The Odessa High football team made sure it was a homecoming night worth remembering.

Trailing by 22 points in the first half, the Bronchos came all the back in their 36-35 win over Amarillo High Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

After the Sandies (1-3) took a 22-0 lead, the Bronchos (2-1) slowly fought back and in the second half, made it a back and forth contest before prevailing.

“I feel like I need a nap,” Odessa High head coach Dusty Ortiz said. “That was exhausting but it was fun and every single emotion you can think of. Downs and ups, we grew as a team. we showed a lot of competitive spirit to come back. We got ourselves in a hole and I was proud of the way we responded. The coaches and the kids did a great job. They didn’t give up. It was just a matter of finding out how to stop them and get points on the board.”

For the Sandies, it was another disappointing loss to a team from District 2-6A.

Amarillo High was coming off a 32-27 loss to Midland High last week at home.

“I was pleased with the way we started,” Amarillo High head coach Chad Dunnam said. “I thought we started out well for a half. We played well for two-and-a-half quarters. We had a chance to put that team away but we kept getting costly penalties. We ended up not putting points on the board. We allowed them to score and gain a momentum. … everything matters and we weren’t able to execute.”

The game did not start off well for Odessa High.

The Bronchos were forced to punt on their opening drive after numerous incomplete passes saw the drive end.

Amarillo took over their own 42 to star their opening drive.

However, the Sandies couldn’t do much on their first offensive drive and had to punt after three incomplete passes.

On the Bronchos’ next drive, Mikey Cota was picked off when trying to connect with Ivan Carreon and the Sandies took over near midfield at the Bronchos 49.

Pious Vokes found the end zone on a 49-yard run on the next play but the celebrations ended as holding was called on the Sandies.

The Sandies would make up for it on the next play as Will Flaming connected with JQ Ervin for a 59-yard touchdown and Korbin Raef’s extra point made it 7-0 with 9:20 left in the first quarter.

After an OHS turnover on downs, the Sandies started moving the ball downfield once again.

The Sandies didn’t disappoint when Flaming connected with Cooper Manning for a 43-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion run by Eddy Mpela made it 15-0 with 4:52 left in the quarter.

Vokes scored on a 47-yard touchdown run soon after and the Sandies’ extra-point by Raef then made it 22-0 with 2:42 left in the quarter.

Before the half, the Bronchos finally cracked the scoreboard as Cota found Carreon for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 4:55 left in the half. Aidric Rivera’s PAT made it 22-7.

“I said we made about every mistake that we could’ve made,” Ortiz said. “Whether it was defensive assignments or what. I told the kids we couldn’t play like that. I also told them that they must like to play tough games because they love adversity. We told them we had all the faith in the world that they were going to make that comeback.”

Amarillo High began the second half with a promising drive.

The Sandies managed to get the ball to as far as the OHS 11 but soon turned the ball over on downs.

The Bronchos scored on an 11-yard touchdown by Dae Dae Green to narrow the gap with 1:50 left in the quarter and Rivera’s extra-point made it 22-14.

Vokes responded back in the form of a 70-yard touchdown run and Raef’s PAT made it 29-14 with 1:29 remaining in the quarter.

Andrew Rodriguez hauled in a 29-yard touchdown with 53 seconds left in the third and the Bronchos had another eight-point deficit, trailing 29-21.

Amarillo High couldn’t do much on its next drive and ended the third with a 29-21 advantage.

A 47-yard run by Green brought the Bronchos deep into Sandie territory at the 15 with 10 minutes left in the game.

A few plays later, Cota hooked up with Jalen Warren for a 4-yard touchdown pass and the two-point conversion to Carreon was caught, tying the game up at 29 with 9:24 left in the game.

The Bronchos’ defense came to life and held Amarillo High’s offense to another scoreless drive.

However, an interception by Amarillo High’s Jaylend Brashears gave the visitors possession on their own 28 with 4:36 on the clock.

The Sandies made the Bronchos pay and Vokes scored on a 27-yard touchdown run. A fumbled snap on the PAT kept the Sandies ahead by only 35-29 with 2:47 left.

The Bronchos, however scored on an 87-yard kickoff return by Warren with 2:29 left and the extra point made it 36-35, OHS.

OHS would hang on and not concede any more points.

“Our defense had a couple of technique issues and they weren’t doing the right thing,” Ortiz said. “But that last drive, they finally did what we asked them to do and got that stuff.”

The Bronchos will play one more nondistrict game which will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Schertz-Clemens.

“I think it gives us confidence knowing that no matter how bad things can be, we still have two halves of football,” Ortiz said.

Amarillo High will begin district play next week against Amarillo Tascosa.

“First of all, we can’t turn the ball over,” Dunnam said. “We have to limit our penalties. We had far too many of them. We have to get better on both sides of the ball. We did some things well on some parts of the game and we did some things poorly. We have to be able to keep a lead.”