||Bi-District Playoff at Home|
Coach: Bob Anderson (7th season)
The Thunderbirds lost their first two District 1-6A (El Paso area) games to – Montwood (17-10) and Franklin (44-0). Coronado has won their last three games, defeating EP Socorro (48-20), EP Americas (56-39), and EP Pebble Hills (42-25) to reach the postseason match-up with Permian.
The Coronado offense tries to stay balanced in its attack, but favors the run game. The T-Birds have been averaging 271 total yards a game, with 146 coming by rush and 125 yards coming by way of pass. The offense is currently scoring an average of 31 points per game.
Senior quarterback Ethan Arroyo (5’11” 165) is in his second year under center for Coronado. He has completed 51 percent of his passes this season. Arroyo has thrown four touchdowns, but also has eight interceptions (per MaxPreps). The majority of his throws are in the 10-15 yard range. Ben Carney (5’10” 170) has also made appearances as the T-Bird field general, completing 44 percent of his attempts. Carney has seven TD’s and only one pick. His target completions are more 15-20 yard passes. On rare occasion both can run the ball, though neither have accounted for any substantial rushing attempts or amounts.
The offensive power lies in running back Garrett Slaughter (5’9 195) and receiver Jonathan Seabrook (5’9″ 170). Slaughter is a second-year starter, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 87 yards a game. He has scored 12 touchdowns this season. Seabrook can run and catch the ball with 4.5 speed. He is averaging 21 yards a catch and has logged five touchdowns. The Panthers will also see him on the defensive side of the ball as a DB.
Junior Charlie Samaniego (5’7″ 165) plays change of pace back, and averages 6.6 yards per carry. Big back Dominique Varela (6’2″ 250) must have watched too many videos of Larry Csonka. The senior has a tendency to make his own holes in the line, and trying to arm-tackle this guy is pointless. His legs have to be taken out from under him to stop this freight train from rolling. Receiver David Lemaster (6’3″ 180) will need to be monitored, as he has the ability to sneak into open space and has the height to snag passes thrown over the heads of defenders.
The Coronado defense will be key if they want to stay in the ballgame. The majority of the time, Permian will see the T-Bird defense in a 4-3 set. They rely on defensive linemen Carter McFadin (6’3″ 195) and Guillermo Barragan (5’10” 235). Varela is a two-way starter and does a solid job plugging holes inside. Linebacker Patrick Barrett (5’8″ 210) leads the defense with 14 tackles a game. He is followed by Varela and McFadin, which also lead the T-Birds in sacks.
Alongside Seabrook in the defensive backfield, seniors Brycen Horn (6’0″ 170) and Drew Little (5’10” 175) have the quickness to keep pace with most receivers in the state. Both have an interception on their resume. On occasion, the T-Birds will send junior DB David Burns (6’1″ 185) into the offensive backfield. He also has a pair of picks this season.
Juan Romero handles the kicking duties. He averages 43 yards a kickoff, 36 yards per punt, and has made an impressive 90 perfect of his field goal attempts, with a 49-yarder being his longest successful three-pointer.
Series Record: 24-0-1 (3-0-1 in playoffs) in Mojo’s favor.
||District Finale – Road Game
Permian Panthers at Midland Lee Rebels
Battle for the Bell: Gold to Black-N-White
Coach: Clint Hartman – 3rd season at Lee
Midland Lee went 4-1 through the non-district schedule, losing 31-24 to Abilene High in Midland the second game of the season. The Rebels began district with strong wins over Frenship (51-15) and Odessa High (42-7). They lost to Amarillo Tascosa (49-26) before rebounding and handing Midland High a 49-28 crosstown loss.
Lee made it to the Regional Semifinal Round of the state playoffs in 2017, and return 10 of those starters this season. The offense will look to skill players: running back Josh Traylor (5’8″ 185), senior receiver Sheldon Bass (6’3″ 180), and junior receiver Loic Fouonji (6’5″ 190). Traylor has already rushed for over 1,000 yards this season. Fouonji leads in receptions, followed by three-year starter Bass.
Permian will more than likely see Felix Hinojosa (6’0″ 170) taking snaps under center. The Rebels have been averaging 299 yards a game rushing, while adding another 178 through the air. The offense is averaging 477 total yards a game through the nine contests in 2018. Hinojosa has completed 62% of his passes, though he missed two games. Lee is producing an average of 40 points a game. LHS has John Thompson as kicker and his longest field goal is from only 35 yards out. He has made four out of seven attempts this season.
Defensively, Lee is stacked. Linebackers Trent Low (6’1″ 225) and Charles Gonzales (6’2″ 235) lead the team in sacks, hurries, and tackles. Another tough one is junior Michael Hinojosa (6’0″ 195). Two-way playmaker Isaiah Harvey (6’1″ 190) makes his presence known on the field at middle linebacker, but also backs up Traylor in the backfield. Tracy Mackey (6’4″ 265) has size, and surprisingly, good speed as he anchors the defensive line.
The standout in the defensive backfield is junior Karl Taylor (6’0″ 170). He has the athletic ability to be another major FBS recruit. Oscar Valadez will also factor in as a defender to pass attempts downfield. Fouonji doubles as the team’s punter and averages 37 yards a punt.
It is worth noting – the Rebel defense had all kind of issues with the flexbone triple option that Tascosa’s offense ran in the Lee district loss. There are several similarities with that offense and the one ran by the Panthers. Also, both of Lee’s losses this season have been on the home turf of Grande Communications Stadium.
There were no common non-district opponents this season between the two teams. The common 2-6A opponents Lee and Permian have played are: Odessa High, Amarillo Tascosa, Midland High, and Frenship. The Panthers won all district games, including the win in Amarillo, while the Lee Rebels lost to Tascosa in Midland.
Series Record: 39-21 (Mojo leads series. PHS won last year 42-7)
||District Home Game|
Coach: Jay Northcutt – 2nd season at Frenship
The Tigers return a lot of experience, including 14 starters, as they try to improve from last year’s winless season. Frenship went through the non-district slate winning three and losing two. They have lost all three district games – Midland Lee (51-15), Midland High (34-28 in OT), and Odessa High (56-10) so far in 2018.
Unlike most teams in 2-6A, Frenship throws twice as many times as running the ball. Quarterback Austin Phillips (6’3″ 220) is in his second season directing the spread offense. He has completed 63% of his passes. Joining him in the backfield is sophomore running back William Bayouth (5’10” 180), who has been averaging 4.5 yards a carry. Phillips also uses Bayouth as an underneath receiver.
The senior signal caller has a handful of talented receivers including: Drew Hocutt (5’11” 165), Skyler Newsome (6’4″ 205), Cooper Scott (5’10” 165), and Max Rowley (6’1″ 180). Ethan Filio (6’4″ 295) and Jack Woodward (6’3″ 300) have given Frenship the big physical blocking on the offensive line.
Linebackers Jake Gilbert (6’0″ 220) and Tristan Laughlin (5’11” 190), along with Jaden Lemons (5’9″ 175) have led the defense in tackles this year. Senior linebacker Tobi Banire (5’10” 185), DL Evan Barboza (6’1″ 235), and DL Cayson Brito (5’10” 230) lead the team in sacks, though blitzing is not a particular strength of the Tigers’ defense. Safety Christian Kiser (5’9″ 160) leads the team in interceptions with three, followed by junior DE Colton Anderson (6’0″ 185) with two. The Tigers have continued to struggle and district opponents have poured on the points three consecutive weeks now.
Cage Jones handles the punting and kicking duties. He’s made 90% of his extra points and 50% of his field goal attempts, with a 40-yarder being the longest.
Series Record: 1-3 (Frenship leads series. PHS won last year 66-14)
||District Road Game|
Coach: Ken Plunk – 9th season at Tascosa
This is the first district Mojo Road Show of 2018 for Permian. Coach Ken Plunk is in his ninth year at Tascosa, and used to be an assistant coach for the Panthers. The Rebels went through the non-district slate winning three games, while losing to Amarillo High 28-21 and Brownsville Hanna 35-19.
Against the Sandies, Tascosa took a 21-7 lead over Amarillo before giving up 21 unanswered points. The Golden Eagles used a similar formula against the Rebels in the Brownsville game. Hanna utilized big plays in the second and third quarters to break open what was a 14-13 slugfest. Tascosa won their district game last week (36-20) at Midland High.
Out of the flexbone triple option set, the Rebels have a tendency to run the ball four-to-one over passing. They average 347 yards rushing a game, while passing for just 59 yards. Tascosa has scored an average of 29 points a game. The offense is navigated by quarterback Joseph Plunk (5’9″ 170). The offensive workhorse is running back and Purdue commit King Doerue (6’0″ 200). He is accompanied in the backfield by junior Ayden Noriega (5’9″ 165). All three rushed for over 100 yards against Midland High this past weekend. Plunk can not only run and pass, but doubles as a defensive back.
Tascosa’s defense averages giving up 23 points a game so far this season. Quickness is their strength and the Rebels have a corp of defensive backs. Brandon White (6’1″ 170), Taylar McKellar (5’11” 180), and Plunk have size and speed. The defensive anchors are ends L.B. Moore (6’3″ 215) and Randall Campbell (6’0″ 225). Both have the ability to sack and contain outside plays. Middle linebacker, and back-up running back, D’Andre Campbell (5’8″ 175) has done a good job plugging up the holes all season. The Rebels defense has been suspect at stopping pass plays underneath.
Both Permian and Tascosa are entering Thursday’s contest with matching records of 4-2 overall and 1-0 in district. The Panthers are on a three game win streak, while the Rebels won their district opener after losing the last game of the non-district schedule.
Game Day weather forecast is calling for a high of 48° and a low of 42° with a 50% chance of rain. Winds will be 10 to 15 mph, making the trip to the Panhandle a cold and wet one at Bivins Stadium.
Series Record: 21-8 (Mojo leads series. Won last year 49-7)
||District Opener and Crosstown Rival Game
Permian will occupy Home (West) side of stadium
Traffic Flow Maps (for entering and exiting Ratliff Stadium)
Coach: Danny Servance – 3rd season at OHS
This is the district home opener for Permian, and what better way than have it against the crosstown rival Bronchos. Former Mojo player and graduate Danny Servance is in his third year at the helm at OHS. Odessa High went through the non-district slate winning four games, while losing to Lubbock Coronado 30-27 at Ratliff Stadium.
The Bronchos accumulated 184 points and gave up only 65 through their first five games. The offense is led by quarterback Trey Smith (6’0″ 215) and running back Josh Lara. Odessa High has a tendency to run the ball first, and then pass to keep opponent defenses from stacking the box. OHS has been somewhat successful at keeping a balanced attack. They average 217 yards rushing, while passing for another 194 yards a game. The primary receiving targets are Tyrone Cauilfield (6’0″ 175), Michael Gonzales (5’10” 190), and junior Julian Galindo.
Odessa High’s defense has limited opponents in yardage and points thus far. The Bronchos have held opponents to an average of 13 points a game. Linebacker Cade Mendoza leads the team in tackles and Darrieyon Rangel tops the sack chart. Oscar Lucio has been moved from linebacker to defensive end and has been solid in containing plays ran to the outside. Charles McClure (5’10” with 4.4 speed) has a nose for sniffing out and anticipating development of plays.
Special team play has fallen on the faithful foot of punter / kicker Cain Cordova. Odessa High has been playing at a very competitive level through the non-district schedule. With all being said, the 2018 OHS-PHS showdown ought to provide all the making of a classic crosstown war between East and West Odessa.
Series Record: 48-10-1 (Mojo leads series. Won last year 35-9)