Saturday, November 13, 2010

Playoffs- week 1: Winner Cooper 41-6 over Arlington Lamar. Written by Joey Richards and Photography by Thomas Metthe

Khole Jackson provided the spark the Cooper Cougars needed in their Class 5A Division II playoff opener Friday night.

The senior scored the game’s first three touchdowns, including a school-record 88-yard touchdown catch, in the Coogs’ 41-6 victory over Arlington Lamar at Shotwell Stadium.

Jackson also had a 21-yard touchdown run and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Clayton Nicholas as the Coogs (10-1) advance to play Amarillo Tascosa (6-5) in the second round at Lowrey Field in Lubbock at a date and time to be announced.

Overall, Jackson had four catches for 131 yards and finished with 152 total yards.

“Oh man, it felt real good,” Jackson said about his big game. “Just execute in practice, and it works in the game.

Nicholas, who threw for 241 yards in the game, also tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dillan Stille just 45 seconds before the half, as the Coogs rolled to a 28-6 lead.

All but 23 of Nicholas’ passing yards came in the first half.

“It was good,” the junior quarterback said. “The receivers played well, the O-line blocked well. It was just a good night for all of us.”

The Coogs finished off Lamar (5-6) with a rushing attack that rolled up 283 yards. Davon Riddick led all rushers with 176 yards and a touchdown, a 70-yarder in the third quarter. Alford Cooper, who had 82 yards rushing, capped the scoring with a two-yard run in the fourth quarter.

“We did a few different things tonight, threw a wrinkle or two at them, and it paid off for us,” Cooper coach Mike Spradlin said. “The first one in the playoffs is always the toughest. Now we’ve got to get at it and get to work.”

Spradlin was especially pleased with his defense, which held the Vikings to 192 total yards, including 76 rushing. The defense also had four sacks.

Lamar managed just two Conner Curran field goals, both in the second quarter.

“When we play defense like that, coaching offense is easy,” Spradlin said. “If they aren’t scoring, they aren’t winning. It’s just that way.”

Cooper, the District 3-5A tri-champion, drove 64 yards on six plays — all rushing — on its first possession of the night. Jackson capped the drive with a 21-yard touchdown run on a reverse.

The Coogs needed one play to score on their third possession of the night. Nicholas’ first pass of the night went for an 88-yard touchdown to Jackson.

“It was just a good play-action pass,” Jackson said. “Clayton confused the defense with it, and he threw it up and I caught it, took it the house. I knew it was a touchdown when he called the play.”

The reception is the longest in school history, eclipsing the record of 87 yards shared by two other receivers (Luke Harrison from Dowell Loggains against North Mesquite in 1988 and D.C. McDonald from Chris Feris against Temple in 1985).

Curran’s 31-yard field goal cut the lead to 13-3 early in the second quarter, but Nicholas again hooked with Jackson this time for a 30-yard touchdown pass.

The Vikings answered with their last score, a 29-yard field goal by Curran.

Cooper closed the half with a seven-play, 77-yard drive. Nicholas finished it with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Stille, who had two catches for 45 yards on the drive.

Riddick ripped off his 70-yard touchdown run with 5:19 left in the third quarter, and Cooper finished the scoring with a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

“Great night of football against a good football team,” Spradlin said. “I’m so proud of our guys and what a great job defensively. What a good balance for us. Of course, the o-line did a great job.”


  1. Isn't this just the article from the newspaper? I don't see any credit given to the writer or the photographer. Might be nice to give credit where its due.

  2. That said, congrats on the win and good luck the rest of the way!

  3. Yes Chris, this blog is an 'on-line scrapbook', journaling my husbands season. Each week I post the article from the Abilene Reporter News on Facebook and here to update our families. No disrespect was meant to Joey Richards, the photographer(s), the Abilene Reporter News, or you. I appreciate your goodwill and will make certain I acknowledge the source of all articles and photos used in the future.