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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian notebook for Sept. 17 - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian notebook for Sept. 17

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 7:31 pm

The Permian football team will get another opportunity to try and correct its path this week when it hosts Palm Desert (Calif.) High School Friday at Ratliff Stadium..

Permian has had its share of playing teams from across the country and this week’s contest will be another chapter in facing distant high schools in nondistrict play.

“Obviously, a lot of people know us,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “They know the name and the brand of Permian football. We’ve had teams from Florida come play us. We had a team from New York play us too.

“It’s great. But it’s an opponent and that’s how we’re approaching it. They’re a good football team and we have to do a great job of getting prepared.”

Last year, the Panthers hosted International School of Broward from Hollywood, Fla. and had no trouble, cruising to a 70-8 win.

But that may seem like one long year ago at this point as the Panthers (0-3) continue to try and crack the win column.

Palm Desert might also bring a tougher challenge to Permian than Broward as the Aztecs, led by head coach Shane McComb, are coming off an 11-1 record from last year, winning the Desert Empire League and advancing to the second round of the CIF Southern Section’s Division 9 playoffs.

But Palm Desert has struggled to live up to preseason expectations, being dealt a 37-14 loss to Beaumont on Aug. 23 and a 21-16 defeat to Murrieta Mesa last Friday.

However, Palm Desert’s size up front is one of their biggest strengths, according to Ellison.

“Their size. Their offensive line, collectively, is the biggest line we’ve seen all year,” Ellison said. “They do a good job. They have a great quarterback.

“Their defense is very aggressive. They’re downhill players so their size sticks out to me.”

>> SLIGHT IMPROVEMENTS: The scoreboard may have told a sordid story last week against Southlake Carroll but Ellison thought there were moments in the game where Permian played better than in the past.

“We did some things a little bit better last week even though it obviously wasn’t the outcome we were looking for but our kids have done a great job of showing up and they continue to grind in practice and in the morning to get better,” Ellison said.

The Panthers’ defense also managed to limit the Dragons’ high-powered offense to only three points in the first quarter and while Southlake Carroll eventually got going in the second quarter, it was a promising look for a unit that had given up 14 first-quarter points in each of its previous games this season against DeSoto and El Paso Franklin.

>> PREPARATION: It may be the first meeting between Permian and Palm Desert, but Ellison says his team’s preparation hasn’t changed.

“There is no difference,” Ellison said. “It’s an opponent and we’re preparing like we would with anybody else. We’re preparing to win a football game and that doesn’t change no matter who we’re playing or where they’re from. Whether they’re from inside this state or outside, our mindset hasn’t changed.”

The varsity players were up at 5 a.m. at Wilkins Field practicing on Monday just as they were last Monday.

“I thought we started off well at practice on Monday,” Ellison said. “It was a good focus and intensity. We did some cross-over competition and got everybody fired up and after it. It was a good day.”

>> TOUGH NONDISTRICT: If there’s one thing the Panthers can take away from this year’s slow start to the season, it’s that Permian has been challenged by plenty of good teams (DeSoto, El Paso Franklin and Southlake Carroll) in a tough nondistrict slate.

But come time to start District 2-6A play, that experience from playing an arduous nondistrict schedule should come in handy for the Panthers, according to Ellison.

“People may overlook El Paso Franklin but they’re a good football team and has a lot of seniors and then of course, playing DeSoto and Southlake Carroll, two top 10 football teams and yeah, that’s going to prepare you for district,” Ellison said. “We’ve played a lot of good nondistrict teams and we feel like that’ll help us out in the long run.

>> SUB-VARSITY: All teams from the Permian JV and Freshmen teams came away happy last week with wins against Midland.

The Permian JV White won 20-14, while the JV Black posted a 27-14 victory against the Bulldogs.

The Freshmen White cruised to a 38-0 shutout and the Freshmen Black enjoyed a 32-8 win.

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAMichaelba

Odessa, TX

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