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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Sept. 18th - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Sept. 18th

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Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 4:47 pm

Through the first two weeks of the season, Odessa High would enter a Monday practice feeling good following a victory.

The week, the vibe around Joe Coleman Field was centered on simply getting back to business.

Three turnovers and more than 100 yards in penalties ended up coming back to bite the Bronchos in their 30-27 loss to Lubbock Coronado Friday for the first loss of the season.

“I thought that fundamentally we had a couple of busts and quite a few penalties during the game,” Servance said Monday. “I just told our kids that we made some mistakes in the game that we don’t normally make.”

“On the positive side, those are things that we can fix.”

One good sign in Servance’s mind took place after the game Friday night.

After the loss, seniors Charles McClure and Tyrone Caufield each spoke to the team and told them to stay together and keep fighting. It was exactly the attitude that the head coach was looking for after a close loss to the Mustangs for the second straight year.

“I’m proud of the leadership that we have on our football team,” Servance said. “I like the way our kids are supporting each other.

“We know we didn’t play our best game but we know that we can get right back up and give it another shot.”

The Bronchos get their chance to bounce back on a short week as El Paso Montwood comes to Ratliff Stadium for a Thursday-night kickoff. It is the final game of a three straight at home for Odessa High and the final nondistrict home game of the season

The two teams have not met during the regular season since 2008 but did scrimmage against each other prior to the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

“After scrimmaging them, we definitely are familiar with them,” Servance said of the Rams. “We know that they’ll come in Thursday ready to go.”

Playing on a short week can be a challenge, but Servance sees the shorter time frame as something that can help his team.

“Coming off a loss, it’s good to get back out there,” he said. “The sooner you can get back out there and prove that what happened last week isn’t going to happen again.”

Even with the loss to Lubbock Coronado, Servance mentioned the passing game and defensive resiliency as parts of the game he was happy with.

Trey Smith threw for three touchdown passes while the defense only gave up three points off the two first half turnovers.

Ultimately, Servance is encouraged that the Bronchos can use the lessons learned from Friday’s game and apply them to finish the nondistrict schedule strong.

“For as many mistakes as we had, we still had an opportunity to win that game,” Servance said. “You want to see your kids give themselves a chance to win and they did that.”

“We’ll get those mistakes corrected and be ready to go on Thursday.”

DEFENSIVE PLAYMAKER RETURNS: The Odessa High defense got some welcome news last week with the return of senior defensive end Oscar Lucio.

Lucio, who led the team with 51 tackles as a sophomore, made his season debut on Friday after missing the first two games with an ankle injury. He finished with five tackles, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry.

“I thought Oscar came in and did really well,” Servance said. “I thought conditioning was a little bit of a factor since it was his first game back from injury but he did a great job for us and we’re really lucky to have him back.”

STEPPING UP: Servance was also pleased with the efforts of senior defensive back Xavier Minjarez. Minjarez saw some extended playing time Friday and made the most of it, finishing with a team-high 13 tackles against Lubbock Coronado.

“Xavier did a great job,” Servance said. “He was everywhere on every play. He’s not big but he’s fast and he works extremely hard.”

FIRST TOUCHDOWN: Midway through the fourth quarter of Friday’s game, senior receiver Auden Almance caught a pass from Smith and powered through Lubbock Coronado defenders for a nine-yard game-tying touchdown, his first career touchdown.

“It gave him some confidence and I’m happy for Auden,” Servance said. “He’s a hard working young man and a has a lot of heart. I’m really glad that he had some success.”

Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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