ABILENE, Texas - Friday night, the Cooper Cougars will be aiming for an upset win over defending state champion Aledo and in the process, will be a match-up and fight to the end between two of the state's most explosive running backs. Makes sense it’s for a right to the regional final.
The Bearcats feature sophomore stand-out Jase McClellan, an Oklahoma commit who led Aledo to the 5A DII state title last year with over 1,500 hundred yards on the ground and 20 TD’s. And while a wrist injury sidelined him for 5 games this season, the man touted as the most talented back in his grade, is on track to get back to that mark.
But Cooper will put its main man in the spotlight, Tyrees Whitfield. The senior hoping to raise McClellan on Friday, and currently does that on the stat sheet. Whitfield this season became Cooper’s No. 2 all-time rusher with over 3,200 yards in his career – and is just shy of the 2,000 mark this year. Add in 30 TD’s, and let’s just say the boys will do the talking on the field come Friday.
“You know, he's doing his thing, and I'm doing my thing too so when we get to the game, it's just going to be a natural thing that he's going to want to out-do me, and I want to out-do him,” said Whitfield at practice. “I’ve watched him on Twitter like I do most other backs, he’s special but it will definitely be a showdown. I’m looking forward to it.”
And for Cooper to get the edge, it will come down to containing the Bearcat superstar.
"You know he's got ten other guys out there doing a great job blocking too so that's a tall task,” said Cooper head coach Todd Moebes. “Hopefully we'll be able to get him moving east and west and hopefully we can contain him there because he can move that direction then he'd go out-run you."
Cooper and Aledo kick-off from Shotwell Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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