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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian notebook for Oct. 9 - Odessa American: Football

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian notebook for Oct. 9

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Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 5:59 pm

The long-awaited time of the year has finally arrived to Odessa.

The Permian football team has turned its attention to this year’s edition of the crosstown rivalry game against Odessa High.

Friday’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff will not only be unique because of the rivalry contest, but it’ll also mark the start of District 2-6A play for both teams.

“First off, it’s our first district game and we’d like to come out and play hard and start off district play with a good win,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “Going up against a good rival team like Odessa High, there’s always going to be a lot of emotion and this will be a fun game.”

Both the Panthers and the Bronchos come in with a 2-3 overall record.

While both teams are aiming to begin district play on the right foot, Ellison said having to play the crosstown rivalry at the start of conference play isn’t a disturbance.

“It’s not really a distraction or anything like that,” Ellison said. “I think naturally, everyone’s going to be excited and everyone’s going to be excited at practice. The kids are very laser focused and I think everyone’s going to be locked in and ready to play.”

>> ODESSA HIGH: Coached by Danny Servance, the Bronchos, who are also coming off their bye, week, posted a 44-33 win over Harlingen South in their last game, Sept. 28 at Ratliff Stadium.

“They are a well-coached team,” Ellison said. “This is going to be a big game for them, obviously too. They’re going to play their best and it’ll be a good one.”

The Bronchos’ only other win of the season came in a 37-14 victory over Jefferson County (Miss.) on Sept. 6.

“They’re going to be coached up well and they’re going to have a good defense and offense,” Ellison said. “They prepare well. They’re a zone team and we’ve seen a lot of that on defense. They’ll be in an odd front. We have to be prepared for both.”

>> HOUSE DIVIDED: It’s still a home game for the Panthers but on a technicality, Permian will be the away team in this year’s contest at Ratliff Stadium.

“The stadium itself and the history behind it and everything makes it even better,” Ellison said. “It’ll be packed. There’ll be lots of people there. It’s a fun time for both schools and the community. It’s fun to see husbands and wives who went to different high schools. It adds to that competiveness to the city.”

>> LAST YEAR: In last year’s crosstown rivalry, the Panthers came away with a 42-10 victory over Odessa High on their way to an 8-4 overall record (4-1 in district), while the Bronchos went 5-5, 1-4 and missed the playoffs.

Ed Williams rushed for 185 yards on 16 carries in that game, while Justin Hammond had six receptions for 141 yards.

The last time the Panthers lost to the Bronchos was in 2013, 31-28.

>> COMING OFF A BYE WEEK: The Panthers are coming off their lone bye week of the season and Ellison liked what he saw from his players last week.

“It was great,” Ellison said. “We had a great week of practice. We adjusted our format just a little bit. I thought we did a great job all week of getting better as football players and as a football team. It was a tremendous week of practice for us all.”

>> ROBERTS’ KICKING: Senior kicker Carson Roberts has continued his strong start to the season, making all 21 PATs for the Panthers.

“He’s done a lot for us,” Ellison said. “He’s done a great job, especially in the open field and putting us in good position on defense. He does an outstanding job and most of his kicks have gone through the end zone. He’s done well and he’s been a great weapon for us.”

>> DEFENSE: The Panthers, who allowed 132 points in the first three games, have now only allowed 28 points in their last two contests.

Ellison thought his team’s defense took another step in the right direction in their last game, which was a 56-14 win over Los Fresnos on Sept. 27 at Ratliff Stadium.

“We came out and they scored first off our back but our defense was flying around, really shutting down their offense. They were getting to the line and playing well in the backfield. I thought overall, our defense had a great night.”

>> SUBVARSITY: Just like the varsity squad, the Panthers’ JV and freshmen teams did not suit up last week as they also had a bye week.

All subvarsity teams will return to action this week when they face Odessa High for the second time this year.

The JV White will face Odessa High at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Ratliff Stadium. The JV Black will face Odessa High at 7 p.m. at Ratliff Stadium.

The Freshman White will face the Bronchos Thursday at 5 p.m. at Ratliff South before the Freshman Black take the field at 7 p.m.

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