After three weeks of consecutive road trips, one of which included a long weather delay that ended up being called after two quarters of play, it’s safe to say the OHS football team is eager to be at home for the first time since Aug. 17.
The Bronchos will play their first home game of the season with a 7 p.m. contest against Amarillo High at Ratliff Stadium.
The last time Odessa High was playing at Ratliff Stadium was during its scrimmage against Abilene Cooper.
“We’re excited to be back at home,” Odessa High head coach Dusty Ortiz said. “It’s been a while since the last time we were at home at the scrimmage. We’re looking forward to it. We’re excited about it.”
The road stretch began with Lubbock Monterey on Aug. 25, continued at El Paso Americas Aug. 31 and wrapped up with last Friday’s game at Keller which ended up being called after the weather showed no signs of letting up.
Keller led 30-21 at the half when the lightning delay started.
The game has been ruled a no-contest which means OHS remains 1-1 for the season going into this week’s contest against Amarillo High (2-1).
>> The Waiting game: Both Odessa High and Keller waited as long as they could but it wasn’t until 11 p.m. when the decision was made to not finish the game.
“We wanted to play,” Ortiz said. “I was willing to wait until midnight to see if the weather would pass but ultimately, they didn’t want to do that. … Keller starts district next week and at the end of the day, I think it was one of those deals where it was in the best decision of both of us to call it a game at 11. We were willing to stick it out but it didn’t look like the weather was going to let down. There was another cell that was developing just north of us. We felt by that time, it was the best interest to call it off and start preparing for next week’s games.”
The Indians jumped out to a 13-0 lead.
Ortiz said the lag from the lengthy bus trip carried over into the start of the game.
“We spotted them 13 points and couldn’t get a first down on the first couple of drives,” Ortiz said.
However, Odessa High managed to cut the deficit and trailed 16-14 at one point.
“Once we started playing our game, we started getting back in the sense that we were playing a football game and I think we showed what we could do,” Ortiz said. “The kids started playing really well. The kids got a couple of stops and then the offense started getting into the rhythm. They started scoring and doing what they do. We were just on the road for a long time, since 10 a.m. and it played into the game. But we’re going to make another long trip next weekend so we have to be ready.”
That next road trip will be to Schertz Clemens on Sept. 22.
Quarterback Mikey Cota went 8-of-15 for 119 yards for the Bronchos and one interception while running back Dae Dae Green rushed for 89 yards off 13 carries.
The Bronchos got into the locker room around 8:45 p.m. Ortiz said one of the options both teams considered was shortening halftime to 18 minutes to try and beat the weather.
However, by then, the storm cell had already moved in.
“We were able to go out and warm up,” Ortiz said. “Once we did that, we were about to start the third quarter and that’s when we fell under that lightning delay.”
>> Amarillo High: The Sandies enter this week’s contest having suffered a 32-27 loss to Midland High last Friday at Dick Bivins Stadium.
Amarillo High began the season with a 35-7 loss to Midland Legacy before defeating Cleveland (N.M.) 28-27.
The Sandies have been without starting quarterback Will Flaming, who Ortiz anticipates will be back in this week’s game.
“Amarillo High is very successful,” Ortiz said. “They make the playoffs each year. They do a good job of running their schemes. They’re a disciplined ball club. They’re getting their QB back. He’s been injured the past couple of weeks.”
Running back Pius Vokes is a lethal weapon in the running game for Amarillo High.
“They have a running back who runs pretty hard,” Ortiz said. “Their offense line is scrapping and work very hard. … All in all, their offense runs a lot of misdirections. I think their quarterback is going to be able to throw the ball a little bit better and run the offense more efficiently. We have to be prepared for that.”
Defensively, the Sandies bring an odd-numbered front.
“They play pretty hard,” Ortiz said. “They’re going to get to the ball and stop the run and play with a lot of energy. They’re good at what they do. They scored on special teams last week against Midland High. They’re a well-coached ball club.”
Amarillo High at Odessa High
>> When: 7 p.m Friday
>> Where: Ratliff Stadium
>> Last season: Amarillo High 42, Odessa High 17
>> Records: Amarillo High 1-2; Odessa High 1-1
>> Radio: KHKX (FM-99.1)