HS FOOTBALL: Bulldogs hold off Amarillo, improve to 3-0


MRT | 9/9/2023


AMARILLO – The Midland High Bulldogs made a business trip north Friday night, and when they returned home they had to consider it a success.

The Bulldogs held off a suddenly potent Amarillo High offense in the second half, and ended up leaving Dick Bivins Stadium with a 32-27 victory. They’re now unbeaten at 3-0, a fact which is hard to argue.

Just because the record is perfect, though, that doesn’t mean MHS coach Thad Fortune feels the same way about his team’s performance.

“We started off good and we executed our plan early,” Fortune said. “Once (Amarillo) adjusted we didn’t do a good job adjusting to them and that starts with me. We didn’t play very good complementary football. The first half our defense played phenomenal but the second quarter the offense and special teams didn’t play well.”

The Bulldogs used their typical ground-oriented offense in the first half to control the clock, and it seemed as if they could have been leading their hosts by more than the 19-7 halftime margin.

Midland High scored on the first three possessions, as Elijah McCoy scored on a pair of long runs in the first quarter of 29 and 32 yards to give the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead. Amarillo High (1-2) answered after McCoy’s second score on an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Bryson Brown to cut it to 13-7.

That was it for first half highlights for the Sandies, though. They managed only 25 yards of total offense and one first down in the first half.

On the other hand, it was a prototypical night offensively for Midland High, which ran for 370 yards, and the Bulldogs didn’t punt once. McCoy led the way with 210 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries and ended the scoring on the night for the Bulldogs by catching a 3-yard touchdown pass from Tristan Love in the fourth quarter.

“He works hard and gives a lot of credit to his offensive line as he should,” Fortune said of McCoy. “I’ve just been challenging him all year to be who he can be. He’s strong, he’s fast and that’s a recipe for a great high school running back. He put the team on his back.”

The Bulldogs went up 19-7 on Tim Babino’s 7-yard run 45 seconds into the second quarter, but couldn’t generate any points the rest of the half, as one drive stalled on a missed 39-yard field goal by Levi Crowder.

Midway through the third quarter, the Sandies finally got on the board with their offense. They held Midland on downs and then drove down the field, culminating on a 25-yard scoring pass from Jett Lopez to J.Q. Ervin to cut it to 19-14.

While the Sandies scored on all three possessions in the second half, the Bulldogs answered back on two of them to provide a cushion, with McCoy scoring both touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

After Love’s scoring pass to McCoy, Amarillo came back on a 3-yard run by Lopez to cut it to 32-27 with 1:38 left. However, Amarillo’s ensuing onside kick didn’t even go 10 yards, and the Bulldogs ran for a first down and extinguished the clock.

“I can sit here and nitpick and we should but I’m real happy,” Fortune said. “The film session will be bloody, but at least we’re doing that from a 3-0 standpoint and that was ultimately was the goal tonight,”


Midland High 13 6 0 13 – 32

Amarillo High 7 0 7 13 – 27

First Quarter

MHS – Elijah McCoy 29 run (Levi Crowder kick), 9:36

MHS – McCoy 32 run (run failed), 5:52

AHS – Bryson Brown 80 kickoff return (Korbin Raef kick), 5:40

Second Quarter

MHS – Tim Babino 7 run (run failed), 11:15

Third Quarter

AHS – J.Q. Ervin 25 pass from Jett Lopez (Raef kick), 4:57

Fourth Quarter

MHS – McCoy 2 run (Crowder kick), 11:29

AHS – Brown 4 run (kick failed), 9:12

MHS – McCoy 3 pass from Tristan Love (run failed), 4:24

AHS – Lopez 3 run (Raef kick), 1:38


First Downs 23 11

Rushing 370 103

Passing 27 121

Total yards 397 224

Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-3-0 9-21-2

Punts-Avg. 0-00.0 3-37.7

Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0

Penalties-yards 1-15 4-55


RUSHING – Midland High, McCoy 28-210, Tristan Love 18-78, Anthony Kolb... Click here to read full article