HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Permian looking to recover against Midland Legacy

After suffering its first loss to Odessa High in 10 years, the Permian football team knows there’s no time to dwell on last week’s defeat.

Not with another rivalry coming up this week, this time against district favorites Midland Legacy.

The Panthers (who are now 3-3 overall, 0-1 in district) will get a chance at redemption when they face the Rebels (5-1, 1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday at Astound Broadband Stadium.

Permian is coming off a 49-42 overtime loss to Odessa High last Friday at Ratliff Stadium, its first loss to the Bronchos since 2013.

“We have to go back to work,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “The sun came up. There’s a lot of football left to play. They’ve done that. They had a great practice on Monday in getting ready for Legacy.”

One district loss certainly doesn’t knock anyone out of the playoffs and a Permian win on Friday would put the Panthers back on track and create more chaos in what is already looking to be a wild district for 2-6A.

However, a Permian loss would put the Panthers in an even bigger hole with Wolfforth Frenship (5-1, 0-1), and a currently undefeated Midland High (6-0, 1-0) still remaining on the schedule.

“Our district is a dog fight,” Ellison said. “As far as getting up for a game and things like that and the mindset and everything else, … our mindset’s the same as it’s been since week one. Every time we step out onto the field, it’s a big game because it’s against (us).”

>> RIVALS: Unless one’s been living under a rock, everyone in the area is aware of the magnitude of the bitter rivalry between Permian and Legacy.

Historically, the district title has come down to the result from these two teams.

In recent years, it’s still been that way.

In 2019 and 2020, the Panthers clinched a share of the district title with victories over the Rebels.

In 2021, the Rebels won the district title outright before both teams shared the spoils last year.

“We know it’s a great game,” Ellison said. “There’s a lot of history between the two teams. It’s going to be like it is every year.”

Permian is looking for its first victory over Legacy since ’20, losing 34-21 to the Rebels in 2021 and 33-25 last year.

The Rebels are coming off a 63-56 win over Frenship last week in Midland.

Their only loss so far was a 62-31 defeat to Cibolo Steele on Sept. 15.

Legacy’s offense begins just where it has for the last three years, with quarterback and Purdue commit Marcos Davila.

“They have a great quarterback who’s been starting for three years,” Ellison said. “He’s very talented. They have a lot of weapons on offense. They have a good running back. Their coaches do a great job with their offensive line. Defensively, they’re very aggressive. They attack. They’re an attacking defense. They’re a good football just like we are.”

Last week, Davila went 19-23-1 passing with 258 yards against Frenship.

“I’ve seen it for three years,” Ellison said. “He does a great job. I think he’s gotten better throwing the ball and distributing the ball to the weapons he has. He’s run a little more than he has in the past. You can tell he’s gotten better in the offseason.”

>> ADDRESSING THE YELLOW LAUNDRY: Last week’s loss to Odessa High saw the Panthers penalized nine times for 77 yards.

It’s an issue that Ellison said has been discussed with the team.

“They run if they get a penalty,” Ellison said. “That’s been addressed. We control ourselves and we can’t control what everybody else does or says.”

>> OTHER MISTAKES: While Permian’s offense still put up 463 total yards in a solid performance against OHS, there were costly turnovers that came back to bite them, one of which included a potential touchdown run being canceled in the third quarter after the Panthers fumbled the ball outside the end zone. The ball rolled through the end zone for a touchback, giving the Bronchos possession and wiping off what could’ve been six points.

Another moment came in overtime when the Panthers fumbled the ball on their first play and the Bronchos recovered.

Odessa High’s offense took advantage and scored the game-winner from Dejuan Green’s run just a few plays later.

“I can tell you this, there’s no kid that I’ve seen play football that wants to go out and fumble,” Ellison said. “(OHS) did a good job of getting the ball out and we’ve been doing a good job of securing it. That’s part of football. We have to do a good job of holding onto the football.”