HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian prepping for mirror image

·4 min read

Oct. 14—After defeating its crosstown rival last week, the Permian football team has another highly anticipated matchup coming up against Midland High this week.

The Panthers will travel to Midland to face the Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Friday at Grande Communications Stadium.

It'll be the 63rd meeting between Permian and the Bulldogs, with the Panthers leading the all-time series 49-13.

Permian came away with a 42-14 victory last season against Midland High, but the Bulldogs have undergone some changes since the end of the 2020 campaign.

Midland High is now led by head coach Thad Fortune, who spent seven years as Permian's offensive coordinator before making the jump to his new role.

The Bulldogs now feature a veer offense and defensive scheme similar to the Panthers', with their players slowly getting a better grasp on what they need to do within Fortune's system.

It won't be the first time Permian has faced an option-based offense this year, as it played Amarillo Tascosa in one of its nondistrict games.

Midland High is coming off a 41-17 loss on the road against San Angelo Central, while Permian will look to extend its winning streak to three games.

Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said he thought his team adjusted well in the second half of last week's matchup on both offense and defense.

"The staff and the kids did a great job with that," Ellison said. "As much as they threw the ball, I thought we covered well.

"Throwing it that many times, they're going to get you on a couple and they did but we were able to get things corrected on the sideline and halftime."

>> MOVING FORWARD: Ellison said every week is a work in progress to make sure the team is in its best state going into its matchups.

The coaching staff looks to tweak things and make changes to achieve one of the goals of getting better every week.

Improving reads and blocking on the offense go along with making more secure tackles and understanding run fits on the defensive side of the ball.

"It's a work in progress week in and week out, but we're getting better," Ellison said.

One of the things Permian will look to fix is its penalty issues, after being flagged 10 times last week for 114 yards.

>> OLD FRIENDS: Fortune is looking forward to leading his team against the program he coached at for seven years.

Many members of Fortune's current coaching staff at Midland High spent time at Permian, including assistant head coach Kirk Thurman and co-defensive coordinators Stacey Martin and Eric Jonas.

"I've got a lot of respect for Coach Ellison and his staff, and a lot of respect for Permian," Fortune said. "I was there for seven years, it was really instrumental in my career and that place was good to me and good to my family.

"We've got nothing but gratitude toward that place and everything that it represents in Texas high school football."

Fortune added that he still has good relationships with players and coaches at Permian, but once the game starts the focus will be solely on what's happening on the field.

It will be an important game for both teams, as they try to make progress in the District 2-6A playoff picture.

>> WINNING STREAK: When Permian played Odessa High last week, the Panthers went into the game on a seven-game winning streak against the Bronchos.

They have a four game winning streak against the Bulldogs, with Midland High's last victory coming in 2016 in a 49-48 shootout with the Panthers.

Over the last four years, the Permian defense has surrendered 30 points combined in four games against Midland High while scoring 173.

>> SUBVARSITY: The Permian subvarsity teams had a strong showing last week against Odessa High, with all four teams picking up shutout victories.

The Junior Varsity Black team defeated Odessa High 28-0, while Junior Varsity white won 41-0.

Freshman Black and Freshman White picked up similar results, defeating the Bronchos by 27-0 scores.

This week, JV White will play Midland High at 5 p.m. Thursday at Ratliff Stadium and JV Black will host the Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m. at the same venue.

The freshman teams will travel to Midland, with Freshman White playing Midland High at 5 p.m. and Freshman Black facing the Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m.

PERMIAN AT MIDLAND HIGH

>> When: 7 p.m. Friday.

>> Where: Grande Communications Stadium

>> Last Season: Permian 42, Midland High 14

>> Records: Permian 5-2 overall, 2-1 District 2-6A; Midland High 2-4, 1-1.

>> Radio: KMCM (FM-96.9).

>> Live Updates: Follow on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya.

PERMIAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK

RODNEY HALL

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 170

Class: Junior

Position: Quarterback

Last Week: Spearheaded the offensive attack against Odessa High, throwing for 244 yards and two passing touchdowns to go with 96 rushing yards and a score on the ground.

This season: Leads Permian with 1,015 yards passing and 12 touchdowns. Also has 516 rushing yards and five TDs.

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