Palo Duro hosts Lubbock High in Thursday District 2-5A Div. II showdown

Palo Duro's Kameron Brown (4) runs the ball against Caprock, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, at Dick Bivins Stadium.
Palo Duro's Kameron Brown (4) runs the ball against Caprock, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, at Dick Bivins Stadium.

The Palo Duro Dons are now through their bye week and are set to take on Lubbock High at Dick Bivins Stadium on Thursday night in the District 2-5A Division II opener for both programs.

Palo Duro has lost two straight one-score games to West Plains (28-26) and Randall (24-17) but is looking to get back on track with the start of the district schedule following a week off. The Dons have played a challenging schedule that includes losses to Amarillo High and Caprock and one convincing 31-20 victory over Lubbock Estacado on Sept. 9.

Dons coach Eric Mims is looking forward to the new week and is ready to put the non-district schedule in the rearview.

"The last two times we've been on the grass we've had a two-point loss and a seven-point loss," Mims said. "We'll know that we've grown if we can start winning those close games. Those were two games that were winnable and we didn't finish. We've spent a lot of time on correcting mistakes, emphasizing finishing games, and making big plays when we have to."

With the slate wiped clean now, the Dons' first test will be against a Lubbock High Westerners team that already has one more win than they had during the entire 2021 season. Following wins over El Paso Socorro and Levelland in the first three weeks, the Westerners have also dropped two straight games with losses to San Angelo Lake View and Andrews.

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Lubbock High will be coming off of their bye week as well and will be aiming to make a statement in the first district game under first-year head coach Juan Rodriguez.

"Those guys are aiming at being a playoff team and they think they can be 1-0 coming out of this contest," Mims said. "We think we can be 1-0 coming out of this contest. We expect for those guys to play fast and play physical. Both of us are trying to lead the district after this game so we expect them to put their best foot forward."

Palo Duro will rely on the playmaking abilities of players such as Kameron Brown and Tre'sean Monroe on the offensive side while looking to shutdown the Lubbock High offense with their powerful and intimidating front seven.

The defensive line of seniors Parrion Ware, Bryan Gonzalez and Triston Moore will be responsible for slowing down the Westerner run game that is led by senior tailback Keith Ramirez. The 5-foot-10, 220-pound bruising senior leads his team with 411 yards rushing and eight touchdowns through five games and will be the main focus of the Dons' defense this week.

After starting the first three games at quarterback, junior Kylor Petrowski has moved to wide receiver while sophomore Ivan Mcgwier has taken over the reins as the signal caller. The sophomore has completed 30-of-55 passes for 298 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions. The Palo Duro defense will want to put some pressure on the quarterback in order to capitalize on some possible turnover opportunities for their secondary through the air.

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"I've really been impressed with our defense," Mims said. "Specifically, the play of our front seven and defensive line. Teams haven't been very successful running the ball against us. We've got to clean some things up in the secondary but I've really been impressed with the play of our defensive line and linebacker corps coming out of the non-district games."

Palo Duro will be honoring the 1952 state champion Carver Dragons before the game and will also wear commemorative state champion stickers on the back of their helmets for the game against the Westerners.

Carver, an all-black school, won the Prairie View Interscholastic League Class 2A state title before Amarillo schools were desegregated. That was also the last time that a football program from Amarillo has won a state title.

"We're going to pay homage to that 1952 Carver Dragons team," Mims said. "That school no longer exists so we thought about how can their legacy be honored and what can be done for those guys and that school? We're going to take the opportunity to honor them because 70 years ago this year, that group of young men went out and won a state championship."


District 2-5A Div. II Football

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Dick Bivins Stadium, Amarillo

Records: Palo Duro 1-4; Lubbock High 2-3

Coverage: Follow @ShawnMoranNews on Twitter for live updates, plus post game video, stories and photos to appear on

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Palo Duro hosts Lubbock High in Thursday District 2-5A Div. II showdown