ABILENE, Texas - With a 70-19 demolition of San Angelo Lake View last Friday, the Cooper Cougars created a chance for them to grab a share of the District 4-5A title.
Now, all the Coogs have to do is beat undefeated Lubbock Coronado on Thursday at Shotwell Stadium.
"The main thing is you can't let a good quarterback get comfortable," Cooper head coach Todd Moebes said about Coronado senior Qua Gray. "If he gets comfortable in the pocket, then he can put the ball wherever he wants to."
Gray has thrown 37 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season to lead the Mustangs to a 9-0 record, and a number 11 state ranking in Class 5A.
"Those passing stats are pretty gaudy, but they run the ball effectively, too. You've got to bring some humility with yourself defensively. They're going to make catches, they're going to make plays. Yards after catch and yards after contact are something we're going to have to limit."
Cooper is 7-2 overall with a 3-1 mark in district. Moebes described getting to play these big-time games as the real-life imaginations of a child making a buzzer-beating shot in his driveway, or completing a Hail Mary pass in the backyard.
"This is what it's all about. When you have visions of being able to play, you don't think of games where there's 20 people in the stands for nothing. You're envisioning championship games," said Moebes.
"It's no different between players and coaches. We prepare for this moment and we've got to go make the most of it."
Cooper fell at Lubbock Coronado 40-21 in the regular season finale last season, and had to share the district crown with the Mustangs.
This season, the Cougars hope to return the favor when they kick-off on Thursday night at 7.
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