Tascosa quarterback BT Daniel runs for big yards during the Rebels 46-28 win against San Angelo Central at Buffaloes Stadium in Canyon on Friday. [Trevor Fleeman/ Press Pass Sports]
If the Tascosa Rebels wanted to send notice to the rest of District 2-5A Division I in their final predistrict tune-up Friday night, the message was loud and clear.
Against San Angelo Central at Buffalo Stadium, the Rebels were who everybody thought they were, certainly in the first half. Their flexbone offense was all but unstoppable whether it was pounding the ball or breaking big plays en route to running for 505 yards, and the result was a 46-28 victory which likely cements their status as the district favorite heading into next week.
Tascosa (3-1) may have looked vulnerable defensively in the second half, but the Rebels already had established a sizeable lead and weren’t hurt by any lapses. When they open district against unbeaten crosstown rival Palo Duro at Dick Bivins Stadium next Thursday, the Dons will know what’s facing them.
“There are some things we have to work on, mainly defense, but on offense we were pretty good,” said Tascosa coach Ken Plunk, who if the Rebels beat Palo Duro next week will tally his 100th career victory. “Defensively we were pretty good most of the night but in the fourth quarter we kind of ran out of gas.”
The first half was a snapshot of a prototypical offensive evening for Tascosa, as the Rebels ran the ball successfully and often. They threw only one pass in the first half and didn’t punt in taking a 32-7 halftime lead.
It looked like it might be a shootout based on the first two minutes of the game. The Rebels struck on the second play from scrimmage, as Major Everhart took it around the corner and ran past the Central defense for a 7-0 lead 32 seconds into the game.
Appropriately, Everhart ended Tascosa’s scoring as well, running 56 yards for a score in the fourth quarter. As usual, he didn’t touch the ball a lot, with only five carries, but as usual he made the most of them, picking up 155 yards.
“I just thank my o-line and my wide receivers for giving me a great block and great reads,” Everhart said of his first score. “They do the heavy work. Sometimes before then play (the defense) calls out my number and they say ‘16, watch 16.’ I have help all the way around. Everybody eats on this team.”
While nobody starves on the Rebels, Everhart certainly helps set the table.
“We have some ways to (Everhart) the ball in different situations that we use,” Plunk said. “One of the situations we’re running into is that every time we put him out there everybody double teams him and runs out to him and it opens everybody else up. It does make it kind of difficult to force feed him the ball.”
Central (2-2) responded by throwing the ball five plays after the ensuing kickoff. Quarterback Tyler Hill threw toward the end zone from the Tascosa 40-yard line and Everhart, playing defensive back, deflected the ball, but unfortunately for the Rebels, Central’s Jacob English caught it in the end zone to tie it 7-7.
After that, though, it was all Tascosa the rest of the half. The Rebels continued to run the ball as expected, and a 29-yard completion from BT Daniel to L’Travion Brown seemed designed just to remind the Bobcats they could throw the ball.
Daniel was more effective running the ball, running for 184 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. That was a counter to the speed of Everhart and Tayden Barnes, who ran for 85 yards on only four carries.
“Of course it’s making decisions on certain holes but I wouldn’t have those holes without my linemen,” Daniel said. “They make my job too easy. You can make those reads when the gaps are five yards apart. I think they’re going to key on Major because he is so fast and that opens it up for a lot of other guys.”
Central mounted a drive in the final minute of the half, aided by a Tascosa face mask penalty and had the ball at the Tascosa 2 with time running out in the half. Hill threw a pass in the flat to Samuel Navarrette, but Tascosa’s Josh Splawn (who scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter) dragged down Navarrette at the 1 as the half expired to preserve Tascosa’s comfortable lead.
The Bobcats didn’t seriously threaten in the second half, although they did score on their final three possessions. Hill did have an impressive night, completing 22-of-32 for 275 yards.
Tascosa did give up 423 yards of offense, but that was just a quibble considering the dominant nature of the victory.
It concluded a predistrict slate in which the Rebels played four Class 6A schools. Only a close loss at perennial contender Midland Legacy was a blot on the ledger.
“We’re very close to where we probably should be,” Plunk said. “I know we’ll enjoy this win and we’ll start in on Palo Duro tomorrow. With the schedule we had, 3-1 I think was good.”
Six days after concluding nondistrict play, the Rebels will finally be able to show what the payoff could be.
“Each game in nondistrict we’ve been preparing ourselves for district so I think we’re pretty ready now,” Everhart said. “We’re going after that gold ball.”
Tascosa 46, Canyon 28
Central 7 0 7 14 — 28
Tascosa 20 12 7 7 — 46
Amarillo High offensive lineman Kaden Carr lifts Tyrese Molden after a touchdown against Frenship at Dick Bivins Stadium on Friday night. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
Amarillo High rolls past Frenship
Amarillo High appears to be building momentum toward district play, as the Sandies won their third straight game to close out their predistrict schedule, beating previously unbeaten Frenship 31-14 at Dick Bivins Stadium.
The Sandies (3-1) opened the scoring with their defense only 74 seconds into the game, as Cooper Ivey returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. Frenship (3-1) tied the game early in the second quarter but Amarillo High took the lead for good midway through the quarter on a 10-yard scoring pass from Brock Wade to Tyreese Molden.
Amarillo High’s Ethan Cowan had his second straight 100-yard game, running for 154 yards on 28 carries, including a 53-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter which gave the Sandies a 28-7 lead and the cushion to carry them to victory.
While the Sandies had a balanced offense with 380 yards, defense also played a key role. Amarillo High forced four turnovers.
Amarillo High 31, Frenship 14
Frenship 0 7 7 0 — 14
Amarillo High 7 14 10 0 — 31
Palo Duro teammates King Tallant, left, and Tre’sean Monroe celebrate after a score against Borger on Thursday night at Dick Bivins Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
Dons rout Borger to move to 4-0
The Eric Mims era at Palo Duro is off to the best start any PD team has had in two decades.
Palo Duro opened the season 4-0 for the first time since 2001 on Thursday night, overcoming a touchdown by Borger on the first possession of the game. The Dons closed the game with 21 unanswered points and cruised to a 34-13 victory to head into District 2-5A Division I play next week unbeaten.
Borger (1-3) made a big statement on the first play after the opening kickoff, as quarterback Isaiah Wallace kept the ball and ran for a 60-yard gain. That set up a 6-yard scoring run by Donteh Bates to make it 6-0.
But the Dons responded by driving down the field to tie it 6-6, with Tre’sean capping the drive with a 1-yard run, the first of his two touchdowns in the first quarter.
“The same thing happened last week versus Wichita Falls, they marched on down to that same end zone and scored a touchdown and scored a touchdown on the first drive,” said Mims, a PD alum in his first year as head coach. “We’ve just got to come out and play better out of the lockerroom. I’m excited. Our expectation is to win. I think we’re on schedule where we want to be.
“I’m proud of our guys for doing something which hasn’t been done in 20 years. Now it’s time to get ready for a tough district.”
Borger tied it 13-13 on a 1-yard pass from Wallace to Gabriel Campoya midway through the second quarter, but the Dons took a 20-13 lead on a 30-yard scoring pass from Jayden Garza to Leslie Shaw with 38 seconds left in the first half and never trailed again.
Garza hit Shaw on another scoring pass in the second half and also scored on a 9-yard run. Monroe ran for a game-high 156 yards on 20 carries.
PD was balanced offensively, outgaining Borger by a 443-182 margin.
Palo Duro 35, Borger 13
Borger 6 7 0 0 — 13
Palo Duro 13 7 7 8 — 35