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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area notebook, Sept. 25 - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area notebook, Sept. 25

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Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:23 pm

District 2-4A play begins with a battle between two rivals.

The surging, and undefeated, Fort Stockton Panthers host the Pecos Eagles Friday.

Pecos (1-3) has had to develop its young talent over the last couple of weeks, and has shown signs of improvement.

District play, just like for every team, is a fresh start.

“We talked about just improving every week, regardless of what records are because we were gonna be anywhere from 4-0 to 0-4,” Pecos head coach Chris Jones said about his team’s expectations for district. “District play — everybody’s at 0-0.

“We got a six-game path we got to get through and try to get into the top four to get out. That’s our goal. That’s just what we got to focus on, especially with any young kids that are on the field right now. It’s getting better each week and making some improvements.”

The overall goal during the nondistrict slate was to get the younger players more experience, and so far they have improved their football savvy.

“I think, especially on the offensive and defensive fronts, we’ve seen some improvements on both sides,” Jones said. “On the offensive side we had up to four sophomores on the line at one time against Big Spring last week.

“Those guys are just getting more seasoned every week.”

Senior Michael Rambo has contributed to the team in more ways than one, whether it’s as a defensive end, linebacker or running back.

Rambo rushed for 103 yards on nine carries with two scores last week against Big Spring.

“We’ve rolled him in there at running back and he’s been productive,” Jones said about Rambo. “(He) had some good yards last week. The line up in front of him is just a whole different group than he had last year.

“He’s definitely gonna be a load to bring down.”

>> RESURGENCY: After beginning the season 0-2, Crane has begun to correct its mistakes and get on a roll.

Since a 26-21 victory at McCamey in Week 3, the Golden Cranes have been riding some good momentum. Last week, Crane pitched a 21-0 shutout against Kermit.

“Well, basically, we’ve kind of refocused back to the basics that we were overlooking,” Crane head coach Steve Rodman said. “We’d make mistakes and capitalize on turnovers.

“We’ve focused pretty heavy on that. We’ve watched film, we’ve looked at ourselves and we see the things that we can do better, and then just make it a clear, conscience effort to fix those things.”

One key component to Crane’s recent success has been junior quarterback Brandon Cerna, who rushed for 175 yards with two scores last week.

“Brandon is a good athlete and he definitely helps the team,” Rodman said about Cerna. “He’s explosive, but, as we all say, it’s our job to take care of each other and we know that we got to open holes for no matter who’s running the ball.”

>> SMALL NUMBERS, LOTS OF HEART: The Fort Davis Indians might be small in numbers, but they don’t lack the heart and desire to succeed.

Two weeks ago, after losing to Sierra Blanca, 62-30, the players enthusiastically went right back to the drawing board to fix their mistakes.

“We’ve just been pushing them as hard as we can with what we’ve got,” Fort Davis head coach Seth Nolan said. “We can’t even go six-on-six, so we just do what we can to be physical Monday to Tuesday and tone it down the rest of the week.

“Our boys are taking more pride in that. There’s a lot of ownership on this team, which is a good thing.”

The Indians had a solid 53-12 victory against Fort Hancock last week. As cliché as it sounds, Fort Davis is just trying to be 1-0 each week.

“It’s been a little tough. You want to preach being physical all practice long and you transfer that over on Friday, but we got about 10 minutes on Monday, 10 minutes on Tuesday of hitting,” Nolan said. “You’re over there crossing your fingers saying, ‘I hope nobody turns an ankle.’

“It’s a thin line. So far we’ve been blessed and lucky to cross it. It’s been an overall fun group to coach.”

Odessa, TX

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