FOOTBALL: Monahans, Pecos meet again in playoffs
Nov 16, 2012 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
When Chris Henson took over the Pecos football program in 2006, Monahans was top dog in the district, the one everyone had to go through to make the playoffs each season.
Fast forward and though the Eagles and Loboes no longer are in the same district, Monahans yet again blocks Pecos' playoff path.
At 7:30 tonight at Crane's El Ave Stadium, the teams meet in a Class 3A Division II bi-district playoff game, the first meeting between the schools since the same round in 2009.
"It's always good to be in the playoffs," Monahans head coach Mickey Owens said. "We knew going in to this season that it was going to be tougher than in the past because of the changes in the district and moving in with Abilene Wylie.
"But I really thought that, with a couple of breaks, we could have easily been 8-2 and I thought we had a good chance to beat Wylie that night."
The Loboes (6-4) are the top Division II seed from District 4-3A, while the Eagles (7-3) finished third in District 3-3A behind Mountain View and Clint.
And Pecos did it in thrilling fashion, snapping a 13-game losing streak against Fort Stockton with a 22-6 road victory in the final game of the regular season.
"That was a huge game for us," Pecos coach Chris Henson said. "The players knew the history of the series going into the game. They listen to the news and read the papers, so they knew.
"But they still found a way, all season, to get the job done when they needed to and they did it again against Fort Stockton. We're excited about being back in the playoffs and excited about playing Monahans."
Both teams have Wing-T offenses that like to run the football and control the clock.
The Loboes are led by quarterback Zack Navarro, along with running backs Freddy Garcia and Rogelio Sauceda. The trio has combined for 1,985 rushing and 16 touchdowns.
Navarro also has completed 31 of 80 passes for 508 yards and six touchdowns, which keeps Monahans' opponents honest.
"Sauceda and Garcia both have been steady," Owens said. "They are both good Wing-T running backs. You never have to worry about those two guys and they've been able to stay healthy all season.
"These seniors have been in the program for six years and are part of the teams that went to the regional final two years ago and then the semifinals last year. So they know how to handle this time of the season."
Pecos, making its fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs, relies heavily on the feet of running backs Josh Enmon and Alvaro Dominguez, along with quarterback Bradley Shaw.
Enmon has carried the ball 140 times for 813 yards and seven touchdowns, with Dominguez adding 445 yards on 88 carries, with three touchdowns.
Shaw, however, has made the most improvement according to Henson. He has carried the ball 88 times for 537 yards and eight touchdowns and passed for another 642 yards and seven touchdowns.
Where Shaw has excelled in Henson's eyes is in his ability to run the "mid-line" of the Wing-T set, often times breaking free of the line of scrimmage before the defenders know he still has the football.
"I think all three of them have done a good job this year," Henson said of his leading offensive threats. "And the offensive line has done a great job for us.
"Monahans is a very good football team and we are going to have to be very careful with the football."
Contact Lee Scheide on twitter @OALeeScheide, on Facebook at OA Lee Scheide, or call 432-333-7703.
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