Neither Odessa Permian nor an 87-minute weather delay could shut down Southlake Carroll senior running back T.J. McDaniel on Friday.
McDaniel needed just 14 carries to rush for 233 yards and three TDs as the Dragons held off Permian, 24-20, in a non-district game at Dragon Stadium.
Behind McDaniel, Carroll (3-0) built a 10-0 halftime lead. Four minutes into the second half, the game was halted because of lightning. Shortly after play resumed, McDaniel scored again to boost the Dragons’ lead to 17-0.
When Permian (1-2) fought back with two TDs early in the fourth quarter, the Dragons knew just where to turn.
Ahead 17-14 and facing a second-and-12 at their own 10, Carroll gave the ball once again to McDaniel. He bust through right tackle, quickly finding himself running in the open field. McDaniel juked a Panther at midfield, then angled away from pursuit for a 90-yard TD with 4:31 left in the game.
Game was over when: On the last play of the game, Permian was just 33 yards away from a winning TD. Panthers quarterback Peyton Powell was in the process of being sacked for a 15-yard loss when he threw a backward pass trying to keep Permian’s hopes alive. The final buzzer sounded as players from both teams piled on the loose ball.
Play of the game: Midway through the fourth quarter and trailing by 10, the Panthers faced a fourth-and-six on Carroll’s 34. After a lateral on an overhead pass from Powell to Mason Sellers in the left flat, Sellers threw downfield to Justin Hammon. Sellers’ pass was wobbly but Hammon was so wide open that he easily scored. The trick play pulled Permian to within three points at 17-14.
Offensive player of the game: McDaniel produced in all four quarters. He scored on a 56-yard in the first quarter, then set up Neal Koskay’s 27-yard field goal in the second quarter with a 34-yard. He pushed the Dragons’ lead to 17-0 with a 24-yard TD in the third quarter, before adding his 90-yarder in the fourth.
Defensive player of the game: Carroll senior linebacker Michael Parrish made a big difference in back-to-back plays late in the game, though both came in the kicking game. After Permian scored with under three minutes to play to move to within 24-20, Parrish blocked the extra-point attempt. On the next play, Parrish recovered the Panthers’ try for an onside kick.
Unsung hero of the game: Carroll junior linebacker Graham Faloona didn’t block Permian’s punt with four minutes left in the third quarter, but he did get a hand on it. The punt went just 13 yards, setting up the Dragons on the Panthers’ 33. Three plays later, McDaniel scored on a 24-yard run to put Carroll up 17-0.
What’s next? Odessa Permian will host the International School of Broward (Hollywood, Fla.) at Ratliff Stadium at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21. After being off next week, Southlake Carroll travels to Keller ISD Athletic Complex to play Keller in its District 5-6A opener at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28.