ABILENE, Texas - I bet you're excited, amped up for this Friday's big game between the Eagles and Cougars, right?
As Abilene High head football coach Steve Warren said Tuesday morning, "the fans in Abilene and high school football, I think understand, we have two fine programs here in town and and it's typically that way year in and year out... that support both teams. But this week they don't. They draw a line in the sand and you're on one side or the other."
As Cooper and Abilene High have demonstrated over the last couple seasons, winning the annual Crosstown Showdown goes a long way in determining the Little Southwest Conference champ.
As the 52nd annual meeting of these two storied programs approaches, let's go back over the last couple games and explain just how important this game is to winning the district.
2010: The reunion of the LSC brought the Crosstown Showdown back to that larger-than-life stage. With both teams united in the same district, each snap mattered much more than it had for the few years before.
Coming off an undefeated season, and run for a 5A Div. II state title, the Eagles watched Cooper score three unanswered touchdowns in the second half to win 45-28.
Cooper finished the season in a 3-way tie for the district title with Abilene High and Midland High.
2011: Under the lights of Shotwell, Abilene High scored 8 touchdowns en route to a dominating 62-6 win. Evin Abbe threw two touchdown passes and ran in another, as the Eagles essentially cemented a district title.
They would eventually win the Little Southwest outright, with a perfect 5-0 record.
Going into Friday's clash, Cooper head coach Todd Moebes spoke about what he expects Abilene high to do.
"One thing you learn from last year is that you're playing a good football team that executes at a high level like they (Abilene High) do. And you can't turn the ball over eight time," Moebes said, referring to the turnovers Cooper had a week ago against Odessa High.
Warren showed some respect for the adjustments Cooper's made with their offense.
"(Cooper's) a team that's really done a good job of transforming their offense to their strengths," Warren said. "Playing to Lorenzo's strengths and Kerry Sims is doing a nice job at running back."
Cooper (4-1) is the visiting team this week against Abilene High (5-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.