HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Fast start lifts DeSoto past Permian - Odessa American: Sports

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Fast start lifts DeSoto past Permian

By Michael Bauer mbauer@oaoa.com, 432-333-7772 | Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2019 12:14 am

DESOTO Permian’s long awaited season-opener against DeSoto did not quite go the way the Panthers had hoped as they were dealt a 35-14 loss to the Eagles Friday at Eagle Stadium.

The Eagles didn’t take long to take control of the game, rushing out of a 14-0 lead with less than four minutes gone in the first quarter.

DeSoto opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run by Christopher Henley Jr. with 8:32 left in the first quarter.

Moments later, DeSoto scooped up a Panthers’ fumble and returned it for a second touchdown just 10 seconds after the first score.

“Starting off, I think we made some big plays on offense,” DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis said. “I thought our defense played really well. It was great for our defense to play really well.

“You don’t see that every day. I was proud of the way our defense played. On offense, we put points on the board and our receivers did an excellent job today. We just need to fix some little things.”

Alex Rose scored Permian’s first touchdown of the night on an 18-yard reverse with 4:28 remaining in the first quarter to cut the Eagles’ lead in half.

The Panthers’ possession was gifted to them after Permian’s Kayden Baze managed to recover a muffed punt by the Eagles, with Permian taking over at DeSoto’s 24-yard line before scoring four plays later.

The Eagles’ added a third touchdown in the third quarter, this one on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Samari Collier to Jordan Brown and DeSoto’s lead was doubled with 3:31 left in the first quarter.

The Eagles showed the ability to drive the length of the field for their next score, going 94 yards in 15 plays, capped by Thomas Terrell’s 3-yard run with 6:34 remaining in the first half to give DeSoto a 28-7 lead heading into halftime.

While both teams managed to find the end zone in the first half, the second half began on a more defensive tone.

Neither team could find the end zone in the third quarter as the Panthers managed to stay within striking distance.

But the Eagles were not to be denied the entire second half, finding the end zone on a 7-yard pass from Colier to Javin Vining with 2:15 left in the game.

The Panthers then responded with a three-play, 70-yard touchdown drive that was completed by Harper Terry scoring on a 55-yard touchdown score with 55 seconds remaining in the game.

“I wasn’t happy in the second half,” Mathis said. “There were too many penalties and we were pretty sloppy in the second half. We have to get better.

“But I can’t take anything away from the kids. They played a great first half. It feels great to get that first win of the season. It’s good but we have to get some things fixed.”

The Panthers will be at home next week with a matchup against El Paso Franklin at Ratliff Stadium.

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAmichaelba