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Friday, Nov. 29, 1996

Eagles end long break on Saturday

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PECOS, Nov. 29 -- The Pecos Eagles continue to be short of both games
and players in varsity girls basketball.

Saturday afternoon, the Eagles will play only their third game of the
1996-97 season, and their first in 10 days, when they host the Midland
High Bulldogs. Play opens with the Eagles' freshman against Midland's
sophomores at 12 noon, following by the junior varsity matchup at 1:30
p.m. and the varsity contest at 3 p.m.

The Eagles are 0-2 on the season, having lost to Odessa Permian without
most of their juniors in the lineup, and to Odessa High without their
senior players participating. For Saturday, Eagles' coach Patty Hall
said "We should have nine," three short of the 12 total on the varsity.

"I already knew one wouldn't be here because of the holiday, and two
others just didn't show up this morning for practice," she added.

"We've been looking better some (in practice), but what's hurting us is
the lack of games," the first-year coach said. "By the time I started
making the schedule everyone else had games scheduled already. This one
just happened to already be on Midland High's schedule."

The matchup with the Bulldogs has traditionally been the toughest of the
season for Pecos, though the Bulldogs are supposed to be a little down
from recent years. "They're supposed to be shorter than they have been,
but traditionally, Midland High is quick, they fight real hard and are
fundamentally sound."

The Bulldogs are 4-2 on the season, including a second place finish at
the Big Spring Tournament, where sisters Tarhonda and Talitha Belcher
were named to the all-tournament squad. Both the Bulldogs' losses this
season were against Lubbock Coronado.

After Saturday's game, the Eagles have another five days off before
facing District 4-4A rival Fort Stockton in the first round of the West
Texas Shootout in Crane.

Hall said the freshmen have added a road game on Monday against Wink's
junior varsity, while the Eagles' JV will be off for another week, until
they face Van Horn on Dec. 7.

Pecos' boys opened play at noon today against Permian at the Odessa
Thanksgiving Hoopfest. A win would put the 3-1 Eagles into a 10:45 a.m.
game Saturday against El Paso Andress or Odessa High, while a loss would
put them back on the Odessa High court at 7 p.m. tonight against OHS or
Andress in a consolation semifinal contest.

Mustangs look to run down Jackets

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PECOS, Nov. 29 -- Who knew that when the Sweetwater Mustangs completed
zero passes against the Pecos Eagles last month they were merely
previewing their offensive game plan for the playoffs?

Sweetwater went 0-for-3 through the air that night, but ran for 278
yards and used two interceptions on defense deep in their own territory
to defeat the Eagles, 21-0, in that District 4-4A game. That's pretty
much the playoff strategy the 12-0 Mustangs have used to advance to the
Region I-4A Division II semifinals Saturday afternoon against the
Stephenville Yellow Jackets.

The teams meet at 1 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium, with Sweetwater seeking
its third post-season win -- and its first post-season pass completion
-- of 1996.

There wasn't any need to throw the ball in their bi-district game, as
they easily took care of El Paso Burges, 31-0, at the Mustang Bowl. But
last Friday in Lubbock, the Mustangs had to rally from a 7-6 deficit in
the final period, winning on Andrew Boatright's 1-yard touchdown run
with about eight minutes to play. Jason Blueford's 60-yard interception
return in the second period gave Sweetwater a 6-0 halftime lead.

Sweetwater ran for 267 yards and held the Lobos to just 109 yards in
total offense, but Boatright was 0-for-7 passing. He's just 8-for-37 for
152 yards with three interceptions and no touchdowns in Sweetwater's
last seven games, but prior to that, the junior had hit 30 of 72 passes
for 652 yards, with four TDs and no interceptions in pre-district play.

Sweetwater figures to need a little more balanced attack on Saturday
against Stephenville, which won the Class 4A state title in 1993-94, The
Jackets were only 5-4-1 in regular season play this season, but opened
the playoffs with a 23-14 win over Fort Worth Arlington Heights, and
advanced last week with a 27-20 victory over previously-undefeated
Saginaw Boswell.

Stephenville rallied from a 13-7 halftime deficit, as Stephenville's
Gary Brumbelow recovered a muffed punt in the end zone to tie the game,
and The Yellow Jackets scored twice more, on a 1-yard run by Kyle
Dempsey in the third quarter and an early fourth quarter TD pass of 64
yards from Kelan Luker to Brad Bramlett.

Sweetwater is the only District 4-4A team still alive in the playoffs.
Both 4-4A runner-up Lake View and third place finisher Andrews lost last
week, Andrews by a 10-9 score to Dumas and Lake View 29-7 against Pampa.

Smith gets off bench and into Redskins' end zone

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AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Texas, Nov. 29 -- An enraged Emmitt Smith is not an easy person
to tackle.

Just ask the innocent Washington Redskins who had to deal with an
incensed Smith after the first benching of his career.

Smith scored three touchdowns and gained a season-high 155 yards
Thursday, carrying Dallas past Washington 21-10 and putting the Cowboys
in a first-place tie with the Redskins in the NFC East.

Both Dallas and Washington are 8-5. Philadelphia is 7-5 and hosts the
New York Giants on Sunday.

Smith was benched in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 20-6 loss to the
Giants after gaining just 18 yards on 11 carries. Smith didn't practice
all week while resting a sore right ankle, and coach Barry Switzer was

Smith said he was, too.

``When we're losing and you're not doing your job, getting pulled wasn't
good,'' Smith said. ``My first instinct was to get mad, but as I thought
about it, I knew if I'm not doing my job then I've got to take a

But Smith is not a backseat kind of guy.

``To hear all the negative stuff this week, it was an insult to me,''
said the four-time NFL rushing champion. ``It cut deep. I knew I still
had it, but the ankle wasn't allowing me to play like I want to.''

``I told the coach I could get the job done. With the rest, it was
probably the best I felt all year. I had some spring in my step and
could do some slashing and cutting. I had a whole bunch of running

Smith, who became the 12th player in NFL history to reach the
10,000-yard plateau, scored on runs of 4 yards twice and again on a
3-yard carry.

``Emmitt told me before the game that he could play near 100 percent,''
Switzer said. ``He said he wanted to prove something. And he did. He
slashed up in there inside.

``It was like the Cowboys of old saddled up and running. Any question
Emmitt Smith has lost it was answered today.''

Smith has 108 career rushing touchdowns to move ahead of Jim Brown into
third place on the NFL's career list and it within four of Marcus Allen,
who took the lead Thursday with 112 by scoring twice in Kansas City's
victory over Detroit.

``I ran the ball the best I have all year long,'' Smith said. ``Last
week it was cold weather and the turf was hard and I couldn't get going.
It looks like I've weathered the storm. ''

It didn't surprise his teammates.

``Emmitt felt all the world was against him,'' said defensive back Kevin
Smith. ``We knew he would come out like this.''

Smith rushed 29 times against the Redskins, ranked No. 29 against the
run, although he was spelled at times by Williams.

He tore off a season-long 42-yard run in the third quarter to set up his
4-yard scoring run, and gained 55 of the 77 yards on the drive that put
the Cowboys ahead 14-10. Then he gained 25 yards on a 65-yard drive to
put the game away, scoring his third touchdown with 7:49 to play.

Dallas running back coach Joe Brodsky said it was incredible how some
people thought Smith's career was waning.

``It was so ludicrous to say he's washed up it was bordering on
stupidity,'' said Brodsky who muttered sarcastically ``he's washed up,
the guy's washed up'' as he walked past the media.

Washington coach Norv Turner said he was worried about facing an
inspired Smith.

``He's one of the greatest competitors you're going to be around,''
Turner said. ``When somebody told me Emmitt had a problem I expected to
see a special effort out of him. That's what happened.''

Linebacker Ken Harvey said he didn't believe Smith was on the downside
of his career.

``I didn't believe what people were saying about him,'' Harvey said.
``He proved today that he's still a good player. I've faced him a lot
over the years and he didn't look any different to me.''

The Cowboys ended the longest scoring drought in franchise history with
2:03 left in the first half on Smith's 4-yard TD. It was the first time
the Cowboys had scored in 30 consecutive possessions spanning 10

Washington's only touchdown came on Gus Frerotte's 26-yard pass to
Leslie Shepherd.

Washington lost wide receiver Michael Westbrook in the first quarter
with a bruised kneecap, and Shepherd went out in the series following
his touchdown with a sprained ankle. Defensive tackle Sean Gilbert went
out with a knee injury in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys lost twice last year to Washington, but the Redskins have
never beaten Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. They are 0-5 against the
Cowboys on the holiday.

``They chewed up the clock behind Emmitt,'' Frerotte said. ``It was
frustrating. We couldn't get the ball to have a chance. Now, we can't
lose again and we have three tough games coming up.''

(Copyright 1996 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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State and Regional Sports Pages--San Angelo Standard-Times

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