For many years Cooper couldn't get over the hump to beat Spring Lake Park, in regular season and playoff games. The Hawks beat the Panthers early in the season, and Saturday they made it 2-for-2 this season against their longtime nemesis by scoring a 23-0 victory in the Section 5AAAAA semifinals.
After Spring Lake Park attempted an onside kick to start the game that was recovered by Cooper, the Hawks drove 50 yards to score on their first possession, with a crucial pass interference penalty costing the Panthers.
Early in the second quarter, Cooper's small but speedy running back Nascier Borden broke a 58-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0. Cooper added a field goal by Edgar Carrillo right before halftime to make it 17-0.
The Hawks defense bent a little but continued to stop the Panthers' drives short of the end zone.
Nate Hill added an insurance touchdown with about four minutes left in the third quarter to help secure the win.
Cooper hosts St. Louis Park in the section final Friday.
Cooper has appeared in the state playoffs just once, in 1996.
CCX Sports email@example.com
October 30, 2017