting back for 60 yards to the Fort Stockton 16, with
another eight yards tacked on for a late hit by the Panthers. Gutierrez
gained seven off a sweep on the next play, and a quarterback sneak by
Jason Abila got the ball into the end zone.

Gutierrez added the kick with 6:19 to go, and then booted his first
field goal of the season from 27 yards out with 3:54 to play, after Eric
Abila picked off Lopez' pass to Auden Velasquez at the Panthers' 47 and
returned it to the Panthers' 16. Fort Stockton would get two more
chances with the ball, but never got out of their own end.

While the win was the first in district for Pecos this year, it was
their eighth straight over Fort Stockton, which came into the game
averaging 352 yards and 24 points per outing.

"The mental aspect is a great, big part of it. If you believe you can
win, you will win, more times than not," Belew said. "There's a
tradition here of beating Fort Stockton, and now, we need to carry it
over to when we play, Andrews, Big Spring, Sweetwater and Lake View."

Along with giving the Eagles their first district win of the season, it
also allowed them to finish 1996 with a 4-6 mark, equal to their victory
total for the past 2½ seasons combined (minus the forfeit win over Big
Spring a year ago). They ended up tied for fourth with Big Spring at
Fort Stockton, each with 1-4 record. The Panthers also ended up 4-6 on
the season.

"It was a great way for the seniors to end their careers here in Pecos,
to go out on a winning note, and it also helps set the stage for next
year, if we can take the momentum and build on it," the Eagles' coach

at Pecos
Fort Stockton 7 0 0 0 - |7
Pecos 7 0 0 10 - 17

First Quarter
Pec. - Gutierrez 26 run (Gutierrez kick), 2:50.
Ft.S - Dominguez 5 run (Parker kick), 9:04.
Fourth Quarter
Pec. - J. Abila 1 run (Gutierrez kick), 5:41.
LV - FG Gutierrez 27, 8:06.

FtS Pec
First Downs 14 12
Rushes-Yds. 39-153 42-286
Passing Yds 47 43
Passes 4-18-3 2-7-0
Punts-Avg 3-41.3 3-33
Fumbles-lost 3-2 4-2
Penalties-Yds. 5-48 10-91

RUSHING - Fort Stockton, Dominguez 18-114, Diaz 17-37, Pakrer 2-11,
Lopez 2-(-9). Pecos, M. Abila 16-181, Gutierrez 10-54, J. Abila 9-30, J.
Aguilar 5-24, E. Aguilar 2-(-3).
PASSING - Fort Stockton, Lopez 4-17-2-47, Parker 0-1-1-0. Pecos, J.
Abila 2-7-0-43.
RECEIVING - Fort Stockton, Parker 2-34, Matchett 1-10, Diaz 1-3,
Carrasco 1-0. Pecos, M. Martinez 1-34, Flores 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS - Fort Stockton, Parker 41.

Bears down `Horns, face Grady in playoffs

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Enterprise Editor

PECOS, Nov. 11 -- Balmorhea's Bears shook off the rust from a week off,
as they worked on getting ready for the playoffs for the third straight
year by downing a scrappy Buena Vista-Imperial Longhorn squad at home
Friday, 65-36.

The Bears, who finished second in District 8-A, thanks to their only
loss at the hands of the Grandfalls Royalty Cowboys, will face
Lenorah-Grady in their playoff opener, at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at

The Bears seemed to have had a difficult time getting started Friday
night before a large hometown crowd, apparently due to having the
previous week off. Plus, the feisty Longhorns had been in the thick of
the district competition right up until the end.

Buena Vista couldn't move after getting the kick-off to start the
contest, but the Bears' first possession was stopped when Longhorn Jason
Williams intercepted a long pass at his own 15. Again the Longhorns
couldn't move and the Bears were in business at their own 27.

This time, Balmorhea moved in to score, although the Longhorn defense
didn't give way easily. The touchdown came on a three yard scamper by
Arturo Miranda with Zane Rhyne adding the PAT for an 8-0 lead with 4:17
to go in the first quarter.

The teams swapped possessions before the Longhorns stopped Balmorhea on
a fourth down play on the Bear 20. A few plays later, Dustin Sherwood
went the final two yards to put Buena Vista on the scoreboard, and
Curtis McKee evened the score at 8 with the PAT at the 8:55 mark in the
second quarter.

Then the Bear scoring machine began to churn, although one touchdown was
called back on a penalty. Balmorhea took over at the Longhorn 39, and
Roger Lopez went the last 20 yards to score. Rhyne adding the PAT,
making the score 16-8 with 3:39 left in the second stanza.

The Bears began their next possession at their own 35 and moved in to
score on a 20-yard pass from Miranda to Kriss Natividad. Rhyne added the
PAT, upping the Bear advantage to 24-8 with 43 seconds to go in the half.

As the first half wound down, Longhorns launched several long passes,
the last one going in and out of the hands of a Bear defender and into
the hands of Cody Cooper, who raced 55 yards to the end zone. The try
for two was no good with 15 seconds left in the first half, making the
score 24-14.

Balmorhea got the ball to start the second half and moved from their own
34 to score, with Debiasie Mendoza passing 36 yards to Lopez for the TD.
The snap for extra point was over the head of the holder but it was
picked up by Rhyne who passed to Melchor Avalos for one point, making it
31-14 with 8:33 to go in the third quarter.

Buena Vista got the ball on their own 20 and drove down to score, with
Mark Soto going the final four yards. McKee added the PAT, making the
score 31-20 with 7:03 left in the third.

Balmorhea came right back, taking over on the kick-off at the Longhorn
33. Buena Vista kicked short all during the game to keep the Bears from
launching one of their famous runbacks, and also in the apparent attempt
to recover an onside kick. This meant the Bears played on a short field
and the usually took advantage of it.

On this series, they quickly covered the 33 yards, with Mendoza going
the final two to score, Rhyne adding the PAT, making the score 37-20 at
the 6:11 mark in the third.

The teams exchanged turnovers, before the Longhorns launched a long pass
that was intercepted by Rhyne at the Balmorhea 1-foot line. However,
Bears couldn't get out of the hole and Vincent Calderon was tackled in
the end zone for a safety, adding two points to the Longhorn score,
making it 37-22 with 2:29 left in the third quarter.

Balmorhea then kicked off to Buena Vista, which took over at their own
38 and moved in to score on a 10-yard pass from Jason Williams to Zack
Braden. McKee added the PAT, cutting the Bears' lead to 37-30 with 8:52
left in the game.
It looked like another squeaker like their last home win, 75-70 over
Dell City, but the Bears unleashed a scoring barrage over the final
eight minutes of play to break things open.

Miranda scored from seven yards out and Rhyne added the PAT with 8:04
left in the game, making the score 45-30. He then ran eight yards to
score on the next possession. This time the PAT was no good, but the
Bears were up, 51-30, with 5:29 to go in the contest.

Mendoza added another Bear score on a 33-yard run and Rhyne added the
PAT, making it 59-30 with 2:51 left to play. The Longhorns tried to get
back in the contest with a long runback of the kick by Sherwood and then
a 30-yard pass from Williams to McKee. The PAT was no good, making the
score 59-36 with 1:47 left in the game.

But the Bears weren't through as their took their final possession and
moved in to score, off a 21-yard pass to Lopez from Mendoza. The try for
extra point was no good, leaving it at 65-36 with 21 seconds to go in
the game.

After the game, an obviously happy Bear Coach Mike Barrandey had praise
for his team, although he noted they were sluggish at first.

at Balmorhea
Buena Vista 0 14 8 14 - 36
Balmorhea 8 16 13 28 - 65

First Quarter
Bal. - Miranda 3 run (Rhyne kick), 5:43.
Second Quarter
BV - Sherwood 2 run (McKee kick), 1:04.
Bal. - Lopez 20 run (Rhyne kick), 6:21.
Bal. - Natividad 2 pass from Miranda (Rhyne kick), 9:17.
BV - Cooper 55 pass from Williams (kick failed), 9:45.
Third Quarter
Bal. - Lopez 39 pass from D. Mendoza (Avalos pass from Rhyne), 1:24.
BV - Soto 5 run (kick failed), 2:57.
Bal. - D. Mendoza 3 run (kick failed), 3:49.
BV - Safety, Calderon tackled in end zone, 7:31.
Fourth Quarter
BV - Braden 10 pass from Williams (McKee kick), 1:08.
Bal. - Miranda 7 run (Rhyne kick), 1:56.
Bal. - Miranda 8 run (kick failed), 4:31.
Bal. - D. Mendoza 33 run (Rhyne kick), 7:09.
BV - McKee 30 pass from Williams (kick failed), 8:13.
Bal. - Lopez 21 pass from Mendoza (kick failed), 9:39.

BV Bal
First Downs 12 15
Rushes-Yds. 30-160 32-269
Passing Yds 221 136
Passes 13-29-1 9-21-1
Punts-Avg 2-33 0-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yds. 2-15 3-25

Eagles take 5th, 11th at San Angelo relays

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PECOS, Nov. 11 -- The times weren't as good on Saturday in San Angelo as
they had been the previous week in Big Spring, but overall, Pecos
Eagles' swimming coach Terri Morse said she was happy with her team's
performance at the San Angelo Invitational.

Pecos' boys placed fifth out of 23 teams while the girls were 11th in
the two-day meet, which was won by Euless Trinty's boys and San Angelo
Central's girls.

Trinity won with 210 points to 183 for Lubbock High and 166 for the host
Bobcats. Midland Lee and Midland High followed with 165 and 152 points,
with Amarillo Tascosa next at 88 and Pecos' boys after that with 71.
Their next closest District 4 rival, Big Spring, was 10th with 51 points.

On the girls' side Central beat Trinity 238 to 190, followed by Lubbock
High, Midland Lee and Midland High with 184, 170 and 110 points. Dallas
L.D. Bell had 98 points, Amarillo High 97 and the Eagles' district rival
Monahans was eighth with 73. Big Spring had 48 points, Abilene Cooper 40
and the Eagles were two points in back with 38.

"We had quite a few make the finals, even though our times were a little
slower," the Eagles' coach said. "I knew it would be tough to come back
after such a great meet at Big Spring and do as well.

"Some races I hoped we'd do better in, but it was a hard meet, with so
many swimmers. It went from 10 in the morning to 10 at night for the
preliminaries (on Friday), and then we came back and swam again the next
day," she said. "I saw some areas we need to work on, and one is
stamina, We need to work on handling the harder meets better."

The highest finish came early, as the boys' 200 medley relay team of
Kevin Bates, Al Tillman, Kenneth Friar and Dennis Harris took third,
with a 1:51.60 time. Friar, Bates, Seth Whitworth and William Kiefer
were sixth in the final race of the day, the 400 freestyle relay, while
Kiefer, Whitworth, Harris and Tillman were 10th in the 200 free relay.

Individually for the boys Bates had the highest finish a sixth in the
100 backstroke. Whitworth was ninth and Bates 11th in the 200 individual
medley; Friar and Harris were eighth and 11th in the 500 freestyle; and
Tillman placed 12th in the 100 breaststroke.

The girls' best finish came from Liz Parent, who was sixth in the 500
freestyle and ninth in the 200 medley. Megan Freeman was ninth in the
100 butterfly and 12th in the 100 breaststroke; Parent, Freeman, Dionnie
Munoz and Christi Whitworth were seventh in the 400 freestyle relay, and
Freeman, Parent, Munoz and Randi Key were 11th in the 200 medley relay.

The Eagles now get to swim in competition at home for the only time this
year, when they compete in the Pecos Invitational next Saturday. Morse
said all of the Eagles' district rivals except for Andrews and Abilene
Wylie will be there, along with five of the seven District 4-5A schools
and all three 5As from Lubbock.

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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times

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