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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Pecos beats Monahans in close battle - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Pecos beats Monahans in close battle

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Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2019 12:00 am

MONAHANS The Pecos Eagles recorded a historic 34-32 victory over the Monahans Loboes in District 1-4A Division II action Friday night at Estes Memorial Stadium.

Playing in a back-and-forth contest, the Eagles (3-3 overall, 1-1 in district) used the running game to their advantage to get the late win. A 1-yard touchdown run by Abel Velasquez with 2:06 remaining ended up sealing the deal for the Eagles, who beat the Loboes for the first time since 2001.

“For our kids, any win is a big win,” Pecos head coach Chad Olson said. “We’re trying to turn a corner and we’re trying to get better, so any win is big and we’ll take anything we can get. Our kids played their tails off.”

 “They did a good job,” Monahans head coach Fred Staugh said. “They controlled the clock and made plays. They did a good job. We didn’t play good enough to win.”

With both teams playing well on defense to start the game, it was only a Monahans (1-5, 1-1) touchdown that separated the two squads at the end of the first quarter. Bradden Kesey scored on a 32-yard reception from Bond Heflin with 1:09 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter was when things became a different story for both teams.

Sean Castillo helped get a response for the Eagles, scoring on a 21-yard touchdown run and with the extra point, both teams were tied up at 7-7 with 3:56 left in the first half.

Monahans responded quickly with an 11-yard touchdown run by Heflin with 1:24 remaining in the second quarter and the Loboes regained the lead at 14-7.

But Pecos’ offense started to find its rhythm, scoring on a 35-yard touchdown run by Ezekiel Saldana and evened things up again at 14-14 following the extra point.

“That’s what we hang our hat on,” Olson said. “We have a great offensive line and they’ve been playing their tails off. We have a strong running game. We did a great job of running the ball tonight.”

With less than a minute left in the half, the Loboes put together a quick 67-yard scoring drive in four plays, ending with a 30-yared touchdown pass from Heflin to Peyton Adams for the score with eight seconds left.

But a personal foul penalty enforced on the conversion attempt after the touchdown and the two-point conversion attempt pass from Heflin fell incomplete.

With only eight seconds remaining in the first half, the Eagles needed only one play to go in front as Saldana took the handoff and ran free for a 65-yard touchdown run and the extra point attempt by Armendariz gave the Eagles a 21-20 halftime lead.

“Coaches can say what they want, but good players will make you look good and Ezekiel Saldana made me look good,” Olson said. “It was a huge momentum boost. Anytime you can score with that little time left in the half, it’s crucial.”

The second half continued to be back and forth.

Pecos struck first in the third quarter with a 2-yard run by Armando Granado to extend the lead to 27-20 after the missed extra point.

Monahans scored back-to-back touchdowns in the half to rally and take a 32-27 lead with 5:18 left in the game.

Pecos then put together its game-winning scoring drive.

“I tell my kids that they can panic when I panic and I’m just trying to take it one play at a time and I’m thinking about the next play,” Olson said. “When it’s going on, I have to be the guy everyone is looking up to.”

Monahans was unable to respond and turned the ball over on downs on its last possession.

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAMichaelba

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