This was the breakout game head coach Ron King had been waiting for since Nov. 2010.
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Bronchos quarterback Ryan Martinez was 7-of-8 passing Friday for a career-high 174 yards and the Odessa High defense forced five turnovers in a 42-17 nondistrict victory against Lubbock Monterey at Ratliff Stadium.
Odessa High (1-1) got its first victory heading into next week’s showdown against Permian (0-2).
Running back C.J. Eddison also had a strong night, carrying the ball 14 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns, along with a touchdown catch.
Tight end Trent Laake caught three passes for 102 yards.
“It felt great; I felt so comfortable this game,” Martinez said. “I went in there and tried to do what I can do and have fun with the game.
“The biggest part of this game comes from our (offensive) linemen. Our O linemen did a great job, giving me pass protection, giving great blocks everything.”
The 42 points is the most scored by Odessa High since a regular-season ending 48-21 triumph against Midland Lee that qualified the Bronchos for the Class 5A playoffs for a third straight season in 2010.
And many of the drives Friday came from short distance as the defensive side of the football continually hounded the Plainsmen (0-2) into mistakes in the first half.
Monterey was led by running backs Travon Benton (16 carries, 86 yards) and Vincent Johnson (11-84, one touchdown).
“I thought both sides of the football played great tonight,” King said. “Our defense did a wonderful job of creating turnovers and the offense took advantage of those opportunities and put the ball in the end zone, which is something that we haven’t been doing.
“Any win is great and I think a win like this is going to give our kids a lot of confidence they can carry into the district opener next week.”
Odessa High, coming off a 35-3 loss at Amarillo High a week ago, took control of the game from its opening driving, marching 72 yards in eight plays to score its first touchdown of the season.
On the drive, Martinez and Eddison took turns making plays before King called for a home-run ball on third-and-2 at the Lubbock Monterey 38.
Taking the snap, Martinez looked left and then came back to the right to find wide receiver Zach Harris 15 yards behind any defender. The throw was on the money and Odessa High led, 7-0, just 3:41 into the game.
The Plainsmen then coughed up the first of four lost fumbles on their first possession of the game, with OHS linebacker Edgar Contreras scooping up the football and racing 15 yards to the Monterey 20.
It took Eddison one play to find the end zone, sweeping around the left side before cutting up inside the block and racing untouched for the score just 1:19 after the first touchdown.
“You can’t say enough about the offensive line,” Eddison said. “And the wide receivers making blocks down the field.
“Everyone saw tonight what a good week of practice can do. You work hard and good things happen for you.”
Good things continued to happen for the Bronchos defense as they forced Lubbock Monterey quarterback Camden Arnold into making a pair of bad pitches that resulted in fumbles, along with tipping a pass that turned into an interception by Odessa High defensive back E.J. Alvarez.
The offense scored on all four first-half turnovers.
“We had kids flying to the football and that’s what we want,” OHS defensive coordinator Chris Harbin said. “I thought the players did a nice job of not giving up the big plays tonight, like we did last week, and that’s something that we worked hard all week.
“And we got a chance to get some of our 2s in there and the proved they can play if we need them, so it was a very good night.”