HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian closes out season with plenty to build on

The Permian football needed a fast start in its Class 6A Division I area round matchup with Euless Trinity last Saturday at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.

They got that when they capped off a 9 play, 75-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run from Brian Mahaffey to start the game.

Things only got better for the Panthers, as Jaquan Richardson broke away from the Trojan defense for a 35-yard scoring reception to start the second quarter.

Permian had a 17-7 lead at the end of the first half, but it couldn’t hold on as Euless Trinity went on to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to end the Panthers’ season.

It marked the sixth straight time that the Panthers have fallen in the area round of the playoffs, with their last win coming in 2014 against Amarillo Tascosa before falling against Euless Trinity in the third round.

After the contest, Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said the showing against the Trojans would help the players he would have returning in the future.

“It helps them tremendously because they saw what it takes to win a big time football game,” Ellison said. “There were some moments that we did an outstanding job and there were some moments that we didn’t.

“When you’re in this position in the playoffs, you can’t make mistakes but I was pleased with our team’s effort, their fight and everything that they’ve given the team and our coaching staff.”

>> STRONG SENIORS: All throughout the season, Permian has shown that it can be stout defensively behind a strong group of seniors.

Veteran players like Jaxon Dorethy, Brayden Quiroz and Kayden Baze were among some of the players to make a strong impact on a consistent basis for the Panthers.

“I can’t say enough good things about those guys,” Permian defensive coordinator Vance Washington said after the loss. “A lot of them, they played a lot of football for us and led our program to where it is.

“Hopefully the juniors saw that and will feed off of it, we had great seniors and great senior leadership I’ll miss tremendously because I’ve had them for a long time.”

>> HONORED: The Panthers also had some players received All-District honors this week, with some being unanimous first team selections.

Tristan Johnson, Jaquan Richardson, Harris Sewell and Cooper Sheehan were among those selected to the first team offense.

On the defensive side, Dorethy, Baze, Daveon Walucho and Corey McCoy were also honored on the first team ballot.

Sewell, Walucho and McCoy were Permian’s unanimous selections.

>> HE’LL BE BACK: Rodney Hall finished his first season as Permian’s starting quarterback with 1,771 passing yards.

That mark was good enough for the signal caller to finish with the 12th best season for a Panther in terms of passing yardage behind Stormy Case, who threw for 1,836 yards in 1991.

If Hall manages to throw for 1,700 yards or more again next season, he’ll be the career passing leader at Permian.

The junior is set to return next season along with is top receiving weapon in Jaquan Richardson, who reeled in 28 catches for 759 yards and 12 touchdowns this year.

>> DISTRICT IS DONE: Heading into last weekend, Permian and Midland Legacy were the only District 2-6A teams remaining in the Class 6A playoffs.

Both Abilene High and San Angelo Central were eliminated in the bi-district round by schools from El Paso.

The Rebels were scheduled to take on Southlake Carroll at Globe Life Field in Arlington after Permian played its game against Euless Trinity.

It wasn’t a good night for Midland Legacy, as the Dragons dominated the entire contest and defeated the Rebels 42-7.

Euless Trinity will go on to face Allen at 2 p.m. Saturday at Eagle Stadium in Allen, while Southlake Carroll will play Lewisville at the same time and date at Buddy Echols Field in Coppell.

>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya