After a season that included many ups and downs for the Permian Panthers, the 2020 slate ended with last weeks 38-7 area-round loss to Southlake Carroll at Abilene Christian University’s Wildcat Stadium.
It didn’t take the Dragons (who improved to 9-1 for the season) long to crack the scoreboard as Carroll had a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 31-0 advantage by the time the players went into the locker room at halftime.
Yet, despite the loss, Permian coach Jeff Ellison was proud of the way his players continued to fight.
The Panthers put together a scoring drive in the third quarter after trailing 38-0, scoring on a 12 play, 82-yard series that resulted in Lucas Salazar finding the end zone on a 1-yard carry with a 1:46 left in the third quarter.
“It speaks volumes (about our players),” Ellison said. “There were frustrations from the first half and not getting any points on the board and then coming back out in the second half and getting a score. Our kids didn’t stop fighting and that’s something that I’m proud of.”
Permian’s defense also kept Carroll’s high-scoring attack silent in the fourth quarter, holding the Dragons’ scoreless in the final quarter.
>> BACKUP QUARTERBACK SUCCESS: Southlake Carroll has been without its starting quarterback, Quinn Ewers, who’s been banged up with injury problems.
However, it didn’t hurt the Dragons’ chances last week as backup quarterback Hunter Holden, who’s seen a considerable amount of playing time this year, helped lead Carroll’s high-powered offense.
Holden was 6 of 10 passing for 249 yards and rushed for 24 yards on seven carries.
Southlake Carroll coach Riley Dodge had his words of praise for Holden after the game.
“He keeps stepping up to the plate and doing a good job for our offense,” Dodge said. “I’m proud of him.”
>> WINLESS: The Panthers are still searching for that first win in program history over the Dragons.
Friday’s loss moved Permian to 0-4 overall against Southlake Carroll.
Two of those losses, including last week’s game, have come in the playoffs.
In 2006, the Panthers lost to the Dragons 42-6 in the regional round of the playoffs. Their next meeting resulted in a 24-20 loss in a nondistrict contest in 2018 at Dragon Stadium. Last year, Permian lost 48-7 in a nondistrict contest at Ratliff Stadium.
>> AREA WOES: Permian’s area round troubles also continued this year.
Friday’s loss marked the fourth consecutive year that the Panthers have come up short in the second round of the playoffs.
Last year, Permian fell to Arlington Martin 71-28 at Ratliff Stadium. In 2018, the Panthers were dealt a 49-35 loss by Arlington Lamar and in 2017, the Panthers lost to Martin 41-10.
The last time the Panthers made it past the second round of the playoffs was in 2014, when Permian defeated Amarillo Tascosa 49-28.
>> PRAISE FOR HARPER: Senior quarterback Harper Terry ended his career at Permian by going 6 of 14 passing for 85 yards in the area game. He also led the team in rushing by putting up 81 yards on 21 carries.
Ellison told his quarterback what a great job he’s done during his time at Permian, especially during what he said was tough week for Terry.
“I told him how proud I am of him,” Ellison said. “He has great character and is a great teammate. He had a rough week with personal things and the first thing he thought of was his teammates. He’s one of the best leaders and teammates that I’ve seen.”
>> DISTRICT 2-6A UPDATE: Abilene High remains the last team from District 2-6A that’s alive in the playoffs.
The Eagles defeated North Crowley 12-7 last week in the area round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs and will now face Denton Guyer on Saturday in the regional round.
San Angelo Central lost to Haslet Eaton 40-16 last week, while Midland Lee lost to Euless Trinity 56-49.