Odessa High head coach Dusty Ortiz said that he was encouraged by the fight and resiliency the team showed during Thursday’s season opener at Lubbock Monterey.
Unfortunately for the Bronchos, the team was unable to climb out of a 20-point, first-quarter deficit and fell 32-27 to the Plainsmen.
As the team returned to practice Monday, Ortiz said that the focus in practice this week will be on the details.
“I hope we got all of our mistakes out in the first quarter,” Ortiz said. “With new systems, it just took us a while to get going. But after watching film, everything is correctable.
“We had a lot of penalties, had some holding calls, jumping offsides calls, so everything that we did we can go back and practice it.”
The Bronchos had to deal with plenty of adversity in recent seasons but Thursday’s game may have been a sign of things starting to turn the corner.
Two plays in the first half provided a spark for Odessa High: a 43-yard pass from Diego Cervantes to Ivan Carreon that set up a touchdown and a Jayven Gonzales interception near the end of the half to keep the game at one score.
“It shows us that we can fight with anyone,” Gonzales said. “If we really put our minds to it and start off early, we can keep up with anyone.”
Another emerging playmaker was sophomore receiver Carreon.
The 6-foot-6 target finished with 152 yards on eight catches that included a leaping 61-yard touchdown reception.
Carreon added that he felt his coaches saw a favorable matchup on film and took advantage of it. Moving forward, he also emphasized the importance of details.
“We did a lot of good stuff that we can carry over into the next game,” he said.
The hope for the Bronchos is that they can get off to a better start against their next opponent, Del Rio, at 7 p.m. Friday at Walter Levermann Stadium.
The Rams fell 55-20 in their season opener to Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial.
Ortiz added that this matchup will be very different than what they saw against the Plainsmen on both sides of the ball.
When Del Rio is on offense, Odessa High will be focused on limiting the playmaking ability of sophomore quarterback Zachary Taylor.
“Del Rio has a bunch of different formations,” Ortiz said. “They overload it to one side and just hope that you get misaligned. So we’re really working on their formations.”
When Del Rio is on defense, Ortiz added that the major point of emphasis will be on keeping Cervantes protected in the pocket.
“They bring a lot of pressure,” said Ortiz of the Rams’ defense, “They line up in a 4-3 and bring six, seven at a time so that gives us opportunities to maybe hit a long ball or have a really big play offensively.”
>> CAREER BEST: Senior quarterback Diego Cervantes finished with a career-best 267 yards passing in the season opener. It is the most he’s had since finishing with 110 yards passing against Harlingen South on Sept. 28, 2019.
It is also the first time that an Odessa High quarterback has thrown for over 200 yards in a game since Trey Smith did so back in 2018 also against Harlingen South.
>> TOP TARGET: Ivan Carreon’s eight catches Thursday is the most that an Odessa High receiver has had in a single game since Julian Galindo accomplished that in 2017 against Abilene High.
>> BLOCKED: The Odessa High football team blocked two field goals in Thursday’s game. It’s believed to be the first time in program history that feat has happened.
>> NEW FOE: Friday’s game will be the first ever meeting between Odessa High and Del Rio. The two teams were supposed to meet at Ratliff Stadium in 2020 but that matchup was canceled due to COVID issues.
>> SUBVARSITY RESULTS: Odessa High JV defeated Lubbock Monterey JV 24-8. Both the Red and White teams were combined for the game.
Freshman Red 18, Monterey 13; Monterey 24, Freshman White 8.
All four subvarsity teams are in action this week and all four will be playing at 5 p.m. Thursday.
The matchups are as follows: JV Red vs. Del Rio at Ozona; JV White vs. Midland Legacy at Ratliff Stadium south fields; Freshman Red vs. Del Rio at Old Bobcat Stadium, San Angelo; Freshman White at Wolfforth Frenship.
>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas
ODESSA HIGH AT DEL RIO
>> When: 7 p.m. Friday.
>> Where: Walter Levermann Stadium.
>> Last season: Did not play.
>> Records: Odessa High 0-1; Del Rio 0-1.
>> Radio: (KMCM) FM-96.9
ODESSA HIGH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Last Week: Had a team-high eight receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown in his varsity debut against Lubbock Montere,y Friday at Lowrey Field in Lubbock.
This season: Led the team with eight catches for 152 yards and a touchdown against Lubbock Monterey.