Odessa High’s playoff hopes came to an end in Friday’s regular season finale at Ratliff Stadium.
The Bronchos were dealt a 32-21 loss to Midland Legacy.
With the win, the Rebels claimed the District 2-6A title outright.
However, it was Permian’s 21-14 win over Midland High at Astound Broadband Stadium in Midland that officially did the Bronchos in.
Going into the game, Odessa High-which was needing a favor from Midland High-was in a three-way tie for third in the District 2-6A standings with Permian and Wolfforth Frenship.
When all was said and done, Odessa High was the odd team out, falling to 5-4 overall and 2-3 in district play and finishing fifth in the 2-6A standings.
Permian’s win put the Panthers at 6-4, 3-2 and Frenship’s 41-34 win over San Angelo Central gave the Tigers (8-2, 3-2) a spot in the playoffs
Legacy finished top of the standings at 8-2, 4-1 while Midland High fell to 8-2, 3-2 but clinched a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
As for OHS, the Bronchos’ search for their first playoff appearance since 2013 will continue for another year.
An Odessa High victory would’ve created a five-way tie for the district title in a scenario that would’ve seen the Bronchos still be the odd team out.
San Angelo Central (which was already eliminated from playoff contention going into Friday) finished last in the standings at 1-9, 0-5.
“I told these players that I love them and that I’m proud of them,” Odessa High head coach Dusty Ortiz said. “Hopefully, we just made them better football players and hopefully we made them better men because of our program. We talked about coming out here tonight and giving our best effort. I think our players did that.”
Despite the loss, the Bronchos gave the Rebels a run for their money as the game was close throughout.
“it’s tough,” Ortiz said. “They had five takeaways. Whenever you have that, it’s usually a good night. But hats off to coach (Clint) Hartman and his players. They never gave up and made plays down the stretch.”
Unlike last year, the Rebels won’t have to share this year’s 2-6A title with anybody.
This year’s district title was the sixth in a row for the Rebels.
“I’m really proud,” Legacy head coach Clint Hartman said. “That’s six in a row for the Lee/Legacy program. … They’re very hard to win. It’s even harder to win when you have that many turnovers as we did tonight. But I’m proud of the resiliency of our kids. They didn’t give up. They kept fighting.”
Legacy running back Tommy Johnson had 22 carries for 232 yards and a touchdown while quarterback Marcos Davila went 20-of-25 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Odessa High running back Dae Dae Green had 21 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Mikey Cota went 19-of-41 passing for 203 yards and had a touchdown pass and one interception.
Odessa High wide receiver Julian Almance had seven catches for 81 yards while wide receiver Ivan Carreon had eight receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown
Facing fourth down on their opening drive, the Bronchos converted with a pass to Julian Almance, bringing the hosts to the Legacy 20 with under eight minutes in the first quarter.
Odessa High soon faced another fourth down and this time, they were unable to convert as quarterback Mikey Cota was sacked for a nearly 15-yard loss and the Rebels took over at their own 30 with 6:32 left in the quarter.
The Rebels capitalized as they brought the ball down the field and struck first with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Legacy quarterback Marcos Davila to wide receiver Aiden Serrano and Jason Maltos’ PAT made it 7-0 with 4:54 left in the quarter.
Later in the quarter, Davila coughed up possession for the Rebels and the Bronchos recovered at the Legacy 49 as Odessa High defensive back Taylor Dominick recovered the loose ball.
The Bronchos worked the ball down to inside the Rebel 10.
Cota hooked up with wide receiver Ivan Carreon for a 3-yard touchdown and Adan Carrillo’s extra-point tied the game at 7-7 with 1:25 left in the quarter.
The Bronchos then recovered the ensuing onside kick with Zayne Minjarez coming up with the ball and OHS began its next drive at the Legacy 47.
The game was tied at 7 heading into the second quarter.
Odessa High capitalized on the onside kick recovery as Green scored on a 16-yard touchdown run to put OHS ahead at 14-7 with 9:48 left in the second quarter.
Just as the Rebels looked like they were about to tie things up, Legacy running back Madden Milloy was stripped of the ball right outside the end zone and the result of the play was a touchback as the Bronchos took over with possession with 8:31 left in the quarter.
However, the drive sputtered after a promising start and a holding call against the Bronchos forced a third-and-17 on them and Odessa High soon had to punt for the first time with 4:45 remaining.
As results from around District 2-6A came in during the second quarter, the threat of a five-way tie for the district crown were alive as Permian led Midland High 14-0 at the half, Wolfforth Frenship was up by two scores against San Angelo Central and OHS holding its own against Legacy.
An OHS interception in the end zone late in the first half resulted in another turnover by the Rebels.
However, after the Bronchos were forced to punt, the Rebels’ offense managed to put a drive together and tied the game off a 15-yard touchdown pass from Davila to wide receiver cade Nellis with 24 seconds before halftime.
Both teams were tied at the break.
The second half began on a good note for the Bronchos as the Rebels fumbled the kickoff return and Odessa High took over on the Legacy 12.
However, the Bronchos were forced to settle for a 30-yard field goal attempt that ended up being no good with 11 minutes left in the third quarter.
But turnovers continued to plague the Rebels and it didn’t take long for another Legacy fumble to happen in which the Bronchos recovered with good field position.
This time, the Bronchos’ offense managed to capitalize as Green soon scored on a 7-yard run to put Odessa High back in front, 21-14, with 9:57 left in the quarter.
Legacy answered back with Milloy’s 2-yard touchdown run and Jaden Rodgers converted on the two-point conversion run to put the Rebels ahead, 22-21 with 7:13 remaining in the quarter.
With Odessa High threatening to score once again, Legacy defensive back Max Vera hauled in an interception in the end zone for a touchback with under four minutes in the third.
The Rebels took advantage by putting together a scoring drive on the following possession, capping it off with an 11-yard touchdown run by running back Tommy Johnson and Legacy expanded its lead to 29-21 with 3:14 left in the quarter.
Legacy maintained its eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Rebels added a 31-yard field goal by Maltos to make it a 32-21 game with 3:26 left in the game.