MIDLAND Throughout the season, Midland Legacy has dominated its opponents on the football field by using its speed on offense and defense.
The Permian football team was able to give the Rebels some fits throughout their matchup Friday at Grande Communications Stadium, but the Panthers couldn’t hold them down for long as Midland Legacy came away with a 34-21 victory.
A slow start on offense for the Panthers led to an early 21-0 advantage for Midland Legacy, which turned to multiple weapons in the contest to maintain the upper hand.
“We were slow, sluggish coming out of the gate,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “Trying to get everything going took us too long, early in the first half we’d start getting plays going and we’d turn the ball over.
“This is a big game to get us into the playoffs, I told our team I was proud of our fight but you can’t make mistakes like that.”
The Rebels held Permian to a three and out, then when on a three-play drive that covered 90 yards in less than a minute to give them the lead.
Midland Legacy repeated that sequence to go up 13-0 before the end of the first quarter.
It wouldn’t be until about halfway through the second quarter that Permian came up with an answer on the offensive side of the ball when Rodney Hall connected with Jaquan Richardson for a 21-yard passing touchdown to make it 21-7.
After the Panthers went into the halftime break trailing by seven, it looked like they would have a chance to tie the game after Drake Womack picked off a Marcos Davila pass and returned it 43 yards to the Midland Legacy 1 yard line.
The Rebel defense stifled the offense and blocked a field goal to maintain the 21-14 lead and Midland Legacy managed to outscore Permian 13-7 before the end of the game.
The home team leaned on Davila and Makhilyn Young throughout the contest to move the ball up the field, while Permian got solid receiving performances from Richardson and Lucas Salazar.
Young led the Rebels with 129 rushing yards and 138 receiving yards, with Richardson pacing the Panthers with 94 receiving yards.
“They’re a really good football team,” Permian defensive coordinator Vance Washington said. “I’m proud of our guys, I thought we competed and fought, never let down and never let up.
“We were competing there until the very end and that’s what you want as a coach, is to look back and know your guys played hard the entire game.”
Washington added that the Panthers will need to quickly shift their attention to next week’s Class 6A Division bi-district matchup in the playoffs.
Permian is scheduled to play El Paso Franklin at 7:30 p.m. (CST) Friday at Cougar Stadium in El Paso to start postseason play.
Midland Legacy head coach Clint Hartman said it felt good seeing his players finish off the regular season with an undefeated district record and the team’s first outright District 2-6A title since 1999.
“My hat’s off to Permian, they fought their tails off and played hard. This rivalry, they had a movie and a book about it,” Hartman said. “It’s one of the reasons I moved my family from San Antonio to come here, is for this game alone.
“You know what you’re getting into, this is Michigan-Michigan State, this is Texas-Texas A&M, that’s what this is.”
Permian finished off the regular season with a 7-3 overall record and a 4-2 mark in district play.
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Midland Legacy 34, Permian 21
Permian……………….. 0.. 14 0 7 — 21
Midland Legacy…… 13…. 8 7 6 — 34
Midland Legacy: Makhilyn Young 75 pass fro m Marcos Davila (Gunner Meade kick) 7:55. Drive: 3 plays 90 yards, 0:54. Key play: Davila found Young open down the right sideline and he blew past the Permian defense for the score.
Midland Legacy: Chris Brazzell 6 pass from Marcos Davila (run failed) 4:39. Drive: 9 plays 80 yards, 2:15. Key play: Davila shortened the field with a 28-yard run for a first down before completing two passes to Brazzell.
Midland Legacy: Makhilyn Young 4 run (Chris Brazzell pass from Marcos Davila) 11:59. Drive: 10 plays 44 yards, 2:36. Key play: Davila completed a 17-yard pass to Addison Akbar to convert a fourth down on the drive.
Permian: Jaquan Richardson 21 pass from Rodney Hall (Tate Terry kick) 6:14. Drive: 11 plays 68 yards, 5:38. Key play: Zach Wheeler converted a third down with a 3-yard run.
Permian: Lucas Salazar 44 pass from Zach Wheeler (Tate Terry kick) 0:28. Drive: 2 plays 57 yards, 0:18. Key play: Rodney Hall completed a 13-yard pass to Jaquan Richardson to set up the scoring play.
Midland Legacy: Makhilyn Young 17 run (Gunner Meade kick) 2:11. Drive: 7 plays 65 yards, 2:13. Key play: Marcos Davila completed a 24-yard pass to Chris Brazzell to put the ball inside the Permian 20.
Permian: Caysen Clinton 1 run (Tate Terry kick) 6:55. Ddrive: 11 plays 86 yards 3:23. Key play: A 38-yard pass from Rodney Hall to Jaquan Richardson put the ball on the Legacy 1 for Clinton to score.
Midland Legacy: Makhilyn Young 3 run (kick failed) 1:06. Drive: 13 plays 74 yards, 5:42. Key play: A 7-yard run from Wesley Smith helped the Rebels convert a fourth down to keep the drive alive.
First Downs…………………… 14……………….. 18
Total Yards…………………. 318……………… 437
Rushes-Yards………… 34-102…………. 36-171
Passing……………………… 216……………… 266
Comp-Att-Int…………. 15-23-1……….. 17-30-1
Fumbles-Lost………………. 3-2………………. 2-1
Punts-Avg………………….. 2-43………….. 3-34.3
Penalties-Yards…………. 6-59…………….. 4-50
Permian: Zach Wheeler 9-39, Jaquan Richardson 8-38, Caysen Clinton 6-10, Rodney Hall 10-9, Lucas Salazar 1-6..
Midland Legacy: Makhilyn Young 129, Marcos Davila 3-22, Donny Bishop 2-10, Wesley Smith 1-7, Addison Akbar 1-3.
Permian: Rodney Hall 14-22—172, Zach Wheeler 1-1—44.
Midland Legacy: Marcos Davila 17-30—266.
Permian: Jaquan Richardson 6-94, Lucas Salazar 5-86, Zach Wheeler 2-36.
Midland Legacy: Makhilyn Young 4-138, Chris Brazzell 5-67, Nate Suttle 3-25, Donny Bishop 4-19, Addison Akbar 1-17.
Permian: Drake Womack 1-43.
Midland Legacy: Canoyon Moses 1-13.