Cooper shuts down Panthers
The district-leading Cooper Bulldogs made short work of the Alba-Golden Panthers on a rainy evening in Cooper last Friday. Cooper put up 34 points in the first half and recorded a shut-out, 40-0. …
Cooper shuts down Panthers
The district-leading Cooper Bulldogs made short work of the Alba-Golden Panthers on a rainy evening in Cooper last Friday. Cooper put up 34 points in the first half and recorded a shut-out, 40-0.
Despite having to punt the ball away on their initial two possessions, the Panthers were making things difficult for the Bulldogs. An aggressive defense forced Cooper to cough up the ball on their first drive of the night. Jake Hallman came up with the loose ball.
On the second drive, Cooper had a 4th-and-3 from the Alba-Golden 28-yard line. The Bulldog quarterback was stopped cold over the left tackle, but managed to bounce out of the tackle and carry around the left end down to the goal line. Cooper scored on the next play, with 1:54 remaining in the first quarter.
An errant pass on the Panthers’ next offensive snap gave Cooper the ball back at the Panther 43-yard line. Cooper used excellent speed to turn the right edge and take a 12-0 lead with under a minute to play in the opening quarter.
There were moments which could have turned the game for the Panthers, but those opportunities just went begging.
The best example came in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs – after taking over on downs following an unsuccessful fake punt by Alba-Golden – drove from midfield to the 9-yard line.
Three strong defensive plays – including back-to-back stops by linebacker Mason Smith – put Cooper in a 4th-and-goal from the 10-yard line. Cooper scored on the next play by turning the edge and defeating a number of tackle attempts.
A chance to swing momentum, and keep the game close, had passed.
The final two minutes of the half sealed the game. Cooper recovered their kick-off when the ball careened off of a Panther. The Bulldogs scored on a jet sweep after a 41-yard drive.
An interception with under a minute to play, gave the Bulldogs the ball back at midfield. They scored on a nicely-executed wheel route with seven seconds remaining in the half.
The drizzle did not stop in the second half, nor did the clock. Cooper added a score early in the fourth quarter to conclude the scoring.
The lop-sided game was not without worthy performances. Smith and fellow defensive player Brandt Peterson were clearly stand-out performers for the Panther defense. The defensive line of Seth Converse, Hector Delgadillo, Layton Williams and Nickoli Kent gave Cooper all they wanted up front.
Cooper deserves their position atop District 9-2A. They have melded excellent size and speed into an efficient team.
The Panthers will be taking advantage of the bye week to prepare for their upcoming bi-district match-up.