by Lance Lahnert | from amarillo.com posted 8/30/2012
photo by Dexter Harper | North Amarillo Now
The Palo Duro Dons didn’t tip-toe into the 2012 season Thursday night.
The Dons shouted out loud and clear: “Big Blue is back.”
Palo Duro put on quite the display of season-opening football, using the running duo of junior Antaun Turner and sophomore Anthony McLain to put together a surprising lopsided 42-21 victory against Tascosa in the 51st meeting of these city teams in Dick Bivins Stadium.
Once the Dons started rolling after a scoreless first quarter, their running game proved unstoppable. PD produced 313 yards rushing and six touchdowns by the Turner and McLain show.
Turner scored four touchdowns on runs of 1, 5, 10 and 41 yards and gained 139 yards on 15 carries. McLain hurt Tascosa’s defense for 138 yards on seven carries and scored on runs of 29 and 68 yards.
“I’m going to give it all to our line,” Turner said. “If not for them, none of the backs would have scored. They did their part. We got rolling. Big Blue is back. It is back.”
The Dons put this one away by building a 28-0 lead on McLain’s 68-yarder with just less than five minutes to play in the third quarter. That 86-yard, five-play drive capped a stretch in which Palo Duro scored on four of five possessions.
While the Dons offense was clicking behind the leadership of junior quarterback Malik Sims — he completed his opening five passes and finished with 105 yards throwing — the other side of the football was handling Tascosa’s new option offense.
Tascosa got untrack late in the game, scoring all 21 points in the final 15 minutes. But PD led 35-7 late in the third quarter in part because of stopping the option from big plays.
Part of that effort was the success of linebacker Luis Hernandez, who said he was able to read the fakes of Tascosa quarterbacks Peyton Brooks and Tucker Davidson.
“It boils down to smash-mouth football,” Hernandez said. “We stuffed them in the face, and they didn’t want it anymore. The option was pretty easy read, looking at the quarterbacks eyes and the guards pulling. We prepared hard for them. All the credit goes to the d-line. I wouldn’t be here talking if it wasn’t for them.”
PD finished with 419 yards of offense.
“I thought the kids played really hard,” said PD coach Steve Parr, his team coming off a three-win season. “The threat was in the passing game and that opened up our running game.”
Tascosa finished with 318 yards of offense and received a late spark from the running and receiving of Jack Turner. Turner scored a touchdown on a 9-yard reception and ran for 58 yards on four carries.
Tascosa coach Ken Plunk: “I don’t think this is indicative of the kind of team we are going to have. But if we don’t step up and have great preparation then it will be the kind of team we have the rest of the year.
Palo Duro 42, Tascosa 21
Tascosa 0 0 7 14 — 21
Palo Duro 0 14 14 7 — 42
PD — Antaun Turner 5 run (Tito Estrada)
PD — Anthony McLain 29 run (Estrada kick)
PD — Turner 10 run (Estrada)
PD— McLain 68 run (Estrada kick)
T—Peyton Brooks 5 run (Brock Yarbrough kick)
PD — Turner 1 run (Estrada)
T—Jack Turner 9 pass from Brooks (Yarbrough kick)
PD — Turner 41 run (Estrada kick)
T—C.J. Roland 5 run (Yarbrough kick)
Tascosa Palo Duro
First Downs 16 19
Rushing Yards 280 313
Passing Yards 38 105
Total Yards 318 419
C-A-I 5-10-0 10-16-0
Punts-Avg. 4-37.0 3-32.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-35 5-40
Rushing — Tascosa: Tion Wright 4-34, Peyton Brooks 13-88, Dontrae Butler 11-16, Jack Turner 4-58, Joseph Byrd 1-8, CJ Roland 5-75, Tucker Davidson 6-11, Trevon Bats 1-(-)2. Palo Duro: Antaun Turner 13-129, Luis Hernandez 1-(-)1, Montrel Meander 2-10, Malik Sims 3-(-)3, Anthony McLain 7-138, Rashaud Ashley 8-46, Team 1-(-)10.
Passing — Tascosa: Brooks 4-5-0—26; Tucker Davidson 1-5-0—12. Palo Duro: Sims 10-15-0—105; Kendrick Buckingham 0-1-0—0.
Receiving — Tascosa: Brandt Roush 1-6, Wright 2-15, Jack Turner 1-9, Jordan Ruiz 1-13.
Palo Duro: Charleston White 3-12, Jimaine Westmoreland 2-34, Joseph Taylor 2-16, Meander 1-5, Antaun Turner 1-32.