Friday, September 17, 2010

Abilene Cooper HS- 43 Lubbock HS- 0


Miranda Grubbs
Abilene Cooper’s Khole Jackson (1) scores a touchdown as Lubbock High’s Marcus Fitzhugh, left, stands nearby. Cooper beat the Westerners, 43-0, Thursday at Lowrey Field
Abilene Cooper mauls Lubbock High in lightning-shortened game
Lubbock High had hoped to pull off an upset like it had done in two of the last three years against Abilene Cooper. That hope lasted all of about two minutes.
By George Watson

Abilene Cooper mauls Lubbock High in lightning-shortened game

Lubbock High had hoped Thursday to pull off an upset along the lines of what it had done in two of the last three years in its football game against Abilene Cooper.

That hope lasted all of about two minutes.

Cooper fumbled on its first possession, scored on its next six and did so seemingly at will, racking up 396 yards offense in a dominant first half and winning 43-0 at Lowrey Field in a game shortened to two quarters because of lightning.

“That’s a good football team,” Lubbock High coach Mike Speck said. “We had to scrap for everything we had. I thought the first eight minutes we really played well. We gave up that first cheap touchdown … and then they just put it into another gear, and the thing about being that great is it looked like they weren’t even moving half the time. They’re so smooth and accurate. That’s the difference in numbers and a great (Class) 5A program.”

The game was called just before the start of the third quarter after a second lightning delay just after halftime. The first one, which came midway through the first quarter, caused a 39-minute delay, but only delayed the inevitable.

Cougars junior quarterback Clayton Nicholas tied a school record with six touchdown passes, three to Khaeer Sonnier and two to John Patrick, as the Cougars (4-0) had three scoring drives that totaled 33 plays and three others that lasted just four plays.

Nicholas was a surgeon-like 17 of 19 for 254 yards and six touchdowns, tying Zac Allen’s 16-year-old school record for touchdown passes in a game. Davon Riddick added 96 rushing yards to the fray for the Cougars, and leading receiver Khole Jackson had five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown in the first 24 minutes.

“It was pretty obvious they wanted to stop Riddick, stop our running game, and I felt we took advantage of those things and threw the ball a little bit,” Cougars coach Mike Spradlin said.

“I’m really proud of our team. We do have a bunch of guys playing hard and playing with passion, and that’s what it takes. We’re fixing to go into a tough district and we need to play all the ball we can.”

Lubbock High (0-4) was completely the opposite. The Westerners had five possessions in the first half and went three-and-out on three of them.

On another they were whistled for a safety when Tyler Schovanec was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, having to pick up a snap that sailed over his head. The Westerners’ final possession of the half saw them gain their first first down, but ended in a Josh Bowman interception two plays later.

Cooper led 7-0 when the game was delayed, but it didn’t face the Cougars, who simply picked up where they left off.

A 21-yard touchdown pass to Sonnier pushed the lead to 14-0 two minutes after the game resumed, and it grew to 16-0 when Schovanec’s intentional grounding penalty drew a safety. Two plays after the ensuing free kick, Nicholas hit Sonnier from 17 yards out to push the lead to 23-0.

Two penalties on Lubbock High’s ensuing drive forced it to stall at the Westerner 25-yard line, at which point LHS had more penalty yardage (25) than offensive yardage (19). Cooper took over at the LHS 41, and on the first play Nicholas hit Sonnier on a post route for the touchdown and a 30-0 lead.

Cooper took over on the ground on its next drive, going 65 yards in 12 plays, only four which were through the air. But the final one was a pass as well, a 3-yarder to Patrick on third-and-goal. Justin Lehr missed the extra-point kick to keep the score at 36-0, but it hardly mattered.

“One of our goals is to pursue the state playoffs and get into the state playoffs,” Speck said. “If we get into the playoffs that’s the kind of people we’re going to face. It’s a great learning tool that we’ve got to play more than eight minutes of great football, and take it to 48. It’s a challenge to those guys.”


No comments:

Post a Comment