It was a great night for football in west Texas. On a perfect 78 degree, clear sky, full moon, fall evening, Texas high school football occupied that rarified air of the high school elite. Staged at the iconic “Friday Night Lights” stadium, the “Rumble at Ratliff” had it all. Over 20,000 passionate fans, bands as big as the state of Texas and the United States Air Force right in the thick of it.
Permian’s recipient is senior left offensive tackle and football captain Austin O’Connell, son of Tim and Janeen O’Connell. Austin carries a 4.79 grade-point average and was 2nd Team All-State in 2008.
Odessa’s recipient is quarterback and three-year football letterman Derrick Teegarden. The son of Mike and Ellen Teegarden, Derrick carries a 4.02 GPA. In 2008 he was named All-Permian Basin QB, All-District 2-5A QB, and Honorable Mention All-State QB.
The game started quickly with a 62 yard drive by the Bronchos in five plays that concluded with Student-Athlete award winner quarterback, Derrick Teegarden, taking the ball in from the seven yard line on a quarterback keeper. And Teegarden was not through. On the next Odessa High possession, he would lead a 90 yard drive for the Bronchos second score which concluded on a 10-yard run by the Bronchos quarterback.
But the real story of the night was the Odessa High defense. They caused fumbles, intercepted passes and completely shut down the Permian offense for the first half. Led by defensive end Dejion Rangel and game MVP, linebacker Matt Gonzales, the defense sealed the victory with four interceptions, three fumbles and five sacks, while allowing the Panthers only 326 combined yards for the night. Permian would break into the scoring column immediately after the second half began and for a brief moment there was an air of change in the stadium. The Permian faithful could feel a little of the MOJO magic and their team was moving the ball. The score stood at 19-7. The game was in the early moments of the third quarter and was still well within reach.
But the Bronchos were not to be denied and the defense was there to lock the door on any attempt by Permian to get back into the game. An interception in both the third and fourth quarters took the wind out of any comeback. The late score that followed the final pick ended any hopes for the Panthers' MOJO magic pulling out a victory
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