AREA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Undefeated Monahans to begin district play against Pecos

Permian and Odessa High isn’t the only rivalry going on this week in the basin.

Monahans and Pecos will renew their rivalry when both teams meet at 7 p.m. Friday at Eagle Stadium in Pecos.

Both teams will be kicking off District 1-4A Div. II play as the Loboes enter with an undefeated 5-0 record and fresh off a bye week.

Monahans’ last game was a 49-6 win over Denver City on Sept. 22 at home.

“We just need to continue to work hard and get better every single day,” Monahans head coach Fred Staugh said. “I think what we’ve seen from our kids is that they’re still hungry. They want to win and play well and do what they’re asked of and they’re coachable. I think if we can just get better every day, I think our kids will go out and perform the way they are expected to perform.”

The Eagles (2-3) are coming off a 45-3 loss to Shallowater last week to end the nondistrict portion of the season.

Eager to get back on the field, Staugh talked about how his team dealt with last week’s break.

“You scale back a little bit just to make sure that everyone is good both mentally and physically,” Staugh said. “They did a good job last week and were really focused on the task at hand. I’m proud of them for that.”

He’d be lying, though, if he said he enjoyed having a bye week as the Loboes aim to get the momentum going again after a promising start to the season.

“It’s kind of a double-edge sword,” Staugh said. “I don’t like open weeks to be honest just because we’ve gotten some momentum going. We started 5-0 and then you decompress a little bit and take some time, but it is helpful in the fact that you can work on things that now you have extra time to work on. You get to make sure your guys are healthy and ready to go.”

Pecos’ only wins so far have been a 49-0 shutout over San Elizario back on Sept. 1 and a 20-6 victory against Stanton on Sept. 15.

“I think they’re well-coached,” Staugh said. “They’re getting better every week. They like to fly around and get after it. We’re going to have to bring our A-game on Friday. Our kids are hungry. This is phase two of the season. This is district. Games really matter at this point. We’re looking forward to starting district. I expect them to play well and to play the best game of the year.”

>> 2-0: Two games into District 1-3A Div. II and Crane remains perfect in conference play.

The Golden Cranes (3-3, 2-0) defeated Compass Academy 42-7 last Friday at El Ave Stadium, keeping them tied for first with Alpine (3-3, 2-0) in the district.

“Obviously, you want to get off to a good start and build some momentum,” Crane head coach Michael Pittman said. “That’s been our goal that we’ve talked about. We want to get better every day and we want to get better every week and, hopefully, we’re able to play our best football toward the end.”

With only four teams in the district, everyone’s playoff spot is already guaranteed. But all the teams in this district play a double-round robin.

Crane began district play with a 68-0 win over Tornillo.

“I think defensively, we played much better than we did earlier this season,” Pittman said while describing last week’s game. “It was probably our best defensive effort. I think our tackling was better. We played pretty physical last week as well. That was one of the keys to the game. We want to be the most physical team on the field. We’ve had some issues with tackling but I thought we were a lot better the other night.”

In the last two weeks, the Golden Cranes’ defense has only allowed seven points, a huge improvement from the team’s first four games in which the unit allowed 156 combined points as the team went 1-3 in nondistrict play.

“I think it was just a couple of things,” Pittman said. “Number one, I think our communication on the field with the players has gotten better. I think it’s also just a few fundamental things like tackling and making sure we’re lining up in the right spot. That’s been the key for our defense.”

Crane will travel to face Alpine at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Buck Stadium.

The Bucks are coming off a 74-0 win over Tornillo last week.

>> BEGINNING DISTRICT PLAY: Beginning action in District 2-4A Div. I is Andrews (3-3) who will be facing San Angelo Lake View at 7 p.m. Friday in San Angelo.

Both teams are out of District 2-4A Div. 1.

The Mustangs are going to be looking to get back on track after suffering last week’s 35-14 loss to Canyon at Mustang Bowl to wrap up nondistrict play.

The Kermit Yellow Jackets (1-5) will also be starting play in District 1-3A Div. I when they travel to face Lamesa (0-6) at 7 p.m. Friday.