• December 15, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Amarillo Tascosa pulls away from Odessa High - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Amarillo Tascosa pulls away from Odessa High

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Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2019 12:49 am

The Odessa High football team hung close with Amarillo Tascosa, looking to stay in the mix for a potential postseason spot.

Unfortunately for the Bronchos, they were unable to clear that hurdle.

The Rebels ran for 411 yards and the defense forced four turnovers as they defeated Odessa High 31-15 Friday at Ratliff Stadium in District 2-6A play.

The win clinched a playoff spot for Tascosa (6-3 overall, 2-2 District 2-6A) while Odessa High (2-7, 0-4) was eliminated from postseason contention.

“I have to give a lot of credit to Danny (Servance) because they game-planned for us well,” Tascosa head coach Ken Plunk said. “They made it really difficult on us to move the ball with any regularity. We were able to settle down in the second half and I’m proud of our team that we got the win."

The Rebels looked like they were going to take control early, marching methodically down the field for a 71-yard, eight-play drive. Jaiton McMorris capped it with a 4-yard run to open the scoring.

The Bronchos had an answer as starting quarterback Dre Cobb found Jovanni Flotte on a 63-yard catch and run to put Odessa High on the board. The extra point was missed, however, and Tascosa maintained its one-point lead. Cobb finished with 180 total yards of offense and that touchdown pass.

The rest of the first half turned into a defensive battle filled with big plays and big stops.

Odessa High started it off with a turnover on downs, but gave the ball away with one of its three interceptions, this one coming from Major Everhart.

The Bronchos were picked off again on their next possession as DJ Tatum made a leaping, Odell Beckham Jr.-style catch to give Tascosa the ball back.

The Rebels were unable to get anything more than three points from those takeaways, only managing a 23-yard field goal from Jasean Barrow.

The Bronchos had their own chance to take the lead at halftime, working down nearly all of the last 6:45 of the first half. They were unable to punch it in, though, and settled for a Camilo Nicolas 24-yard field goal to trail 10-9 at halftime.

“We had kids that made plays tonight, but that’s a great football team in Tascosa and they made plays as well.” Odessa High head coach Danny Servance said. “We had good execution at times, but they just executed a little bit better than we did.”

Odessa High had another opportunity to take the lead, but the Rebels defense rose up again as Mitchell Murray recovered a fumble on the second play of the second half. McMorris added his second touchdown run of the game two plays later from 15 yards out.

“You just can’t turn the ball over in a situation like that and we gave Tascosa a short field,” Servance said. “We did a great job most of the night of making them have to drive the length of the field but that turnover is just bad news when you’re playing that type of offense.”

Odessa High kept itself in the game and answered with a Michael Salas touchdown run from 2 yards to finish off an 11-play drive. A failed two-point try kept the game at 17-15.

The Bronchos, however, were unable to get any closer as they punted twice and threw another interception on their final drive.

On the other side, Tascosa delivered two haymakers that eventually sealed the game.

The first was on a 55-yard scoring run from Everhart in the third quarter. The second came from the senior signal caller Joseph Plunk with 2:22 left in the game, manufacturing a 99-yard drive sealed with a 15-yard touchdown run. He finished with 153 yards on 20 carries to go with 61 yards passing.

“I messed up by not having a punt returner back there that pinned us back at the 1-yard line,” Plunk said. “The offense did a great job of getting us out of that and making our job easier.

It was a good win for us and now we have to treat every game like a playoff game from this point and try to win them all.”

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