Non-District Opponent Preview

ODESSA, TX – Permian started Fall workouts today, and the annual ‘Meet the Panthers’ watermelon feed will be held on Thursday, August 23, which will lead to the scrimmage with the Lubbock Cooper Pirates the following day.

Mojo is scheduled to play five non-district games before starting the District 2-6A run on October 12 against Odessa High.  Here’s a breakdown of the 2018 non-district opponents.

This is the season home opener for Permian and will be the first meeting between the Panthers and Eagles.  It is also the inaugural season for Mike Robinson as the DeSoto head coach.  The Eagles are coming off of a 10-2 season from last year and they made it to the Area Round of the state playoffs.

The DeSoto offense will have senior QB Shun’Darion Ward (6’1″ 195) calling the plays in the backfield. Ward has the ability to rack up yards on the ground, while possessing a decent arm to sling the rock downfield. The dual threat quarterback has a corp of talented senior receivers in La’Vontae Shenault (6’1″ 180), Bryan Hanspard (5’10” 175), and Jayce Medlock (6’3″ 205). Junior Lawrence Arnold (6’4″ 190) should also get several looks in the passing game. The Eagles have a limited running game with tandem backs Tyson Alexander and Jyison Brown.

DeSoto has a dominating defense that comes from stingy senior defensive linemen Viramonte Pippens (6’0″ 305) and Devere Levelston (6’4″ 285). The Eagles limited their opponents to an average of 15 points a game in 2017, and look to repeat that feat this season. They return a feisty cornerback in Jabbar Muhammad. The defense is supported by three linebackers that are quick to the ball in Onyei Orvpabo, Deyonce McGee, and Morris Foster.

Mojo’s first road trip of the season lands in El Paso.  This is the second meeting between the two teams.  In 2016, Permian handed the Cougars a nasty 61-0 loss.  Coach Daren is in his twelfth season as Franklin’s head coach.  The Cougars hope to improve on a frustrating 4-6 (3-4 in district) mark of just a year ago. They return five offensive and five defensive starters. Quarterback Chris Kelly will be joined in the backfield by a pair of explosive running backs. Taj Crenshaw (5’7″ 175) was named 1-6A Newcomer of the Year after logging 425 rushing yards and scoring seven touchdowns. Tate Jerigan (5’7″ 180) added another 395 ground yards, while scoring four rushing TDs. Sophomore Pablo Gutierrez should play the role of change of pace back in 2018.

Joaquin Lozano (5’10” 160) and Gabe Stonewall (6’2″ 165) look to be Kelly’s primary receiving targets. Lozano recorded 240 yards receiving in 2017, with Stonewall contributing another 320 yards from 21 receptions.

Defensive end Johnny Cerros (5’11” 250) is a three-year starter and the anchor of the Cougar defense. He has been an All-District selection the past two seasons. Mickey Castro will secure the other end of the defensive line. The Franklin defense will rely on linebackers David Powers and Jeremiah Zuniga to handle everything up the middle. The Cougars also have a pair of ball-hawking defensive backs worthy of mentioning in Ethan Bustillos (5’9″ 160) and Abraham Anabi (6’0″ 160).

The Panthers will be back on the road, and this one is going to be a big one.  This will be Riley Dodge’s first season as head coach of the Dragons, but the Dodge family had to deal with Permian another time.  Riley’s father, once outstanding quarterback Todd Dodge, led Port Arthur Jefferson to the state title game in 1980.  Leading 19-7 at halftime, ‘Dad’ watched Permian come to live in the second half to claim a 28-19 State Champion victory over the Yellowjackets at Texas Stadium.

The Dragons return six starters on offense and five on defense. SMU commit T.J. McDaniel (5’11” 195) rushed for over 1,800 yards and scored 23 TDs in 2017.  He’ll share the backfield with running back Eli Furgal and quarterback Will Bowers.

Bowers (6’0″ 180) contributed 3,400 total yards of his own and scored 38 touchdowns last season. His primary targets will be Wills Meyer (6’1″ 190) and ironman R.J. Mickens (6’1″ 185). As a receiver, Mickens hauled in nine touchdowns for the Dragons. Defensively, he logged 99 tackles, 13 deflected passes, and two interceptions in 2017. Another strength for Carroll is a full stable of linebackers. Michael Parrish (6’0″ 195) turned in 89 tackles, 14 for a loss in his junior season. He also had five sacks and nine deflections. As a sophomore, Graham Faloona (6’2″ 190) recorded 80 tackles, seven for a loss, and added a pair of sacks. Look for Preston Forney to also have a strong season at linebacker.

The Panthers will be celebrating Homecoming this week, and their opponents will be making a long journey to attend the festivities.  The Pumas are coming from Hollywood (Florida), home of the International School of Broward.  The ISB football program is still developing under Coach Charles McCrea and didn’t come into existence until 2015.

Senior starting quarterback Darrien Lundy (5’8″ 180) hopes to make an impact on the young program. Junior running back Detrick Armstrong (5’8″ 180) will join Lundy in the backfield.  ISB has a pair of senior wide receivers – Jacarri Anderson (6’3″ 180) and Dmitri Jean (6’1″ 175) – that possess a lot of potential. After having an impressive freshman year, Brandon Desforges (5’10” 170) will utilize his hand skills and foot speed to figure into the offensive mix.

The Puma defense has experience in three senior linebackers. Darryl Carter (5’8″ 170), Oscar Matute (5’8″ 180), and Javon Alexandre (6’1″ 200) have had a full year to mature into Coach McCrea’s system.

In the final non-district game of 2018, Permian will host one of the top teams out of the Rio Grande Valley.  The Falcons of Los Fresnos are coming off of a 9-4 season and are coached by Patrick Brown.  The scrappy team made it to the third round of the state playoffs for the second consecutive year on the varsity level, and their Jr Varsity won district and finished with an 8-2 mark last year. The Falcons will return 10 starters this season – four on offense and six on defense.

Nico Valencia (6’1″ 180) is a playmaker from his receiver position. Last season, Valencia was credited with 18 touchdowns and 1,200 receiving yards. Los Fresnos has a small but efficient backfield. Albert Banulos (5’2″ 130) and sophomore Chris Resendiz (5’6″ 150) have good wheels and the ability to elude tacklers.

Led by Christian Pena, the strength of the Falcons is their defense and a solid group of linebackers. Pena (6’0″ 200) had 128 tackles and five sacks in the 2017 season. He is joined by juniors Cameron Rivera (5’11” 185) and Adal Rodriguez (6’1″ 195). Los Fresnos has a talented defensive lineman in Matthew Ortiz (6’0″ 220). The Falcons also have a pair of worthy defensive backs in Johnny Cedengo (5’8″ 160) and Kobe Muniz (5’8″170).

After the scheduled non-district games, Permian will have a bye week before starting the district slate of games.