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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Nov. 5 - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Nov. 5

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Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 7:01 pm

Every journey must come to an end and the end of the line has arrived for the Odessa High football team.

The Bronchos will take the field for the final time in the 2019 season when they travel east to face the Midland High Bulldogs at 7:30 Friday at Grande Communications Stadium.

The final playoff spot was on the line the last time that the two teams faced off to end the regular season in 2018. There’s no playoff spot on the line this year, however, as both teams were eliminated from playoff contention last week with losses.

With that in mind, head coach Danny Servance said wants his team to focus on the final moments out on the field.

“When you have one game left, you start talking about how much you appreciate what our kids have done and how much they’ve given to the program,” Servance said. “You start addressing the seniors and showing them your appreciation and what they’ve done for the four years that they’ve been here and try to rally the troops so that we can send them out on a good note.”

The last game does carry plenty of emotion for Servance, a former player himself. The head coach, however, said that emotion comes after the clock hits zero.

“I think it’s fine right now, but it really sets in afterwards for guys that realize that this is the last time that they’ll ever play high school football,” he said. “It’ll be bittersweet, but I want them to know for sure that we appreciate everything that they’ve done and that we’re here for them even after they finished their playing days here at Odessa High School.”

The Bronchos are looking to build off one of their better efforts in District 2-6A play last week. Odessa High fell 31-15 to Amarillo Tascosa. Unlike the previous two weeks, the matchup was competitive well into the second half by Odessa High keeping Tascosa’s triple option offense in check. Unfortunately for the Bronchos, turnovers and mistakes added up as the Rebels pulled away.

“I was very proud of them,” Servance said of his team. “They did a great job executing the game plan and playing with a lot of heart. You can only hold that offense for a certain amount of time and in that type of ball game, you have to answer the call every time they score. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that.”

Looking ahead, the Bronchos face off against a Midland High team that has undergone its own struggles this season. At 1-8 overall, the Bulldogs have undergone a rebuilding project of their own. The five-year playoff streak that the Bulldogs had ended in the 49-6 defeat to crosstown rival Midland Lee but Servance understands that the team needs to go out and take care of business.

“Coach (Tim) Anuskiewicz does a good job with his football team,” Servance said. “I think they’re struggling a little bit, but we need to go in and play like we’ve got everything to gain through that ball game and try to gain some momentum going into next year.”

The Bronchos have been hit hard by the injury bug this season. The team had at least seven players out of last Friday’s matchup against Tascosa and that has fallen to the subvarsity levels as well. Odessa High has fielded just one junior varsity team due to injuries since the matchup against Wolfforth Frenship.

“We got 11 guys that are injured right now,” Servance said. “And we’re not talking about, you know, minor injuries, we’re talking about done-for-the-season injuries. Next guy up has kind of been our motto, and every guy who has stepped in on the field has done a great job.”

Friday’s game will mark the 98th meeting between the Bronchos and the Bulldogs. The series is almost even, with Odessa High having a 49-48 advantage. Midland High has had the upper hand recently, however, winning the last five matchups.

There were a couple of firsts in Friday’s game against Amarillo Tascosa. The 24-yard field goal from Camilo Nicolas near the end of the first half was the first field goal made by the Bronchos this season. The 2-yard touchdown run by Michael Salas was also his first scoring run of the season.

Amarillo Tascosa 42, Odessa High JV 20; Amarillo Tascosa 32, Freshmen Red 6; Amarillo Tascosa 30, Freshmen White 8.

Junior Varsity vs. Midland High, 6 p.m. Thursday, Ratliff Stadium; Freshmen White and Freshmen Red at Midland High, 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Memorial Stadium, Midland.

Odessa, TX

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