Tag: Cooper Cougars

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Cooper seniors miss out on home game experience, chance at turnaround

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Sitting at 2-9 on March 10 after a 6-1 loss to Wichita Falls High in its district opener, the Cooper baseball team was off to a slower start than it was hoping for when play was halted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

But with the start of the Abilene ISD Tournament — and the Cougars’ first opportunity to play on their newly renovated home field — slated for March 12, there was a shared sense of optimism among coach Cody Salyers and his players.

The Coogs, who have typically finished stronger than they’ve started under Salyers, had all of their biggest games and goals ahead of them. And the chance to become the first CHS team to play its home games under lights and on a turf field had them riding a wave of excitement into the meat of their schedule.

Unfortunately for Salyers’ squad, that chance never came. And thanks to the global pandemic that forced the University Interscholastic League to suspend and later cancel all spring sporting events, it never will for the team’s five seniors.

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FEATURE: Marc Case — A Basketball Love Story … Former McMurry player, Cooper coach has Clyde in playoffs

Marc Case is at it again, taking over a high school basketball team in urgent need of a coach and turning it into a winner.

This time it’s at Clyde — the second season of his second stint as the Bulldogs’ head coach. The passionate, fiery, old-school fundamentals coach who began his career in the 1970s has guided the Bulldogs back into the playoffs with a 19-14 record. Clyde will face Early (also 19-14) in a Class 3A boys’ bidistrict game at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Brownwood Coliseum.

“I always loved playing in the Coliseum,” the seemingly ageless 68-year-old Case said the other day. “I know it’s only five miles for Early to travel and 70 miles for us, but it’s a great place to play with a great atmosphere.”

Some might suggest Tuesday’s game will bring Case’s basketball career full circle, considering he played multiple times in Brownwood Coliseum from 1969-1973 as a McMurry guard going against the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets when both colleges were Lone Star Conference members.

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GAME STORY: Wylie softball outlasts Cooper to claim District 4-5A title

The Wylie softball team exploded for nine runs over the final three innings Friday to rally past Cooper 12-6 and claim the District 4-5A championship over their new crosstown rival at Cougar Diamond.

The Lady Bulldogs trailed 4-2 after three innings and were locked in a 5-all tie through five frames, but a three-run sixth and four-run seventh turned what had been a thrilling back-and-forth affair to that point into a comfortable victory in the winner-take-all district finale.

The victory capped a seven-game district winning streak for Wylie, which wrapped up its regular season 13-14 overall and 7-1 in 4-5A play. Cooper, meanwhile, enters the playoffs at 13-16-2 after posting a 6-2 district record.

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FEATURE: Hill embracing role as Cooper Cougars’ ace

Cooper junior Braiden Hill has a lot of physical tools that make him a successful starting pitcher. He’s big, he throws hard and he’s got a good second pitch he can turn to when that fastball’s not going quite where he wants it to.

But it’s Hill’s mentality that has taken him from a solid rotation piece for coach Cody Salyers last season to the unquestioned ace of the Cougar pitching staff this year.

The strong-armed right-hander believes he’s better than every batter he faces, and it’s his goal each at-bat to prove that.

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FEATURE: Hard work, growth mark rise for versatile Cooper forward Bailey

Watching Deven Bailey play, one might conclude he’s a natural forward.

The 6-foot-5 Cooper senior plays with a fluidity and skill-level in the high and low post that would take many players a lifetime of work to achieve.

But the apparent ease with which Bailey can take over a game belies a unique and arduous developmental track. In fact, just two years ago, he was a 5-10 guard playing a far different game than the one he dominates with today.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Montes shoots AHS girls past Odessa High in OT thriller

Georgia Montes hit eight 3-pointers Tuesday, and the Abilene High Lady Eagles needed every one of them to escape Eagle Gym with a 57-56 overtime win over Odessa High.

Montes finished with a game-high 24 points to pace AHS, which outscored the Lady Bronchos 8-7 over the extra period to improve to 8-8 on the season.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Coogs top Estacado; AHS, Cooper girls fall to area foes

LUBBOCK — The Cooper boys basketball team continued its strong start to the season Tuesday, rallying from seven points down at halftime to knock off Lubbock Estacado 70-65.

The Cougars took the lead with a 27-17 third-quarter run and held off the Matadors in the fourth to improve to 4-1 on the year.

Deven Bailey once again led the Coogs, scoring a team-high 21 points for the second straight game, while Ben Thompson added 13, Josh Henry and Noah Garcia both scored nine, and Kaden Davis pitched in eight.

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Birdville ends Cooper’s season with 49-14 win

MINERAL WELLS — The combination of Laderrious Mixon and Stone Earle proved too much for Cooper on Friday, as the North Richland Hills Birdville running back-quarterback duo combined for more than 450 total yards in a 49-14 victory in a Region I-5A Division I area-round game at Ram Stadium.

Mixon ran for 200 yards and a touchdown while also catching a 30-yard TD pass on a trick play, and Earle passed for 233 yards and four scores while adding a fifth score on the ground.

Those two propelled the Hawks (11-1) to a 28-0 halftime lead and helped grab the momentum back after it appeared as though Cooper might work its way back into the game in the third quarter.

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Garcia’s big night, takeaways fuel Cooper past Eastwood

Sophomore running back Noah Garcia made a triumphant return to the Cooper lineup Friday, rushing for three touchdowns to propel the Cougars to a 49-41 win over El Paso Eastwood in a Region I-5A Division I bi-district matchup at Trooper Stadium.

Garcia, who was taken off the field on a stretcher during his team’s regular season-ending loss to Amarillo High, scored on runs of 48, 3 and 8 yards, while Daelin Campos added TD scampers of 53 and 35 yards to help the Coogs overcome a six-touchdown game by Eastwood quarterback Christian Castaneda.

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Cooper’s ball-hawking secondary a strength entering playoffs

With the players he had back from last year’s team, Cooper coach Aaron Roan knew coming into this season that he had a good secondary.

So when his team allowed 351 passing yards in a season-opening loss to Keller — and saw standout safety and captain LaDainian Diaz lost for the year to a torn ACL in the process — he didn’t panic. He simply made a couple of personnel adjustments and continued the course as planned.

That confidence has proven well-placed as the Cougars finished the regular season allowing just 180.5 passing yards per game with 12 interceptions. And entering Friday’s bi-district playoff against an explosive El Paso Eastwood team, Roan remains confident in his ball-hawking secondary to make the plays it must to help the team win.

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Cooper looks to get back on track in playoff opener

COOPER (5-5) AT EL PASO EASTWOOD (7-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Trooper Stadium, El Paso

What it means: This is the playoff opener for both teams, so only one of these squads will still be playing next week.  Eastwood, the District 1-5A Division I champion, comes into this matchup on a six-game winning streak, while Cooper must regroup from a 58-27 home loss to Amarillo High that dropped the Cougars from second to fourth in the District 3 standings. The Coogs have won nine of their last 10 bi-district playoff games and are 14-0 all-time against El Paso schools. That record includes an 81-26 win over Eastwood in the 1994 area round in the only previous meeting between these schools.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 11 Report

Amarillo High 58, Cooper 27 — The Cougars (5-5, 4-2) raced out to a 20-0 lead just over two minutes into the game, but the Sandies roared back, outscoring Cooper 58-7 the rest of the way to spoil Senior Night at Shotwell Stadium.

The loss dropped Cooper from second in the district to fourth, forcing coach Aaron Roan’s squad to travel to El Paso for its bi-district playoff matchup against El Paso Eastwood, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Coogs turned the ball over six times in their regular season finale, allowing Amarillo High to pull ahead by the end of the first quarter and pull away in the second half, during which the Sandies (6-4, 4-2) outscored Cooper 27-0.

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Fast start not enough as Cooper drops Senior Day game to Sandies

Up 20-0 just over two minutes into Friday’s regular-season finale against Amarillo High, it appeared the Cooper Cougars were headed for a blowout win over the Sandies and the No. 2 playoff seed out of District 2-5A Division I.

But AHS rallied to take a 21-20 lead by the end of the first quarter and outscored Cooper 37-7 the rest of the way to hand the Coogs a 58-27 loss on Senior Night and bump coach Aaron Roan’s team to fourth in the district pecking order.

Six turnovers, including four second-half interceptions, proved deadly for Cooper, which could never regain the momentum after Amarillo’s first counter punch.

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Local boys basketball teams young but talented in 2018-19

Graduation did a number on Abilene’s three boys basketball teams, which return just four starters and 15 lettermen among them for the 2018-19 season. But if you think that’s changed the expectations on the Abilene High, Cooper and Wylie campuses, you would be wrong.

With AHS grad Justin Reese taking over the Eagle program from Don Heseman, who left after five seasons to become assistant principal at AISD’s Woodson Center for Excellence, a playoff return is the goal on Abilene’s north side. And with their program’s established on the other side of the tracks, Cooper’s Bryan Conover and Wylie’s Gregg Ruffin are shooting for the Class 5A postseason.

While all three coaches are expecting some growing pains early as their young teams jell, each feels good about his roster and the ability of the players on it to compete.

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Cooper looks to finish district play strong against Sandies

AMARILLO HIGH (6-3, 3-2) AT COOPER (5-4, 4-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Shotwell Stadium, Abilene

What it means: This is a big game for playoff seeding in District 2-5A Division I as Cooper can still finish anywhere from first to fourth in the league’s postseason pecking order. And given that a No. 3 or 4 seed comes with a road trip to El Paso for the first round, you can bet the the Cougars will be motivated to take care of business in this one. The simplest scenario for the Coogs would be to win Friday and have league leader Lubbock Coronado defeat Amarillo Caprock, which would leave Cooper alone in second. But a couple of upsets could throw this district race into chaos.

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Cooper QB Thompson making strides, mark as sophomore

Like most players who are forced into action as sophomores, Cooper quarterback Aidan Thompson has had his ups and downs this season. 

But as is often the case with talented young players, the ratio of ups to downs has risen with his experience level.

Thompson, who won the right to replace 3,500-yard passer Ender Freeman behind center with his work during the spring and fall, has led Cooper to a 5-4 record this year, including a 4-1 start to District 2-5A Division I play. And as with his team, which has won five of its last six games, the 6-foot-4, 170-pound sophomore has done his best work of late, packing the two best performances of his career into the Cougars’ last three contests.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 10 Report

Cooper (idle) — The Cougars, who have won four of five games to start district play, got an extra week to prepare for their regular-season finale against Amarillo High.

Cooper, which improved to 5-4 overall with a 49-7 win over Lubbock High on Oct. 26, can lock up second place in 2-5A DI with a win Friday at Shotwell Stadium.

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Local girls basketball teams aim to compete despite transition in 2018-19

The 2018-19 high school basketball season will be one of great change for Abilene’s three girls teams.

Wylie will play for a new coach in a new classification this winter, while both Abilene High and Cooper must replace a number of key players off teams that took significant steps forward a year ago.

Amid all the transition for the Lady Bulldogs, Lady Eagles and Lady Cougars, however, expectations remain unchanged on Abilene’s three local campuses, where first-year Wylie coach Amy Powell, sixth-year Abilene High coach Terri Aston and third-year Cooper coach Lauren Ash all have high hopes for their squads.

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Surging Cougars look to take care of business at Lubbock High

COOPER (4-4, 3-1) AT LUBBOCK HIGH (1-6, 0-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Lowrey Field, Lubbock

What it means: Cooper, which is currently tied with Amarillo Caprock for second in the District 2-5A Division I standings, is looking to pull half-game ahead of the Longhorns with a win over the struggling Westerners. The Cougars have won four of their last five games and can move their overall record above .500 for the first time all season with a victory. This is the seventh meeting all-time in a series that Cooper has dominated. The Coogs are 6-0 against LHS, winning by an average score of 50-5.

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Cooper line at heart of offensive improvement, running success

With four regulars who saw time a year ago, including a three-year starter in Thomas Squyres, Cooper coach Aaron Roan knew his offensive line would be a strength at some point.

But even with some experience on the depth chart, it still takes time to build the familiarity and chemistry needed to excel up front — especially when you have guys in new or expanded roles.

Roan saw this concept in action early in the season, when his team averaged just 272 yards, including 124 on the ground, through an 0-3 start. But in the five weeks since, the Cougars have found their stride, averaging 416 total yards and 272 yards rushing during a 4-1 stretch that’s seen them even their record at 4-4 overall.

That success, as is always the case in football, has started at the line of scrimmage.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 8 Report

Cooper 28, Amarillo Caprock 12 — The Cougars (4-4, 3-1) got back to .500 for the first time since the start of the season, downing the Longhorns for their fourth win in five games.

Cooper, which outgained Caprock 353-299, led 14-0 at halftime and outscored the Longhorns 14-12 in the second half to maintain control of the game.

Sophomore running back Noah Garcia led the way offensively for the Coogs, rushing for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, while Daelin Campos and Jessus Menjivar also rushed for TDs.

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Cooper controls Caprock for homecoming win

Cooper entered Friday night’s homecoming game knowing that a win over Amarillo Caprock would go a long way toward securing a better seeding for a potential playoff berth.

The Cougars (4-4 overall, 3-1 district) did their part with a 28-12 win over the Longhorns and just missed out on moving into a tie for first place in District 2-5A Division I when Lubbock Coronado scored with four seconds left to take a 34-33 win over Lubbock Monterey.

After securing the win, Cooper coach Aaron Roan was closely watching the scoreboard to see how the Coronado-Monterey game would end.

Though Cooper missed out on moving into a first place tie, the Cougars all but clinched a playoff berth Friday night.

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Cooper welcomes Caprock to town for homecoming

AMARILLO CAPROCK (4-2, 2-0) AT COOPER (3-4, 2-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Shotwell Stadium, Amarillo

What it means: The winner will all but clinch a playoff spot and gain a leg up for the No. 2 playoff berth out of District 2-5A Division I, while a third-place finish is likely the best-case scenario for the loser. This is homecoming for Cooper, so the Cougars will want to give an inspired performance and erase the memory of their last home game — a 42-23 loss to Lubbock Coronado. Cooper and Caprock have met only one time before, with the Coogs earning a 45-43 win over the Longhorns in a bi-district playoff game in 2015.

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Controlling line, stopping run points of pride for Cooper front

With three first-year starters on his defensive line, Cooper coach Aaron Roan had high hopes for his defensive front coming into the season. But they were at the time just that — hopes.

That D-line group had graduated a pair of all-district performers in nose guard Anthony Arellano (first-team) and end Noah Flowers (second-team) off last year’s team, and the Cooper staff found out shortly before fall camp that its most experienced returner — Michaelin Toney — would be transferring to Cedar Hill for his senior season. 

So while Roan believed he had strong pieces with which to rebuild the defensive line, he wasn’t sure how those players would respond to expanded roles or how long it would take for that group to jell.

Fast forward to today, and the Cooper front has been one of the most consistent units for what has rapidly become a very strong defense. And those hopes Roan started the season with have evolved into expectations.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 7 Report

 

Cooper 49, Amarillo Palo Duro 15 — Cooper, which outgained Palo Duro 529-235 and scored on each of its first seven possessions, led 21-0 after a quarter and pushed that to 35-0 by halftime.

Running back Noah Garcia rushed for 239 yards on 18 carries to spearhead a 325-yard rushing attack, while quarterback Aidan Thompson completed 11 of 16 passes for 204 yards and four touchdowns. Tony Green led Palo Duro (3-4, 1-2) with 106 yards rushing, but he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry.

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Cooper dominant in all phases of 49-15 win over Palo Duro

Noah Garcia rushed for 239 yards and Aidan Thompson passed for four touchdowns as the Cooper Cougars cruised to a 49-15 win over Amarillo Palo Duro on Friday at Dick Bivins Stadium.

The Cougars, who outgained the Dons 529-235, led 35-0 at halftime and never punted in what was a dominating effort from start to finish.

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Cooper looks to get back on winning track at Palo Duro

COOPER (2-4, 1-1) AT AMARILLO PALO DURO (3-3, 1-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Dick Bivins Stadium, Amarillo

What it means: Both teams are off to 1-1 starts to District 2-5A Division I play, so the winner will move into the top half of the district while the loser will feel some pressure over the final four weeks of the season. Cooper has played the tougher district schedule to this point, routing Lubbock Monterey (58-20) and falling to district favorite Lubbock Coronado (42-23). Palo Duro, meanwhile, has lost to Amarillo Caprock (41-29) and beaten 1-5 Lubbock High (54-13). This is just the second matchup all time between these two schools. The only other meeting came in 1969, when the Cougars downed the Dons 17-0 in a bi-district playoff game. 

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Cooper sophomore Garcia emerging as complete back

For a sophomore filling the shoes of one of Cooper’s all-time greats at running back, Noah Garcia keeps a remarkably even keel. If he’s feeling pressure to live up to the performance of 2,000-yard rusher Tyrees Whitfield, he does a good job of hiding it.

Instead, the 5-foot-7, 160-pound Garcia just goes out each week and quietly gives his best effort for his team. That that effort has him among the area’s top rushers through the Cougars’ first six games is just a bonus for him.

Garcia’s 676 yards rushing, which have largely been accrued over the past four weeks, have him ranked sixth among Big Country rushers this season. But he’s far more concerned with what his production has meant for Cooper’s record, which stands at 2-4 overall and 1-1 in District 2-5A Division I play heading into Friday’s game at Amarillo Palo Duro.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 6 Report

Lubbock Coronado 42, Cooper 23 — A tough offensive night overshadowed a strong defensive performance in the Cougars’ first loss of the District 2-5A DI season.

Cooper (2-4 overall, 1-1 district) limited an explosive Mustangs offense to 335 yards and got defensive touchdowns from Dylon Davis (82-yard fumble return) and Brady Miller (21-yard interception return). But four Cougar turnovers and a recovered pooch kick led to 21 points for Coronado, allowing the Mustangs (5-1, 2-0) to pull away in the second half.

Sophomore running back Noah Garcia had 128 rushing yards on 19 carries for Cooper, which was held to just 227 total yards in the loss. Coronado, meanwhile, got 278 passing yards from quarterback Sawyer Robertson, who hit receiver Blair Conwright (11-120) with a pair of touchdown passes.

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Coronado pulls away from Cooper for 42-23 win

Four turnovers and a potent Lubbock Coronado offense were too much for Cooper to overcome Friday at Shotwell Stadium, where the Cougars fell 42-23 to the visiting Mustangs in a big District 2-5A Division I game.

The Coogs forced three turnovers themselves, scoring on two of them, but they could never get in the offensive rhythm necessary to put substantial pressure on Coronado.

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Cooper hosts Lubbock Coronado for huge district clash

LUBBOCK CORONADO (4-1, 1-0) AT COOPER (2-3, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Shotwell Stadium, Abilene

What it means: These are widely considered the two most talented teams in District 2-5A Division I, and this matchup could well decide the district title. Cooper’s overall record may not be as good as Coronado’s, but the Cougars enter this one off blowout wins over Wylie (48-0) and Lubbock Monterey (58-20) and are playing their best football of the year. Having the game on their home field doesn’t hurt either. This is the 16th meeting between these schools and seventh since 2010. Cooper holds an 11-4 advantage in the all-time series, but the Mustangs have won the last two — 40-27 in 2016 and 34-31 last season. 

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Any day on football field a good one for Cooper LB Favors

You don’t need to talk to Cooper linebacker Aeneas Favors to know that he loves playing football. You can see it in the way he plays.

Favors, the defensive newcomer of the year for District 4-5A last year as a sophomore, has an energy about him and a bounce to his step that draws eyeballs his way on the football field.

That’s true of fans, who will find him around the football on more plays than not. And it’s true of opposing coaches, who wish their extra attention would have a larger effect on his tackle numbers.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 5 Report

Cooper 58, Lubbock Monterey 20 — The Cougars outscored the Plainsmen 58-13 over the final three quarters in what was a dominating district opener at Lowrey Field.

Led by sophomore Noah Garcia, who rushed for 280 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, Cooper finished with 433 rushing yards as a team. Xavier Wishert added 69 yards on 11 carries, while Jessus Menjivar ran for 58 and Daelin Campos for 44.

The win, Cooper’s second in a row, moved the Coogs to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in district heading into a huge 2-5A DI matchup against Lubbock Coronado this week. That game, which could decide the league title, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Shotwell Stadium.

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Cooper runs wild in win over Lubbock Monterey

After snapping a three-game losing streak with a 48-0 rout of crosstown foe Wylie last week, the Cooper Cougars started their first winning streak Thursday at Lubbock’s Lowrey Field.

Coach Aaron Roan’s squad overcame a sluggish start and 151 yards in penalties to blow out Lubbock Monterey 58-20 in the District 2-5A Division I opener for both teams.

The Cougars, who trailed 7-0 after the first quarter, finished with a season-high 507 yards — 433 of those on the ground — while limiting an explosive Plainsmen offense to just 155 yards and seven points after halftime.

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Cooper opens district at Lubbock Monterey

COOPER (1-3, 0-0) AT LUBBOCK MONTEREY (2-2, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Lowrey Field, Lubbock

What it means: This is the District 2-5A Division I opener for both teams, and both will be looking to get a leg up on their league mates with a win. Cooper enters this game off its first win of the year, a 48-0 drubbing of Wylie in the first Southtown Showdown, while Monterey is coming off a 35-25 loss at Lubbock Cooper. This is the 15th meeting between these schools dating back to 1961 and the fifth as district rivals. The Cougars lead the all-time series 10-4, but the teams have split the previous four district games. Monterey won the most recent matchup, defeating Cooper 55-41 at Lowrey Field a year ago.

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Cooper offense coming together at right time

Going into the first Southtown Showdown with Wylie last week, the Cooper offense had scored just 41 points through three games. The Cougars had shown flashes in each of those outings, all losses to Class 6A schools, but the consistency needed to sustain and finish drives had often eluded them.

That changed in a major way Friday, when the Coogs (1-3) scored early and often and in a 48-0 win at Shotwell Stadium.

Cooper piled up 472 total yards and 24 first downs, averaging nearly six yards per play in what was a dominating effort from start to finish. 

With District 2-5A Division I play up next, starting with Thursday’s game at Lubbock Monterey, first-year head coach Aaron Roan is hoping the level of execution he saw in the Coogs’ first win will become the norm going forward.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 4 Report

Cooper 48, Wylie 0 — The Cougars finally put everything together Thursday, dominating the Bulldogs to win the inaugural Southtown Showdown and give Aaron Roan his first victory as a head coach.

Cooper, which outgained Wylie 472-112, scored on all but three of its possessions, taking a 20-0 lead into halftime before adding two touchdowns in each of the final two quarters.

Sophomore running back Noah Garcia had a big game on the ground, rushing 17 times for 164 yards and a touchdown, while Aeneas Favors had two rushing touchdowns and quarterback Aidan Thompson went 20-of-29 passing for 190 yards and a touchdown.

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Cooper, Wylie set for first ‘Southtown Showdown’

WYLIE (0-3) AT COOPER (0-3)

7 p.m. Thursday at Shotwell Stadium, City

What it means: Dubbed the ‘Southtown Showdown,’ this is the first varsity meeting between Abilene’s two southside high schools. The two schools met in Cooper’s inaugural football season in 1960 , but the Cougars played only a JV schedule that year, so that game is not counted in the CHS record book. More relevant to this year’s matchup, both teams enter Thursday’s game in search of their first win. Cooper has gone winless against Keller, Grapevine and Abilene High, which have combined to go 8-1, while Wylie’s three opponents — Georgetown, Lubbock Monterey and Stephenville — have posted a combined 7-2 record.

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Cooper DB Davis enjoying expanded role

One of four sophomores to get playing time in the Cooper secondary a year ago, Dylon Davis has what coach Aaron Roan refers to as ‘youthful experience.’

Though just a junior now, Davis is already one of the leaders not only in the defensive backfield but of the Cougar defense as a whole.

Primarily a cornerback in 2017, Davis has added safety duties this fall, and the example he’s setting from both positions is one Roan couldn’t be happier with.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 3 Report

Abilene High 20, Cooper 13 — The Cougars played a near perfect first half Friday at Shotwell Stadium, taking a 13-3 halftime lead over Abilene High in the Crosstown Showdown. But the Eagles rallied back over the final two quarters, outscoring Cooper 17-0 to earn the victory.

CHS quarterback Aidan Thompson completed 18 of 34 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns, both to junior receiver Daelin Campos. Running back Noah Garcia led all rushers with 55 yards on six carries, but his third-quarter fumble ended the Coogs’ best scoring chance of the second half.

Cooper, still in search of its first win, will try to end the season-opening skid when it hosts Wylie at 7 p.m. Thursday. 

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Abilene High rallies past Cooper 20-13 (w/ photo gallery)

For the second consecutive week, the Abilene High football team needed to rally in the second half for a victory. This time, it was against crosstown rival Cooper.

Trailing 13-3 at halftime, the Eagles outscored the Cougars 17-0 over the final two quarters, taking their first lead of the game late in the third quarter and holding on in the fourth for a 20-13 win Friday at Shotwell Stadium.

“We knew exactly what we would get from them,” Abilene High coach Del Van Cox said. “In this game, you can throw out records, you can throw out who’s hurt and who’s not hurt. You saw how hard both teams played, especially them in the first half and then our kids responded and played very well in the second half.

“But you can throw all records out, as you can tell. It’s going to be a battle any time you play the Cooper Cougars.”

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Abilene High, Cooper set for 58th Crosstown Showdown

ABILENE HIGH (1-1) VS. COOPER (0-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Shotwell Stadium, Abilene

What it means: This is the most anticipated game of the year in Abilene — and for good reason. The Abilene High-Cooper game, or Crosstown Showdown as it has come to be known, represents one of the best high school rivalries in the state at any level. Cooper holds a 33-23-1 edge in the series, which has been played annually since 1961, but AHS has won 10 of the last 13 meetings, including three in a row from 2014-16. The Cougars bring bragging rights into this year’s game, however, after winning the 2017 matchup 49-35. 

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Bailey’s return to football field proving beneficial for Cooper

When he came back out for football as a senior after focusing his athletic efforts on basketball during his sophomore and junior years, Cooper senior Nic Bailey wasn’t expecting to play a major role for the Cougars.

Bailey, who hadn’t played football since his first year of high school, just missed the sport and wanted to do what he could to help the team.

As it has turned out, though, he can do quite a bit. Through two games, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound tailback has emerged as a playmaker out of the Cooper backfield, and he’s seen his role in the offense grow as a result.

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‘LITTLE DYNAMITE’: Cooper’s Campos packs big game into small frame

At 5-foot-5, 140 pounds, Cooper wideout Daelin Campos is often the smallest guy on the football field. With elite speed and agility, he’s also one of the most explosive.

In Campos‘ mind — and virtually every other realm — that second fact far outweighs the first.

And as one of few returning playmakers from last year’s record-setting offense, the diminutive junior is determined to take his game to an even higher level for the Cougars this fall.

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