Harvesters special teams scores three times as Pampa knocks off Palo Duro 56-13


Kyler Cook and Jake Thomas celebrate a defensive play.
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The Pampa Harvesters (7-0) hosted the Palo Duro Dons (0-3) on Friday night for a final tune-up game before heading into District play.

This time it was the special teams with the trifecta, scoring on two blocked punts and a kick-off return for a touchdown en route to dropping the Dons 56-13.

“I really felt like special teams could be really big in this game. We had those two blocked punts, but not just blocked punts, we scored with them,” head coach Greg Poynor said. 

“Coach (Clay) Jones, our special teams coach, he was giving Coach (offensive coordinator, Brian) Poynor a hard time saying, ‘I’m gonna try to out-score you in this game.’ Then we got the kick return to go with it. It was fun game. I feel like our offense came out and executed against a defense that had seven guys and brought everybody. We executed on that and our defense got back to where we really thought it should be.”

The Pampa Harvesters wasted little time getting on the board, as senior Jake Thomas blocked the punt and sophomore Justin Martinez recovered the ball and took it to paydirt. After the extra point by junior kicker Erick Hernandez, Pampa had the early 7-0 lead.

After the Palo Duro punt, Pampa set up shop at the Dons’ 42-yard yard line. Senior quarterback Jack Studebaker found junior wideout Hunter Dyer, who took the catch 42 yards for the touchdown. The Hernandez extra point extended Pampa’s lead to 14-0 with 8:49 left in the opening quarter.

The Harvesters forced another Don punt and took over at the Harvesters’ 32-yard line. Studebaker found senior wide receiver Bryson Murrack to move the chains after the offsides from PD. The Harvesters had a couple of miscues, a penalty and botched snap, but on third and long Studebaker found senior wide receiver Cayden Stout deep on the right sideline on a 40-yard completion and setting Pampa up deep in enemy territory. The very next play, junior running back Cornelius “Peanut” Landers broke several tackles for the 25-yard touchdown run. Pampa led 21-0 with 3:23 left in the first quarter after the Hernandez extra point.

After the botched Palo Duro punt, Johnson recovered the ball for his second touchdown of the game on special teams. Pampa led 28-0. 

The Harvesters struggled to move the ball on their next two possessions, but the smothering Harvester defense held the Dons scoreless.

Pampa’s final drive of the half came with 4:07 left in the second quarter. Four plays into it, junior running back Jordan Lacy moved the chains with a 19 yard run. A series of penalties moved Pampa past midfield, but a sack-fumble moved Pampa back to their own 32-yard line. Studebaker found Lacy over the middle for 18 yards to set Pampa up at midfield. The Harvesters benefitted from Palo Duro’s miscues before Studebaker found junior Jesse Alvidrez over the middle for 18 yards and a fresh set of downs inside the Dons redzone. Three plays later, Studebaker found Stout in the back of the endzone for the touchdown. Pampa led 35-0 at half after the Hernandez extra point.

“He’s (Stout) is a big-time player for us. He’s a senior and when we need a play a lot of times that’s who we’re looking to in our receiving corp,” Poynor said. “That was a big play early then a great, great play almost to the end-zone to extend our lead. He’s a dang good football player for us and a great kid. We’re glad he’s on our team.”

The Harvesters started the second half at the Pampa 46-yard line when Studebaker found Alvidrez on a 31-yard completion to move into enemy territory. The very next play, Studebaker connected with Lacy over the middle on a 23-yard catch and run. Pampa led 42-0.

After the Palo Duro punt, junior quarterback Sam Anguiano ran for six yards, then handed it off to Landers the next play who took it seven yards for the first down. Three plays later, and after a penalty, Anguiano connected with Lacy who took the rock to the goal-line. Two plays later, Aguiano found senior wideout Damian Anguiano for the touchdown. After the Hernandez extra point Pampa led 49-0 with 5:33 left in the third quarter.

The Dons and Harvesters traded scoring plays starting with a pick six by Palo Duro off the S. Anguiano pass. On the ensuing kick-off junior Jamal Johnson took a kick-off return 78 yards for a touchdown and it was 56-6 with 3:09 left in the third quarter.

The Dons were able to punch it in one more time before the Harvesters final drive that resulted in a kneel-down to run the clock out. On this drive, Anguiano connect with sophomore wide receiver Jalen Burnley for 41 yards and another first down to junior Callyer Stokes. The Harvesters took the game 56-13 and moved to 7-0 heading into the bye week.

“One thing we are going to try doing is get healthy (during the bye), we’re still not healthy,” Poynor said. “We’ve got a couple of receivers a little nicked up and banged up. We’ve got some defensive players we want to get back. We’re really hoping in the next two weeks to get healthy. It gives us a little time.”

The Harvesters return to action on Thursday, Oct. 22 when they travel to Canyon for a Thursday Night Showdown with the Eagles.

“There’s still a lot of things we want to work on,” Poynor said. “We’re fixing to play one of the best teams in the state of Texas and certainly one of the best teams in the Texas Panhandle. We’re looking to bring our ‘A’ game and hoping to sharpen up during the open week.”

Unofficial stats

Jack Studebaker went 10-22 242 yards and three touchdowns; Sam Anguiano went 2-4 39 yards a touchdown and an interceptions.

Cornelius “Peanut” Landers had five carries for 57 yards and a touchdown; Jordan Lacy had a 19-yard carry; Sam Anguiano had four carries for 23 yards.

Hunter Dyer had two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown; Jacob Salcido had a 10-yard reception; Cayden Stout had four grabs for 126 yards and a touchdown; Bryson Murrack had three catches for 45 yards; Jesse Alvidrez had two catches for 49 yards; Jordan Lacy had three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown; Damian Anguiano had one three-yard touchdown catch; Jalen Burnley had a 41-yard reception and Callyer Stokes had a 10-yard catch.

Jamal Johnson had an 78-yard kick-off return for a touchdown. Justin Martinez had two touchdowns off blocked punts. Erick Hernandez went 7-7 in extra points.

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