• November 21, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High falls to Midland High in season finale - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High falls to Midland High in season finale

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Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2019 1:06 am

MIDLAND The Odessa High football team entered its last game of the regular season looking to end a trying year on a good note.

Unfortunately for the Bronchos, they found themselves in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

Midland High scored three touchdowns in a span of 4:08 as the Bulldogs defeated the Bronchos 23-13 Friday at Grande Communications Stadium in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for Midland High (2-8, 1-4 District 2-6A) while Odessa High (2-8, 0-5) closed the season with a five-game losing skid.

“From every bit of adversity you have in your life there’s a lesson to learn,” Odessa High head coach Danny Servance said. “I talked to our kids about perseverance and not giving up and not quitting because things aren’t going to go your way all the time.”

Midland High got off to a slow start offensively by punting on its first two possessions, while Odessa High got a spark on its first drive with the return of starting quarterback Diego Cervantes.

Cervantes finished with 83 yards passing to go with 89 yards rushing in his first game back since Oct. 19 against Midland Lee.

The Bronchos appeared to have a touchdown on their first drive but, a holding penalty on the touchdown run from Michael Salas nullified the play. Odessa High was able to work the ball back to the 2-yard line, but were stopped on fourth down to come away empty-handed on the drive.

“If we had punched it in we would have had the momentum for sure,” Servance said. “I thought that did have a bearing on the rest of the game.”

That provided a spark for Midland High running back Daniel Garcia, who accounted for 44 of the 84 yards on the next Bulldogs drive. That drive was capped off by a 16-yard strike from quarterback Nick Peralta to Josh Lehrer to open the scoring on the first play of the second quarter.

Things snowballed quickly for Odessa High on its next drive, going three-and-out followed by a 1-yard punt that put the Bulldogs at the Bronchos 34-yard line.

It didn’t take long for Midland High to take advantage as Garcia scored on a 1-yard touchdown run two plays later to make it 13-0. He had a 33-yard reception on the previous play to set up the score.

After another Bronchos punt, Garcia flashed his speed once again and took it 73 yards for his second score in as many plays. He finished the game with 217 yards on 28 carries and the two scores.

“It was just all about execution,” Midland High head coach Tim Anuskiewicz said. “That’s something that we’ve struggled with throughout the entire year of just consistently doing that and I thought we just got hot there in the second quarter.”

The rest of the half was marred by turnovers as both teams gave the ball away four times in the span of 1:57.

Tim Avila recovered a Midland High fumble to start things off, but the Bronchos did not do anything offensively and punted the ball away on its next drive.

The half ended with interceptions on three straight plays. Mario Valdez got the first pick for the Bronchos and returned it into Midland High territory with 14 seconds left in the half. The Bulldogs got the ball right back thanks to Jeffery Niedecken before John Almance got the other interception on a Bulldogs’ Hail Mary pass to close the half.

The Bronchos showed some fight in the second half and had a couple of big plays to provide a spark to try and rally back.

The first came on the second possession of the half when Senjun McGarity broke through for a 65-yard run to get the Bronchos on the board. That drive started all the way back at the 2-yard line as the Bronchos ran the ball on all seven plays. McGarity finished with 99 yards rushing on the night.

The second big burst came from junior defensive back Jesse Cervantes, who returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score with 5:38 to go in the game. That boost came after Ivan Campos made a 34-yard field goal to extend the lead to 23-7 on a drive that lasted six minutes.

Those were the only points of the second half for Midland, High but they were enough. The Bulldogs sealed the deal on the victory on the Bronchos’ final possession when Odessa High marched inside the 10-yard line but were unable to convert on fourth down-and-1.

“Time of possession was a big part of this game,” Servance said. It’s always important in a game but tonight, we just ran out of time.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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