Thursday night lightning in Midland became Friday night lights in Seminole as Thursday's scheduled Seminole Indians vs. Midland Greenwood Rangers game was postponed, due to questionable weather in the Mdland-Odessa area. The game was also moved to Wigwam Stadium on Friday, where the new home field advantage, for much of the high scoring game, appeared to be just the edge that the Tribe needed to make the winning difference.
It wasn't to be, however, as, after the Indians maintained a firm edge through the first half, the Rangers picked up steam in the fourth quarter and outlasted the Tribe for a 49-36 final score, primarily on the strength of good field position and the running muscle of Greenwood Running Back, Jake Rogers in the late going.
Seminole came out strong with a good run from scrimmage, but helmet-to-helmet contact with Greenwood Safety Hunter Wigington left Wigington grounded with an apparent neck injury. Wigington was secured and transported to the hospital before play resumed. His condition was not learned at press time.
The second play of the game saw a Grant Petty fumble give Greenwood its first possession, and a costly pass interference call quickly put the Rangers into the Red Zone. Getting into the infield was quite another story, as a series of penalties and miscues by both teams ate up the clock. It appeared that an interception by Linebacker Brennan Dominguez was going to save the day, but a penalty negated the turnover, and Midland's Zach Redwine managed to toss it in for the first score of the game.
The Indians' first full possession was a turnover on downs, but Seminole took the ball back quickly with a Greenwood fumble, setting up a Jarrett Johnson to Kason Rosales shot that put Seminole on the board. The two-point conversion gave the Tribe an 8-7 edge at the end of the first quarter. It was an advantage that they would not relinquish until the second half.
As the teams switched ends, a perfect Seminole punt sailed over the Ranger's heads and was downed on the three yard line by Rosales. A safety on the next play put Seminole up by three. Seminole's Matt Flores came roaring back with a 50-yard kickoff return to Greenwood's 22-yard line. The Tribe advanced to the one yard line, but the Midland goal line stand resulted in a turnover on downs.
The Indians quickly regained control after four Greenwood downs, and a 37-yard completion to Wide Receiver Derek Cox widened Seminole's lead to 16-7 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
Greenwood answered quickly in a first half marked by big plays, taking Kyle Rickman's kick off all the way back for a touchdown. The two-point conversion again brought Midland to within one point of the Tribe, 16-15. Not to be outdone, a Rosales romp right through the line from the 33 yard line on the second down resulted in a 67-yard touchdown run. With a blocked extra point, it was 22-15 Seminole.
Greenwood Quarterback Redwine's passing game was virtually nonexistent during the first half, but the Rangers' running game got Redwine into position to score a 28-yard strike to bring his team back to within a point of the lead. After taking possession on his own 29, Johnson quickly answered with a hand off to Running Back Ryan Aldape, who gobbled up 71 yards for the score. Penalties would plague both sides of the ball for the remainder of the half, and after a wild throw by Redwine straight to Seminole defender Matt Flores, the Indians were able to run out the first half with a 28-21 lead.
On the first Greenwood drive of the second half, Redwine completed a pass, but Aldape, in the role of Linebacker on the defensive side, forced a fumble and the Indians quickly retained possession. The drive fell flat, however,and Redwine began to find his stride in running the ball himself and completing some crucial passes. Couple with a costly personal foul against Seminole that brought the ball within striking distance, Redwine was able to run it in, and a successful two-point conversion by the Rangers gave them the lead for the first time since the first few minutes of the game.
After retaking possession, Jarrett Johnson continued some quick, short passes to Justin Hernandez that had proven effective in moving the ball thoughout much of the night, and after getting into the Rangers' Red Zone, a quick flick to Flores at the back of the end zone gave the Indians the lead back, with an unsuccessful conversion moving the scoreboard to 34-29 Indians.
The Tribe's second half woes seemed to begin with a partially blocked Dominguez punt as the third quarter ticked off, and later a 95-yard kick return was called back, nearly ending the Tribe's momentum. The Rangers recovered the failed punt with excellent field position and were able to quickly move the ball into the End Zone with an 11-yard pass and a two-point conversion that put the Rangers back on top, 37-36.
A stunning 95-yard runback down the sideline by Seminole's Jarryd Karr, despite having bobbled the ball on his own five yard line, appeared to be just the ticket to put the Indians back on top, but an Indian miscure brought the ball back, and the Indians' momentum quickly began to wane.
Another bad punt was stopped rolling on the Indians' own 18-yard line, and Midland quickly ran it in for another six. With the next Seminole drive falling flat, Redwine took the ball back and went to workhorse Jake Rogers for the final score of the game. The Indians were unable to answer on their next couple of drives, and with a minute remaining, Redwine had only to take a knee twice to seal the deal.
"It was a long night," Coach Kent Jackson offered after the game. "But I was proud of our kids. They made great plays when they had to. We had extreme adversities, but we'd still wind up being ahead, and that's what a good team does. I think they'll commit to getting better each week. I tip my hat to Coach Hannah. I have great respect for him. They played some good, clean ball."
The Seminole Indians will take on Idalou at home next Friday night at Wigwam.