Saturday, October 10, 2009

The scoop on the Hereford game!

HEREFORD — After making a six-hour, 280-mile drive for the District 4-4A opener, the Cooper Cougars needed just one minute, 18 seconds and 25 yards to score two touchdowns and beat the Hereford Whitefaces 20-14 on Friday night at Whiteface Stadium.
Cooper recovered two Hereford fumbles — one at the Herd 6 and another at the Herd 14 — and cashed them both in for touchdowns to take a 20-7 lead in a span of 1:18 in the third quarter.
The Coogs (3-3, 1-0) then held on to snap a three-game losing streak and beat the Whitefaces in the district opener for the second consecutive year.
“That was huge,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “I was real pleased with the way our defense played. It was unbelievable. And to capitalize on (the turnovers) was huge, too.
“To come up here in a hostile environment — and it’s a long ride — just getting a win against a team that’s much, much improved makes me extremely proud of our kids.”
What was expected to be an offensive shootout, turned out to be a defensive grudge match.
In fact, Hereford (5-1, 0-1) led just 7-6 at halftime — both touchdowns coming in the second quarter. Parker Bridwell threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Christian Garza to cap a 10-play 79-yard drive with 9:36 left in the first half.
Cooper answered with a six-play, 64-yard drive. Davon Riddick ran the ball on all six plays for 72 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown run. (A holding call turned a 34-yard run down to the 1 into a 21-yard run to the Herd 26.)
Ryan Lucas missed the PAT kick, leaving the Herd up 7-6 with 6:56 to go before the break.
The game turned on consecutive Hereford turnovers in the third quarter.
Cooper recovered a fumbled snap at the Herd 6. Two plays later, Jamail Lowry ran four yards for the TD, giving the Coogs a 12-7 lead after another missed PAT with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
On the Herd’s next possession, Bridwell fumbled the ball as he was being sacked. Cooper got the ball at the Herd 14. After a holding penalty brought back a 9-yard gain by Kendrick Powdrill, Khole Jackson caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Heslep. Cooper, which had missed its three previous PATs, then went for two, and Heslep tossed a pass to Reese Williams to give the Coogs a 20-7 lead with 2:31 remaining in the quarter.
Cooper held Hereford on its next two possessions — getting a pair of stops on fourth-down plays from the Cooper 27 and 21.
Hereford got a 1-yard touchdown run from Bridwell with 1:11 left in the game, but the Coogs recovered the onside kick attempt to preserve the victory.
Hereford lost three of five fumbles in the game, while the Coogs didn’t lose a single turnover — for the fourth straight week.
“That was huge,” Spradlin said. “Playing mistake-free football is the key to this thing, and they did (turn the ball over) and we didn’t.”
All after a very long day for the Coogs.
“We left at 11 o’clock this morning and rolled in her at 5 this afternoon,” Spradlin said. “It’s a six-hour trip, 280 miles, and I’m not sure many people are traveling that far for a district football game. I’m just tickled to death and excited to get a win.”

Cooper 0 6 14 0—20

Hereford 0 7 0 7—14

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