After not getting a chance to complete spring football in 2020, the Permian football team wanted to make up for lost time during the Black-White Spring Game Thursday at Ratliff Stadium.
Quarterback Rodney Hall threw a touchdown pass and Tate Terry kicked a pair of field goals to account for the scoring in a controlled scrimmage of 10-minute quarters.
When everything wrapped up, head coach Jeff Ellison said he was pleased with where the Panthers stood.
“I saw a lot of improvement from where we started five weeks ago,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “I was proud of our guys today. It was fun and it was good for the fans and the community to get back out here and see them.”
The early part of the scrimmage was highlighted early on by Hall, who played only the first half.
Hall nearly broke off for a touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage for the White team. He followed that four plays later with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Lucas Salazar to cap off a strong opening drive.
The Panthers will have a new quarterback under center for the 2021 season with Harper Terry graduating. The good news for Hall is that he believes in the supporting cast.
“I felt I did good today, but I feel as a team from the O-line to the guys around me, we all did good today,” Hall said.
One of Permian’s focuses for the spring was building up the next group of running backs and that was on display with the number of ball carriers who got reps in Thursday’s scrimmage.
Returners Tristan Johnson and Johnny Martinez all received carries, along with newcomers that included Marcus Lares and Jonathan Vizcaino.
“I think we have a lot of depth at running back and I think we’ve done a great job,” Ellison said. “Coach (Kirk) Thurman, I think that’s one of the areas where we’ve made a big jump in.”
Ellison was also pleased with how the defense performed particularly early. The White defense forced turnovers on its first two possessions: a fumble recovery by Cooper Brannan and an interception by Bryce Woody.
Woody, along with safety Kayden Baze and cornerback Corey McCoy, are among the experienced starters returning for the Panthers’ defense.
“I think that’s going to be huge for us,” Ellison said. “When you have guys that started that have one or two years and are coming back for their senior years, that’s a lot of football they’ve played so they’ll be better.”
The Panthers now turn their attention to summer workouts before returning for their first practices in August.
Permian will have its lone scrimmage of the fall Aug. 20 against Amarillo High at Ratliff Stadium before opening the season the following week at home against El Paso Pebble Hills.
For now, the focus is to continue to build off what the team accomplished in the spring.
“It’s all about summer workouts,” Hall said. “That’s where you really get stronger and get together as a team.”
>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas