The Permian football team is eager to begin its second portion of the season (District 2-6A action) against crosstown rivals Odessa High.

Adding more excitement to it, the Panthers are ready to get back out on the field after last week’s bye.

However, Permian head coach Jeff Ellison and his players know that 2-6A is going to be a tough battle, just like it is every year.

One loss won’t eliminate anyone from the playoffs but it does make it harder to come back from, especially considering Permian has Midland Legacy the very next week.

“We’re very excited to start district,” Ellison said. “We have a great district. It’s going to be a battle every week and our kids are very excited. Our coaches are excited to get district play started.”

The Panthers and the Bronchos are both coming off byes from last week.

“I thought our bye week went very well,” Ellison said. “We did a lot of crossover, offense versus defense. We got a lot of looks. It was very competitive throughout the week. I thought we were very competitive. We got better individually and we got better as a football team. We’re excited about this week and to begin district play.”

>> CONFIDENCE GROWING: The Panthers already look like a much different team than the one that fell to Abilene High 49-14 in Week 1 at Ratliff Stadium.

Since then, Permian has responded with a 27-21 victory over Waco Midway and a 43-6 win over Amarillo Tascosa before a suffering a 27-25 setback to Harker Heights.

The Panthers ended their nondistrict schedule on a high note with a 41-20 win over Abilene Cooper at Shotwell Stadium on Sept. 22.

“I think the biggest thing that stood out was the confidence of our kids,” Ellison said. “We’ve played five games now and we’ve gotten better each and every week. The kids have done a good job of competing. I saw that confidence grow over the last five weeks.”

>>OFFENSIVE LINE: Ellison also pointed out the offensive line’s improvement since the start of the season.

The Panthers’ running game, which has been spearheaded by Juztyce Lara and Gavin Black as well as quarterback Jakob Garcia, have also helped make the offense explode.

“They’re gelling,” Ellison said. “They’re getting better each and every week. Our running game has been very explosive with Juzstyce Lara and Gavin (Black). But our quarterback has gotten more confident and our completion percentage has gotten better each and every week.”

>> STOPPING CARREON: It’s no secret but Odessa High’s receiving game is led by none other than 6-foot-6, Oklahoma commit, Ivan Carreon who is sure to bring a challenge to the Panthers’ defense.

But it doesn’t end with Carreon (who’s averaging 92.6 yards per game) as wide receiver Andrew Rodriguez has been averaging 68.6 yards per game while running back Dejuan Green leads the Bronchos’ rushing attack with 128.8 yards per game.

“He’s a good football player, obviously,” Ellison said of Carreon. “We’ve seen him for many years. All of our teams in the district have good players all around. We have to prepare for an entire team, not just Ivan.”

>> COMEBACKS: Odessa High has managed to fight back from early deficits this season, most notably, the 22-point comeback against Amarillo High in the Bronchos’ 36-35 win last month.

Odessa High also erased a 17-point first quarter deficit against Keller, outscoring the Indians 21-13 in the second quarter before the game was called due to inclement weather.

“They’ve come back from a lot of close games so they’re a fighting team this year,” Ellison said. “They do a good job over there. This is a going to be a fun game for everybody.”

Odessa High at Permian 

>> When: 7 p.m. Friday.

>> Where: Ratliff Stadium.

>> Last Season: Permian 38, Odessa High 7

>> Series: Permian leads 53-10-1

>> Records: Odessa High 3-1, 0-0; Permian 3-2, 0-0)

>> Radio: KMCM (FM-96.9); KHKX (FM-99.1)