AHS uses defense to beat Coronado; Randall rolls, Perryton nabs district win


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Amarillo High’s Luke Laminack (16) returns an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter during the Sandies 34-27 District 2-5A Division I win against Lubbock Coronado at Dick Bivins Stadium on Friday night. [Lace Taylor/ Press Pass Sports]

Amarillo High made sure to start each half with a big play to get on top of Lubbock Coronado in Friday night’s District 2-5A Division I game against Lubbock Coronado at Dick Bivins Stadium.

And that’s a good thing, because it helped the Sandies survive a not so strong finish.

After jumping out to a 28-point lead in the third quarter, Amarillo High appeared primed to cruise to yet another district win. The Sandies needed that cushion too, as Coronado closed the game with 21 unanswered points, but it wasn’t enough against Amarillo High, who held on for a 34-27 victory.

Had it not been for big starts to each half, the Sandies (6-2, 3-1 in district) might have fallen further off the playoff pace in the district. Instead, they are now in a position of strength.

“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot and weren’t able to finish the thing like we wanted to,” AHS coach Chad Dunnam said. “We found a way to win it which was good, but I think we just relaxed a little too soon. We made it interesting, but when it’s all said and done a win’s a win and we’re looking forward.”

Coronado (3-4, 2-1) actually outgained Amarillo High by a whopping 403-195 margin and was especially efficient in the second half. But the difference was three interceptions by the Sandies on Coronado’s first three possessions which Amarillo High parlayed into a 20-6 halftime lead.

While the Sandies did get those gifts, they made sure to put them to good use.

“I love the way we started,” Dunnam said. “Our goal was to come out and start fast and we started fast defensively because that’s what we put out there first. We’ve just got to get more consistent for four quarters.”

Less than a minute into the game, Coronado’s Jett Carroll missed a pass up the sideline to Jikiri McGrew, and Amarillo High’s Luke Laminack intercepted it and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Laminack also picked Carroll to kill Coronado’s drive on the next possession and returned it to the Coronado 22-yard line, setting himself up for a 21-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead.

Those two errant throws proved costly for the Mustangs, who threw four interceptions.

“The first one I believe (Carroll) was trying to throw away and (Laminack) made a great play,” Coronado coach D.J. Mann said. “He came out of nowhere, so big ups to him.”

Laminack set the tone for the Sandies as all of the first 10 points of the game were his.

“The offense does their part but the defense has to do their part by getting turnovers and forcing fourth downs into punts,” said Laminack, who also kicked two field goals. “Our goal every game is to get three (turnovers) or more and we completed that this game. I honestly thought that whenever I caught the ball (on the first interception) I was out of bounds. It was a simple out route and I kind of jumped the coverage.”

On the first Coronado play after Laminack’s first field goal, Carroll aimed for McGrew again, but the ball bounced off McGrew and Amarillo High’s J.Q. Ervin intercepted to set up the Sandies deep in Coronado territory again, and this time they cashed in with a touchdown on Brock Wade’s 6-yard scoring pass to Connor Haelzle to make it 17-0.

After Laminack kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 20-0 early in the second quarter, the Mustangs responded with a 94-yard scoring drive to get on the board. Darrion Taylor culminated the drive with a 1-yard run to make it 20-6.

But in the first two minutes of the second half the Sandies did enough to give themselves a much-needed cushion. Ervin returned the second half kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to make it 27-6, then after the Sandies forced a Coronado punt, Wade hit Jameson Garcia on an 18-yard scoring pass to make it 34-6.

After that though, it was all Coronado at least offensively. Running back Antonio Malone threw a halfback option pass to Surreal Garrett for a 39-yard touchdown to cut it to 34-13 midway through the third quarter and that seemed to give the Mustangs new life.

Early in the fourth quarter, Carroll hit Taylor for a 51-yard scoring pass to cut it to 34-20 and suddenly make the home crowd nervous. Twice after that, the Mustangs moved inside the Amarillo 5, but couldn’t put the ball in the end zone, as Malone was stopped twice on fourth down.

“It says a lot about our kids and our program,” Dunnam said. “We’re gritty, we’re tough and we fight to the end. They had an opportunity get the ball in right there. A lot of times when you see a team get the ball down there you’ll see a defense pout and mope but we didn’t.”

Three times the Sandies stopped Malone from the 2 or closer and nose guard Erik Gray was involved in all three of them, combining with Laminack to thwart Malone for no gain out of the Wildcat. The last stop was made by Gray solo, and was the last offensive play the Mustangs ran.

It was an indication of why the 280-pound Gray is being so heavily recruited by Division I universities.

“I didn’t know that they were going to target me,” Gray said. “I’m a big guy and I’m a nose guard. I got triple-teamed, I couldn’t tell you. That was a big play down there in the trenches, fourth-and-one it’s all about that pride and when you’ve been taught by coach Dunnam. You can’t teach effort.”

With the Sandies backed up on their 1, though, Levi Slaydon fumbled in the end zone and Obie Williams recovered it for Coronado to cut the score to 34-27 with 2:34 left in the game. The Mustangs, who had already recovered one onside kick, tried another one but this time the Sandies recovered.

Coronado had to use two timeouts to stop the clock before the Sandies faced a third-and-two at their own 35. Wade kept it for a 4-yard gain, and Amarillo High was able to run out the clock.

Amarillo High 34, Lub. Coronado 27

Lub. Coronado 0 6 7 14 — 27

Amarillo High 17 3 14 0 — 34

Tascosa’s Tayden Barnes (3) follows his blockers during a District 2-5A Division I game against Caprock at Dick Bivins Stadium on Thursday night. [Tim Dennis/ For Press Pass Sports]

Tascosa runs over Caprock

It had the makings of a crosstown upset for much of the first half Thursday night at Dick Bivins Stadium, but the Tascosa Rebels brought things down to earth against the Caprock Longhorns in a District 2-5A Division I clash.

Tascosa overcame a huge early mistake and dominated the last 2 ½ quarters, closing the game with 34 unanswered points to roll to a 46-14 victory and stay unbeaten atop the district.

The Rebels (7-1, 4-0 in district) might have been suffering a hangover following last week’s win over another Amarillo ISD opponent, Amarillo High. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Treshun Wilson was stuffed in the middle of the line and fumbled, and Caprock linebacker Christian Atkins scooped it up and went 59 yards for a score to take a 7-0 lead.

But that was really the only Tascosa offensive miscue of the night. The Rebels didn’t punt once and ran their patented ground game with the usual customary efficiency, plowing for 396 yards, while throwing only one pass, an incompletion.

Major Everhart scored on two runs in the first quarter to give Tascosa a 12-7 lead, as he paced four Tascosa ballcarriers with at least 50 yards, running for 97 yards on seven carries.

Caprock (2-5, 1-2) didn’t go down meekly though, and took a 14-12 lead on a 3-yard scoring pass from Bowen Davis to Jayson Graham early in the second quarter. But the Rebels responded by taking the lead on L’Travion Brown’s 9-yard run, and they never looked back after that.

Tascosa was also strong defensively, limiting Caprock to 152 yards of total offense.

Tascosa 46, Caprock 14

Tascosa 12 13 7 14 — 46

Caprock 7 7 — 14

Palo Duro gets first district win over Lubbock High

The Palo Duro Dons got first-year coach Eric Mims his first District 2-5A Division I win in dominating fashion Thursday night, as they rolled over Lubbock High 24-0 at Lowrey Field.

Palo Duro (5-2, 1-2 in district) needed a victory to have any chance of remaining in the district playoff hunt. The Dons showed a sense of urgency, controlling the game from the opening and never giving Lubbock (1-7, 0-4) a chance.

Tre’sean Monroe had a huge night running the ball for the Dons, rushing for 207 yards and two touchdowns on only 15 carries. Third-string quarterback Tezavion Wallace, forced into action because of injuries, had a solid game in his first start, completing 11-of-18 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown to Abdurahaman Hussein.

PD was solid defensively, yielding only 180 total yards of offense. The Dons capped the scoring by recording a safety in the fourth quarter.

Palo Duro 24, Lubbock High 0

Palo Duro 3 12 7 2 — 24

Lubbock High 0 0 0 0 — 0

Randall’s Braxton Burd (10) and teammate Christian Martinez celebrate after a score during a District 3-5A Division II game on Friday at Happy State Bank Stadium. [David Erickson/ Press Pass Sports]

Randall rolls over Plainview

Randall jumped on Plainview early, opening the game with 23 unanswered points and never let up in cruising to a 51-25 victory as the Raiders won their district home opener and stayed unbeaten in district play to claim an inside track on a playoff position.

Braxton Burd continued to spark the Randall offense, throwing two touchdown passes in the first half and running for another as the Raiders (5-2, 2-0 in district) took a 44-9 halftime lead. Burd finished the game by completing 11-of-16 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 63 yards.

Jordi Hernandez led Randall by running for 82 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Randall was balanced offensively in picking up 329 yards.

Plainview fell to 1-6 and 0-2.

In other district action, Lubbock-Cooper won a key matchup at Wichita Falls Rider, 20-12, and Wichita Falls High bear Abilene Wylie, 41-17.

Randall 51, Plainview 25

Plainview 0 9 8 8 — 25

Randall 16 28 7 0 — 51

Class 4A

District 2-4A Division II

Perryton crushes Levelland

Perryton opened district play emphatically, taking the lead on Levelland and rolling to a 44-10 victory.

Quarterback Abraham Hernandez paced Perryton (2-5, 1-0) offensively, running for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries while throwing for 137 yards. Cuyler Feger had seven catchers for 103 yards for the Rangers.

Perryton piled up 502 yards of total offense while limiting Levelland (1-7, 0-2) to 151.

Perryton 44, Levelland 10

Perryton 6 13 9 16 – 44

Levelland 0 10 0 0 – 10

Borger shut out by Estacado

Borger came down to earth with a resounding thud, as Lubbock Estacado dominated in every phase imaginable, taking an early lead and coasting to a 62-0 win over the Bulldogs.

The stats indicated a lopsided game, as Borger (3-5, 1-1 in district) had only 74 yards of total offense and five first downs while Estacado (5-3, 2-0) piled up 488. Estacado quarterback Colby Sims was a dual threat, throwing for 216 yards and two touchdowns while running for 130 yards and a score on 14 carries.

Borger quarterback Tray Toliver had a rough night, throwing five interceptions.

Lubbock Estacado 62, Borger 0

Borger 0 0 0 0 — 0

Estacado 28 7 14 13 — 62


Dumas rolls by Ulysses, Kan.

Dumas tuned up for District 3-4A Division I play by routing Ulysses, Kan. On the road, 30-6.

After a scoreless first quarter, Dumas (4-2) scored 14 points in the second quarter to take control of the game. Zyrell Murga led the Demons with 115 yards on eight carries, including a 77-yard scoring run in the second quarter.

Dumas 30, Ulysses 6

Dumas 0 14 16 0 — 30

Ulysses, Kan. 0 0 0 6 — 6


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