HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian runs past Palm Desert to earn first victory - Odessa American: Oavarsity

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian runs past Palm Desert to earn first victory

By Michael Bauer mbauer@oaoa.com, 432-333-7772 | Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 11:35 pm

It may have taken four games, and a few delays by Mother Nature, but the Permian football team finally has its first win of the 2019 season.

Battling the Palm Desert (Calif.) Aztecs, the Panthers managed to come away with a 47-14 win in a nondistrict game Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

It took some time for some things to get going because the Panthers had to deal with another opponent for the second consecutive week.

Early evening thunderstorms caused a delay as both teams had to wait the weather out before kicking off at 8:10 p.m.

A similar situation happened last week before the Panthers’ contest against Southlake Carroll.

“We’re experts at this and that’s what I told the guys,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “We had to deal with it last week so it wasn’t new to us. I thought they did a good job of getting out of that delay and getting through it.”

But once the rain delay passed over, both teams wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard.

The Panthers struck first with a 37-yard field goal by Carson Roberts with 7:57 in the first quarter to open with a 3-0 lead.

Permian added two more points on a safety after a Palm Desert punt attempt ended with the punter being tackled in the end zone to open a 5-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.

The Aztecs managed to bounce back, however, and take a 7-5 lead off a 41-yard touchdown run by Simon Gaete after Palm Desert recovered a Permian fumble.

 “That was just unacceptable,” Ellison said. “There are a bunch of things that we need to fix. But I thought, overall, defensively, we came out and played hard and fast. We just got ahead of ourselves. The kids were trying to make plays but we just got to be smart and make plays.”

Permian struck back with a 13-yard touchdown run by Malachi Medlock and the Panthers retook the lead at 12-7 early in the second quarter.

It didn’t take long for Permian to add to its lead after Mark Samaniego returned a fumble 12 yards for another touchdown to make it 19-7 Panthers early in the second quarter.

The offense kept the momentum going as Harper Terry added a one-yard touchdown run to build a 19-point advantage.

Palm Desert had a response, however, as the Aztecs found the end zone thanks to a second touchdown run from Gaete, this one from eight yards out. That brought Palm Desert back to within two scores at 26-14 with 1:23 left in the first half. Gaete finished with 91 yards on 12 carries for the night.

The Permian  offense, however, had one more answer before the half.

Terry helped orchestrated a seven-play, 46-yard scoring drive in 54 seconds that was helped in part by a 19-yard run by Terry, giving the Panthers first and goal.

The drive was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Medlock with 18 seconds left to take a 33-14 lead into the locker room.

The Panthers remained in control in the second half to preserve the win as Medlock and Terry each added rushing touchdowns in the second half to seal the win.

Medlock finished with 118 yards rushing on 17 carries while Terry finished with 162 yards of total offense (111 passing, 51 rushing).

 “We challenged them,” Ellison said. “Defensively, they made some big plays in the first half but they came out and played better in the second half and I was proud of their effort. I was also proud of their effort on offense.”

Despite the loss, the Aztecs were glad to have the opportunity to play at Ratliff Stadium against Permian.

 “I’m very proud of our guys,” Palm Desert head coach Shane McComb said. “We got everyone to play and everyone stayed healthy. We got both quarterbacks in and we competed.

“We gave up some big plays and we let them out of a couple of third and longs and if those things don’t happen, maybe it’s a close ball game but we still competed at a high level.”

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAmichaelba