Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cooper grabs hold of 4-4A lead! CHS wins 21 -18

The Cooper Cougars are all alone at the top.

Ryan Heslep threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another as the Cougars took down unbeaten and No. 7-ranked Big Spring 21-18 in a District 4-4A showdown Friday night at Shotwell Stadium.

The teams came into the game as the last two unbeatens in District 4. Now, Cooper (5-3 overall, 3-0 district) takes over sole possession of the district lead with two games left in the regular season.

“It’s huge, a huge win,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “A lot of belief, a lot of passion, a lot of hope. But it sets us up now where we want to be. We feel like it’s going to help catapult us to where we want to go.”

Big Spring (7-1, 2-1) drove to the Cooper 47-yard line on its final drive, but turned the ball over on downs as Tyler Tannehill’s pass fell incomplete on a 4th-and-4 play.
Cooper ran the game’s final 2:23.

“It’s exactly what I thought it was going to be,” Big Spring coach Phillip Ritchey said. “We knew Cooper was very, very talented, big, physical and strong. Very balanced on offense. Tough defensively.

“Our kids fought their guts out. I’m very proud of the way we played tonight. It really came down to who had the ball last. We had it and we didn’t capitalize. We had our chances, just didn’t get it done.”

Both teams were averaging a little more than 450 yards and 40 points a game. But Cooper held the Steers to 289 yards. Steer running back Monte Anderson, averaging 200 yards per game, was held to 98 on 31 carries and no touchdowns.

“I can’t say enough about how good our defense played tonight,” Spradlin said. “When two good offensive teams get together, everybody expects this big shootout. So many times, it turns into a defensive thing.”

Cooper had 333 yards on offense, including 217 passing by Heslep.
Heslep threw touchdown passes of 60 and 46 yards in the first quarter to Tommy Bowman and Jamail Lowry, respectively.

Tannehill sandwiched a 15-yard TD pass to Thaddeus Straughter in between the scores, all in the first quarter.

Tannehill kicked a 23-yard field goal just two seconds before halftime to make it 14-10.
Heslep capped a nine-play, 67-yard drive on the opening possession of the second half with a 1-yard TD run.

The Steers answered. Facing fourth-and-3, Tannehill hit Matt Ritchey for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Anderson ran for the two-point play, cutting the Coogs’ lead to 21-18 with 5:09 left in the third quarter.

It appeared Cooper might put the game away in the fourth quarter, but Davon Riddick fumbled the ball away on a nine-yard run down to the Big Spring 5.

Cooper got the ball back nine plays later, as T.C. Robinson picked off a Tannehill pass at the

Cooper 48 and returned it 20 yards to the Big Spring 32.

However, on a 4th-and-8 play from the 30, Tevian Parnell picked off Heslep to end the threat.

That gave Big Spring the ball at the 9 with 8:07 left in the game. The Steers got to the Cooper 47. Then, facing a fourth-and-7, Tannehill’s pass fell incomplete, and Cooper was able to run out the clock.

“I’m proud that we overcame the fumble,” Spradlin said. “We had a chance to ice the game at that point. But doggone it, if our kids didn’t rise up and go to work.”

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