The Cooper Hawks hadn't won a conference championship in football since the 1980s. Minnesota has changed to district football now, but a championship was on the line Wednesday night as Cooper met Irondale, with both teams unbeaten in the Suburban Gold subdistrict.
Big plays helped the Hawks to win an amazing thriller 41-34 in two overtimes.
Pedro Amoussou converted a short swing pass into a 61-yard touchdown to start the scoring for Cooper, and Nate Hill's 69-yard run in the second quarter made it 14-0.
After Irondale scored twice to pull within 14-13, Kevon Fryar intercepted a Knights pass and returned it for a touchdown in the last minute of the first half.
Cooper's Onte Burns then returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, and Cooper eventually built a 34-20 lead.
But Irondale did not go away. Brendan White hit Ayrias Sears for a 40-yard touchdown strikes with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, and the Knights then recovered an onside kick. That led to another touchdown that tied the game 34-34 with just under two minutes to play, and the game went to overtime.
Both teams got close to scoring in the first overtime but were denied, with Irondale blocking a potential game-winning field goal.
On the first play of the second overtime Hill kept battling through several tacklers to score to give Cooper the lead, and Irondale's last gasp pass to the end zone on the ensuing possession was knocked away by Terrance Nicholson.
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October 19, 2017