Dons seek 2-0 start for first time since 2001

by Lee Passmore | from amarillo.com posted 9/5/2012
photo by Dexter Harper | North Amarillo Now

For the first time since 2007, the Palo Duro Dons go into their second game of the season having won their first game, and they’ll take that unbeaten status into their 7:30 p.m. Thursday game against Plainview at Dick Bivins Stadium.

Palo Duro rolled past Tascosa in impressive fashion last week, opening the season with a 42-21 victory. Coach Steve Parr said he was happy with his team’s results, but he doesn’t want the Dons to get too happy with them.

“It’s always nice to win, but last week’s now over,” Parr said. “The things I was most pleased with was effort and hustle, but there are some things we need to work on.”

Palo Duro looked like the Dons of old in beating Tascosa, returning to a running game that piled up 313 yards. Junior Antaun Turner (129 yards, four touchdowns on 13 carries) and sophomore Anthony McClain (138 yards, two touchdowns on seven carries) led PD’s attack.

The Dons were just as solid defensively, shutting out Tascosa in the first half. They didn’t look like a team that went 2-8 last season.

“The energy and enthusiasm I thought were great throughout the ball game,” Parr said. “If they do that, they’re a fun group to be around.”

Last week, Plainview opened against Palo Duro’s District 3-4A rival Randall and lost, 55-27. The Bulldogs looked as if they were going to get blown away early, falling behind 26-3. However, they scored 24 unanswered points and briefly went up 27-26 before Randall came alive in the second half and scored 29 unanswered points.

Plainview’s Daniel Miller ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries

“Plainview made a big comeback last week,” Parr said. “That might have worn them down at the end, but they’re an explosive football team who have a really good running back.”

Team of the week: Palo Duro Dons

Anthony McLain

Antaun Turner

by Lance Lahnert | from amarillo.com posted 9/3/2012

» Score: Palo Duro 42, Tascosa 21

» Significance: Palo Duro entered the season getting no respect from many preseason football publications. The Dons were picked to not make the playoffs in the six-team District 3-4A, where four teams make the advance. Plus, Tascosa is a city rival and Class 5A school.

» Turning point: After a scoreless first quarter, Palo Duro found its running game and scored 28 unanswered points — each on runs by Antaun Turner and Anthony McLain — setting the stage for a night of 313 rushing yards.

» Individual highlights: Running backs Turner, McLain and the Palo Duro offensive line stole the show. Turner, a junior, rushed 13 times for 129 yards and scored four touchdowns on runs of 1, 5, 10 and 41 yards. McLain, a sophomore, finished with 138 yards on seven carries and scored on runs of 68 and 29 yards.

» Comment: “The Tascosa option was pretty easy to read,” said Palo Duro senior linebacker/fullback Luis Hernandez, who helped open holes for the PD the running game as a blocker “The guards would pull and it was very predictable. We prepared hard for it all week. All the credit goes to the defensive line for making our jobs easier. It’s a new era at PD.”

» Next: vs. Plainview (0-1), 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dick Bivins Stadium.