ABILENE The Permian football team didn’t have the ball as much as it was accustomed to and things did not come easy.
In the end, the Panthers were unable to overcome the time discrepancy.
Abilene High defensive back Noah Hatcher intercepted a pass with 2:26 remaining in the game when Permian was driving for a potential game-winning score as the Panthers fell 27-25 to Abilene High Friday in District 2-6A play at Shotwell Stadium.
The Panthers (3-2 overall, 1-1 District 2-6A) had multiple chances to hold on to the lead over the Eagles. A pair of fourth-quarter turnovers proved costly as Permian fumbled in its own territory with a chance to win the game.
“Like I said going into the week, I knew Abilene High was a good football team and they did a good job,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “We got to do a better job. That’s all there is to it.”
When the Panthers did have the ball, they made the most of their chances early.
It didn’t take long for Permian to get on the board as Shy Stephens-Deary scored on a 72-yard run on the Panthers’ first play from scrimmage.
The issue for Permian all night was getting the ball from Abilene High (1-3, 1-1).
Permian ran just four offensive plays in the opening quarter as the Eagles controlled the ball for the vast majority of the period.
Abel Ramirez got the Eagles on the board on their second possession, running it in from 2 yards out. The Eagles also got a pair of big plays to begin the second quarter as Ramirez connected with Jeshari Houston for a 75-yard catch and run for another score.
Ramirez finished 20 of 29 for 296 yards passing while Houston finished with 118 yards receiving on seven catches.
Permian responded with a pair of touchdowns on consecutive drives on a 4-yard run by Tristan Johnson and a 1-yard run by Harper Terry. The Panthers even got a trick play for a score late in the half as Rodney Hall connected with Cade Tschauner on a 19-yard touchdown pass right before halftime.
Tschauner finished as the leading receiver with 72 yards on five catches and the touchdown catch.
Abilene High had a response for everything Permian threw at it, however, as Ramirez connected with Nate Seballos for a 26-yard touchdown with 24 seconds left before halftime.
From there, it was all about the defensive effort from the Eagles as they shut out Permian in the second half and Anthony Ramirez kicked a pair of field goals that proved to be the difference.
“I’m ecstatic about our defense,” Abilene High head coach Mike Fullen said. Fullen was in his first home game back on the sideline after battling colon cancer in the offseason.
“I felt good that we would play well. We typically play well against that type of offense. Just to play this way and do your job over and over and over just shows how disciplined our defense is.”
The game-winning 31-yard kick came with 8:25 left in the game and the two turnovers forced in the final quarter proved to be enough.