Welcome to a chaotic, final week of District 2-6A action. May the odds be in everyone’s favor.
Odessa High’s playoff hopes will all come down to the wire this Friday.
The Bronchos (5-3 overall, 2-2 in district) will face co-district 6A leaders Midland Legacy (7-2, 3-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Ratliff Stadium in the regular season finale.
Whether or not the Bronchos can end their 10-year playoff drought could come down to two big scenarios: win and the Bronchos should be good (provided that there’s no five-way tie for the district title, in which case could come down to final week scores) or a Midland High win over Permian since the Bronchos own the tiebreaker over Permian.
Legacy and Midland High (8-1, 3-1) remain tied for first place after the Rebels 49-31 win over the Bulldogs last week.
Wolfforth Frenship (7-2, 2-2), Odessa High and Permian (5-4, 2-2) are all tied for third place in the 2-6A standings.
San Angelo Central (1-8, 0-4) is the only District 2-6A team that’s officially been eliminated from playoff contention.
Frenship will be traveling to San Angelo Central at 7 p.m. Friday where the Tigers will try and clinch their spot in the playoffs after starting off 0-2 in district play while Permian will face Midland High at 7 p.m. at Astound Broadband Stadium.
A Midland High victory could do a huge favor for the Bronchos who defeated Permian 49-42 back on Oct. 6.
“It’s not just win because the big one is we need Midland High to win, but we just need to finish out the week strong and continue to get better,” Odessa High head coach Dusty Ortiz said. “We can’t focus on the scenarios or things like that. We just want to make sure we finish the last regular season game playing at our highest ability and executing at a high level. We need to put together a complete game.”
>> THERE’S THAT: The Bronchos began district play on a promising 2-0 start which included wins over Permian and a 71-70 victory over San Angelo Central (both in overtime) earlier this month.
Since then, Odessa High has struggled, losing to Midland High (59-28) on Oct. 20 and a 77-49 loss to Wolfforth Frenship last week on the road.
“I thought the kids played pretty hard,” Ortiz said of last week’s game. “They gave a great effort. I thought our offense played really well and kept us in the game. We had a couple of miscues on special teams with a fake punt and two onside recoveries and that was the difference in the game. I don’t think each other’s defense could stop each other. It was basically who can steal possession and it came down to that. They extended one of their drives on a fake punt and then got back-to-back onside recoveries in the second quarter and that was the difference in the game.”
>> LEGACY: Since their 32-31 loss to Permian on Oct. 13, the Rebels have been a roll, defeating San Angelo Central, 66-24, and Midland High and putting themselves back in District 2-6A contention.
Legacy’s only other loss of the season came in a 62-31 defeat to Cibolo Steele on Sept. 15.
The Rebels’ other District 2-6A win was a 63-56 win over Frenship on Oct. 6 at Astound Broadband Stadium.
While Legacy’s defense has struggled (like almost everyone else in 2-6A), the Rebels have made up for it with a high-scoring offense, powered by quarterback and Purdue commit, Marcos Davila.
The senior has passed for over 2,000 yards this season, going 152-of-247 total so far with 21 touchdowns.
“Coach Clint Hartman does a great job with his kids,” Ortiz said. “They execute really well. They’re tough. They’re talented. Offensively, it starts with their quarterback. He’s a big kid that can make all the throws. He’s strong enough to run, too. Whenever they call his number, they can get some yardage. Their offensive line is really good and well-coached. Their running backs are dangerous and their receivers are good, too.”
While the Rebels have struggled on defense, Ortiz knows Legacy’s defense can still be a threat.
“On defense, they can stop the run,” Ortiz said. “They’re aggressive. They all fly to the ball. They’re a really good football team.”
>> DO OR DIE: Despite all the scenarios, the Bronchos know they still have to take care of business and see what happens.
“Again, this could be a playoff week,” Ortiz said. “We could be done. We’ve been telling the kids that we need to play at a hard level and execute. At the end of the week, we can’t have any regrets. We just need to go out and do it and make sure that on game day we’re focused.”
Midland Legacy at Odessa High
>> When: 7 p.m. Friday
>> Where: Ratliff Stadium
>> Last Season: Midland Legacy 62, Odessa High 34
>> Records: Midland Legacy (7-2 overall, 3-1 in District 2-6A); Odessa High 5-3, 2-2.
>> Radio: KHKX (FM-99.1)