• October 18, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Miranda, Cervantes give Odessa High viable options at quarterback - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Miranda, Cervantes give Odessa High viable options at quarterback

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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:45 pm

Ivan Miranda has been through a lot during the first half of the season for Odessa High.

As a first-year starting quarterback, there have been plenty of growing pains. Miranda has thrown for 475 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions while adding 173 yards rushing and two scores.

But as he and the rest of the Bronchos prepare to face crosstown rival Permian at 7:30 tonight at Ratliff Stadium, those ebbs and flows of the early season are something that Miranda says he can lean on as District 2-6A play gets underway.

“I learned that you have to be able to adapt, whether it’s to an injury or anything else,” Miranda said. “I feel more confident in what I can do on the field.”

That progress was stopped temporarily two weeks ago against Harlingen South when Miranda did not play due to a concussion. That gave the spotlight to sophomore Diego Cervantes, who finished with 282 total yards and four total touchdowns in his first career start under center.

It wasn’t the first time that Cervantes saw the field as a quarterback, taking snaps in each of the previous four games as the backup. He also sees time as part of the revamped Odessa High secondary as well at safety. It was a different spot, however, being put in that position and he believes he handled it well thanks in part to Miranda’s guidance.

“Ivan has showed me a lot,” Cervantes said. “He showed me the standards I need to have and I look up and try to compete with him.”

Seeing that success from the sidelines also gave Miranda plenty of encouragement as well.

“I was really happy to see him step up,” Miranda said. “It was his first full game at quarterback and he did really well. I’m really proud of him.”

Cervantes led the Bronchos from 11 points down in the fourth quarter for a 44-33 victory to snap a two-game losing skid. With a chance to break things down further on film, he said that there were still some things to work on.

“There’s always room to improve,” he said. “One of the things that I saw was that I need to work on reading my keys more. There were some plays where I could have run the ball and threw it and plays where I threw and could have run it.”

Having two quarterbacks that can handle playing the position is something that head coach Danny Servance has experience with dating back to last season with Trey Smith and Kameron Gonzales rotating in and out of the lineup.

Servance said having a full-blown rotation probably wouldn’t happen this year, but is still confident that either one can get the job done under center.

“You always want to in a situation with two guys that you feel comfortable with,” Servance said. “I think we had that last year with Trey and Kam, and I think we’re getting to that same scenario.”

That confidence resonates to the defensive side of the ball, as well.

“It definitely helps us out because it keeps us fresh,” senior linebacker Cade Mendoza said. “When we go back out on the field on defense, it’s our job to give them the ball back.”

Servance also noted that there had been a different energy since the last time Odessa High took the field.

“I think they just wanted to build off what they did a couple weeks ago and have that carry over,” he said. “It looks like we’re heading in that direction.”

Having that confidence will be key as Miranda works his way back from his injury. He said that having that extra week off with the open week has proved beneficial.

“I feel good,” Miranda said. “I had a good two weeks to rest from my concussion and I feel well rested and ready to come back. I’m glad to be back working out and just ready for this first district game in order to get the win.”

As for Cervantes, he’s ready to contribute no matter where he lines up.

“Wherever they need me, that’s where I’m going to play,” he said. “If they need me at safety and quarterback, I’ll be there for sure.”

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