Odessa, TX – Under the hazy playoff air, Permian played host to El Paso Franklin in the Texas Class 6A Division I Bi-District meeting at Ratliff Stadium. The Panthers would take a 23-7 halftime lead and roll to a 37-26 playoff win on Friday night.
Playing in front of its fans for the first time this season, Franklin scored the lone touchdown of the opening frame. After that, the Cougars would have to sit and watch Permian respond with 23 unanswered points in the second quarter. Harper Terry and Shy Stephens-Deary would connect on a 21-yard touchdown strike to open up things for Mojo. The scoring drive would take all of four plays to cover 57 yards.
Jayden Pruitt intercepted an arid Cougar pass at the Mojo 40-yard line and returned it all the way back to the Franklin 10. From there, Terry bulled his way across the goal line, and then found Stephens-Deary for the two-point conversion. Tough luck would continue for the Cougars. A muffed punt would hand the Panthers the ball at the 13-yard line. Andy Castillo reached paydirt on a short TD run of his own to increase the tally to 20-7 in favor of Mojo.
The Cougars failed to convert a 4th-and-5 to enable the Black Cats to setup shop near midfield. Permian faced its own fourth down needing six yards, but was able to convert a fake punt into a 14-yard gain and first down. Hayden Kidd would cap the drive with a 26-yard field goal to send the teams to their respective locker rooms with the Panthers owning a 23-7 halftime advantage.
Mojo continued its momentum in the third quarter, adding another 14 points behind runs by Terry and Tristan Johnson. Permian opened the period with a 5-play, 61-yard scoring drive with Terry crossing the goal line on a short run.
Franklin followed on its next possession with a touchdown of its own. Starting at their own 37, the Cougars fought through a couple of penalties before Cameron Byrd hooked up with Angel Jurado on a 57-yard bomb to make it a 30-14 ballgame. The Panthers responded with a time consuming 9-play, 70-yard drive to extend the deficit to 23 points as the clock ran out on the third quarter.
With time working against the Cougars, they immediately upped the tempo in the final stanza. Franklin managed to turn some of the momentum (thanks in part to the official) when a 21-yard pass was hauled in clearly out of the field of play, but the receiver was awarded the touchdown. Unlike the NFL, no challenges or official reviews from replay. It was a good effort by the receiver to even make a play on the ball; nonetheless, he was definitely out of bounds when he secured the pass.
The Panthers’ special teams unit was caught sleeping on the ensuing kickoff as El Paso pounced on the onside kick in Mojo territory. Six plays later, Franklin was back in the endzone on a 17-yard TD strike to narrow the gap to 37-26. Permian would regain control of the game and the Cougars were prevented from getting any closer.
Franklin’s Steven Powers led all rushers with 141 yards on 18 carries. Terry led Permian’s ball carriers with 112 yards, and another 119 through the air. He accounted for three touchdowns – two by run and one passing TD. Lucas Salazar added an additional 41 yards to the Mojo ground game. Stephens-Deary finished the night with five receptions for 60 yards and four touches for 15 yards rushing.
Permian will now turn its attention on Southlake Carroll, a 49-14 winner over Haltom City. The Panthers will meet the Dragons next Friday at Abilene Christian’s Wildcat Stadium. The Area Round game is slated for a 4:00 p.m. kickoff.
EPF – Steven Powers 8 run (Taj Westrick kick), 0:50
OP – Shy Stephens-Deary 21 pass from Terry (kick failed), 11:20
OP – Harper Terry 1 run (Terry to Deary conversion), 6:42
OP – Andy Castillo 2 run (kick failed), 3:24
OP – Hayden Kidd 26 FG, 0:16
OP – Harper Terry 1 run (Tate Terry kick), 9:36
EPF – Angel Jurado 57 pass from Cameron Byrd (Westrick kick), 5:48
OP – Tristan Johnson 1 run (Tate Terry kick), 1:44
EPF – Angelo Jurado 21 pass from Byrd (pass failed), 11:28
EPF – Devyn Clark 17 pass from Byrd (run failed), 9:00
|SPORTZ GAME STATS|