Sandies rack up 800th win; Tascosa falls in classic shootout, Dons off to best start in nine years

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Amarillo High’s Brock Wade rolls out to throw during the Sandies 28-21 win against Midland High at Dick Bivins Stadium on Friday night. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

This victory wasn’t as conventional as most of the 799 which came before it for the Amarillo High Sandies on Friday night at Dick Bivins Stadium.

But it still counted and showed why the Sandies are among the state’s winningest programs ever, for one simple reason: They found a way to win.

Despite running 53 fewer plays and compiling 20 fewer first downs than Midland High, not to mention committing four personal fouls, the Sandies still tallied their 800th victory in program history. Amarillo High had four scoring plays of over 55 yards to compensate for the statistical discrepancies and held on for a 28-21 victory, scoring their first victory of the season.

It proved to be worth the wait for Amarillo High (1-1). The Sandies and Bulldogs (1-1) had to sit in the lockerroom for nearly 2 ½ hours thanks to a lightning delay before finally kicking off around 9:30 p.m.

“We won the ball game and there’s a lot of positives to come out of that thing,” AHS coach Chad Dunnam said. “The thing I’m disappointed in is our personal fouls. We could have put the ball game away, instead we gave (the Bulldogs) a chance to continue drives with personal fouls and that’s unacceptable.

“I won’t tolerate it. It’s embarrassing to our program, it’s embarrassing to our school on our behalf, and ultimately I’m in charge of that, so I’ll get it fixed.”

The victory was flawed in other ways as well, such as Amarillo High running only 32 plays to Midland’s and picking up only seven first downs to Midland’s 27. But a pair of big plays by running back Levi Slaydon were the reason the Sandies held a 14-7 halftime lead, and two more big scoring plays by the Sandies in the third quarter proved the difference.

The two teams looked predictably tentative offensively after the weather delay, but the Sandies got on the board by busting the first big play of the game, as Slaydon took a short Brock Wade pass 68 yards for a touchdown to give Amarillo a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Midway through the second quarter, Midland tied the game 7-7 on a 27-yard run by Brylee Perez. But only 39 seconds later, Slaydon answered by sprinting 68 yards up the left sideline to make it 14-7.

“I’ve been looking forward to that since my first game and I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to break one and show them what I’ve really got out there,” said Slaydon, who ran for 86 yards on just seven carries. “I’ve been hitting the speed trainer in the summer and talking about making big plays and big runs. There’s a lot more coming than just that. We’re going to work hard every day to grind it out and just get better.”

Midland High seemed primed to tie the game by marching up the field after Slaydon’s second touchdown. The Bulldogs moved down to the Amarillo 10-yard line with nine seconds left in the half but had no timeouts left.

Landry Walls dropped back to pass and was sacked, as time ran out in the first half and the Bulldogs didn’t even have a chance to kick a field goal before heading into the lockerroom.

Two more big plays in the third quarter made the difference for the Sandies.

On the second play of the second half, Wade hit Jameson Garcia on a 64-yard scoring pass to make it 21-7. The Bulldogs answered with a big play of their on a trick play when wide receiver Jake Cunningham hit Jakob Vines on a 72-yard touchdown pass.

The Sandies then answered with a 69-yard scoring run by Pius Vokes to make it 28-14. Vokes led the Sandies with 96 yards on only four carries.

“You love to see the fact that you’ve got the ability to make an explosive play,” Dunnam said. “I would like to see us sustain drives longer. I would like to see us manage the clock and chew it up with drives, but I certainly don’t want to take away from our ability to take a shot and strike when we need to.”

Midland High cut it to 28-21 on a 1-yard run by Zion Ward in the fourth quarter, which was sent up when an errant snap went over AHS punter Luke Laminack’s head and rolled all the way to the AHS 16.

That seemed to shake the Sandies a bit. The Bulldogs, took advantage of some Amarillo High personal fouls to drive to the AHS 11 with three minutes left but Walls, who ran for a game-high 115 yards, was intercepted in the end zone by Laminack, who ran it back almost to midfield.

With 2:03 left, the Sandies punted and were far more successful, as Laminack kicked it down to the Midland 3. The Bulldogs moved into Amarillo territory, but the game effectively ended when on fourth-and-10 Walls completed a pass to Vines for six yards, well short of a first down.

“This group’s growing, they’re maturing,” Dunnam said. “We’re not the team we need to be right now, I know that, but I’m proud of the fact that we found a way to win this one tonight, because we could have given it away.”

— Lee Passmore

Amarillo High 28, Midland High 21

Midland High 0 7 7 7 — 21

Amarillo High 7 7 14 0 — 28

Tascosa quarterback BT Daniel tries to get by a Midland Legacy defender during a non-district game at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland on Friday night. [Michael Bauer/ Press Pass Sports]

Tascosa falls in wild clash with Legacy

MIDLAND— In a game that more than lived up to its billing, Midland Legacy defeated Tascosa 51-48 in a high-scoring encounter Friday night at Grande Communications Stadium.

Trailing 48-37 in the fourth quarter, Legacy’s Rebels put together a late comeback to give them their second win of the season and moved to 2-0 overall. Tascosa fell to 1-1.

“I can tell you, every time we play these guys, it usually comes down to this,” Legacy head coach Clint Hartman said. “What I will say is this: we both got better tonight. Coach (Ken) Plunk’s team and our team got better. Someone had to win and someone had to lose. The ball bounced our way late in the game. We have some good players that grew up tonight.”

It was a contest played by former District 2-6A rivals and both offenses kept the scoreboard busy.

Trailing by 11-points with 8:42 left, Legacy worked the ball down the field and Chris Brazzell hauled in an 8-yard touchdown reception by quarterback Marcos Davila. Running back Makhilyn Young’s 2-point conversion run came up short and Tascosa continued to lead 48-43 with 4:50 on the clock.

Legacy then recovered the onside kick and took over at the Tascosa 47.

A touchdown run by Young was negated by a Legacy holding penalty soon after.

He made up for it by scoring two plays later, scoring from 14 yards out to give Legacy the lead. He added the 2-point conversion and Legacy had a 51-48 lead with 3:06 left.

Tascosa had no response left in it as the visiting Rebels were dealt their first loss of the season.

“I’m proud that we competed,” Tascosa head coach Ken Plunk said. “We gave a great effort. We have to do some things better. We gave up an onside kick and there are things like that that we need to clean up. But that’s what nondistrict game are for. We’re going to play a lot of football games this year.”

Legacy had 34 rushes for 187 yards.

Young led the way with 29 carries for 197 yards. Davila had five carries for -10 yards and was the only other Legacy player with rushing yards.

Legacy quarterback Marcos Davila went 14-19 for 262 yards. His top receiver was Brazzell who had five receptions for 163 yards.

Tascosa put up 389 yards of rushing from 55 carries. Running back Joshua Splawn had 17 carries for 89 yards to lead Tascosa while quarterback BT Daniel had 17 for 84.

Daniel went 6-14 passing for 134 yards. Major Everhart finished with five receptions for 92 yards.

Controlling possession for a majority of the first quarter, the Tascosa offense helped the visitors to a 14-7 lead.

Legacy would strike back with a 63-yard touchdown reception from wide receiver Chris Brazzell. The PAT was no good with Tascosa leading 14-13 with 8:15 left in the second quarter.

Tascosa fumbled the ball and Legacy recovered at the 32-yard line with 7:59 left in the quarter.

The Rebels made Tascosa pay for the mistake a few plays later as Young scored from the wildcat formation from 9 yards out with 6:09 on the clock and this time, Gunner Meade would convert the extra point, giving his team a 20-14 lead.

Tascosa managed to move the ball down the field and used a few passes to get deep into Legacy territory.

Facing fourth down, Daniel found Everhart in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown reception on fourth down with 1:10 in the quarter and help Tascosa to a 21-20 lead over Legacy.

Legacy quickly responded before the end of the first half and used a 29-yard field goal from Meade to give the hosts a 23-21 advantage at the half.

Legacy started the second half with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Brazzell for a touchdown and Young converted the 2-point conversion for a 30-21 lead for Legacy with 10:22 left in the half.

Tascosa didn’t take long to strike back as running back L’Travion Brown scored on a 44-yard carry but the PAT was no good, leaving the visitors trailing 30-27 at 8:35.

Legacy’s Young fumbled near midfield on the next drive and Tascosa fell on the loose ball with 7:46 in the quarter.

It was then Tascosa’s turn to make Legacy pay as Daniel soon scored on a 17-yard run and Michael Ayalew’s extra point made it 34-30 Tascosa with 5:26 on the clock.

Tascosa extended its lead to 41-30 after Daniel scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 10-yard run with 11:54 remaining in the game.

But the home Rebels weren’t done just yet.

Midland Legacy quarterback Marcos Davila hooked up with Brazzell for a 41-yard touchdown reception and closed the gap to 41-37 with 10:58 left.

But like so many other times throughout the night, Tascosa’s Rebels had a response and running back Everhart found the end zone on a 24-yard run to help put the visitors at a 48-37 advantage with 8:42 left.

Legacy wouldn’t be denied.

“I can tell you what, we invested in this thing called champions analytics,” Hartman said. That’s what we did. We found a way to win and it wasn’t easy.”

Tascosa was coming off a 40-21 win over Abilene High in Week 1. Plunk and his players will be back in the Permian Basin next week to face Permian (2-0) in next week’s contest at Ratliff Stadium.

“We’re playing some of the best teams in West Texas,” Plunk said. “We’re going to be fine. You got to give your hats off to Legacy. They played well.”

Legacy, which was coming off a 37-7 win over Amarillo High last week, will face Arlington Martin on the road next week.

— Michael Bauer

Midland Legacy 51, Tascosa 48

Tascosa 14 7 13 14 — 48

Legacy 7 16 7 21 — 51

Palo Duro’s Avery Randle (3) combined for over 300 yards of offense during the Dons 64-41 win at Plainview on Friday night. [Nathan Giese/ Plainview Herald]

Palo Duro rolls past Plainview for best start in nine years

New blood from an old face appears to have done wonders for the Palo Duro Dons.

New coach and Palo Duro alum Eric Mims has stepped in and made his mark in his first two games, as the Dons moved to 2-0 on the season after rolling over Plainview on the road 64-41. This marks the first time PD has started a season 2-0 since 2012.

The Dons wasted no time, jumping out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. Dual threat quarterback Avery Randle set the tone, scoring on a 10-yard run and completing a 15-yard touchdown pass to King Tallant.

Randle had a sensational evening, completing 12-of-13 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns and running for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. All four of Randle’s scoring passes went to Tallant, who had six catches for 127 yards.

Kameron Brown returned a punt 47 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter for PD.

— Lee Passmore

Palo Duro 64, Plainview 41

Palo Duro 28 8 14 14 — 64

Plainview 0 27 7 7 — 41

Randall’s Braxton Burd scampers in for a touchdown against Caprock on Thursday night at Dick Bivins Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

Burd leads Randall over Caprock

Randall quarterback Braxton Burd had three long scoring runs to carry the Raiders past Caprock 27-13 at Dick Bivins Stadium on Thursday night, keeping Randall unbeaten while the Longhorns are still seeking their first win.

The Raiders (2-0) never trailed in taking the early lead and letting their defense do a lot of the work. Burd, who ran for 175 yards on only 14 carries, got the scoring started on a 29-yard run to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Neither team had an especially prolific night offensively, particularly throwing the ball, as Randall and Caprock (0-2) combined for only 106 yards in the air.

While Burd led Randall, Aaron Acosta-Lewis emerged as a running star for the Longhorns with 156 yards on 17 carries. Acosta-Lewis scored both of Caprock’s touchdowns, including a 1-yard run early in the second quarter to cut the lead to 10-7, which is how it stayed through halftime.

Burd scored on two impressive runs early in the third and fourth quarters of 57 and 55 yards respectively. Those runs stretched Randall’s lead to 24-7 and were far too much for Caprock to overcome.

While the Raiders played a relatively mistake-free game, the Longhorns hurt themselves with three turnovers.

— Lee Passmore

Randall 27, Caprock 13

Randall 10 0 7 10 — 27

Caprock 0 7 0 6 — 13

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