HIGH FROM ABILENE (2-2) TO PERMIAN ODESSA (3-1)
FRIDAY 7 P.M. * RATLIFF STADIUM, ODESSA *
What is happening on the game: It’s the opening of District 3-6A for both teams. AHS surprised Permian 27-25 at Shotwell Stadium to end a three-game losing streak last year, after losing the District’s opener the week before at San Angelo Central. The victory was kind of a stepping stone for the Eagles, despite losing to Midland Legacy (formerly Lee) the following week. AHS earned five straight wins after losing Legacy before losing in the third round of the playoffs. Permian leads the all-time series with AHS 36-18-2. Last year’s game was the first between the two teams since a 37-17 victory in the Permian in 2015 in Odessa. The Eagles were in a Fort Worth-area district for four seasons (2016-19) before a return to the Little Southwest Conference last year.
Last week: Tristan Johnson and Juzstyce Lara totaled 292 yards and two rushing touchdowns as Permian defeated Mesquite Poteet 49-14 in Odessa. Abilene High defeated Grand Prairie 35-28 in Grand Prairie for her second consecutive victory.
Permian Scouting: Both teams lost to Amarillo Tascosa by identical scores of 40-21 to Amarillo. The Panthers are averaging 430.2 (291.2 rushing / 139.0 assists) and 38.2 points per game. They allow 366.2 (191.5 on ground / 174.7 assists) and 27.5 points. Quarterback Rodney Hall threw for 430 yards and four touchdowns in the last three games, while running for 267 yards and six touchdowns in that span. Tristan Johnson (34-295, 3 TDs in the last three games) leads the ground team. Jaquan Richardson had eight catches for 228 yards and four touchdowns in a two-game streak before the Poteet game. Solis had a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown last week, while Brian Mahaffey had an 83-yard kickoff return in Game 1 against El Paso Pebble Hills.
Eagles update: AHS received a boost with the return of senior running back Da’King Thomas, who had missed the previous two games due to injury. Thomas ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win. He delivers a powerful 1-2 punch with QB Abel Ramirez, who leads the ground team (63-346, 6 TDs), and his return should also open the passing game.
What the Eagles need to do to win: AHS must contain the powerful Permian racing game and win the turnover battle. Offensively, the Eagles need to be balanced offensively and make the most of their possessions.
Joey D. Richards’ prediction: Odessa Permian 45, Abilene High 38
Joey D. Richards covers Abilene High Schools and Colleges, Big Country Schools, and other local sports. Follow him on Twitter at ARN_Joey. If you enjoy local news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.