Cooper survives big scare from Park Center
|Cooper's football team enjoyed its best regular season since the mid 1980's, but the Hawks survived a big scare in the opening round of the Section 6AAAA playoffs Tuesday night.
Park Center, the No. 7 seed, had just one win coming in, but the Pirates had faced tough competition in the Northwest Suburban Conference, and they were ready for Cooper.
The Pirates took a 14-12 lead into halftime behind bruising tailback Antoine Scott and a touchdown pass from Jake Tanner to Kelvin Gorwor.
The Pirates increased the lead to 21-12 on a gritty touchdown run by quarterback Tanner in the third quarter, but Cooper had plenty left in the tank. Billy Kellogg and Ashanti Payne scored late in the third quarter and early in the fourth respectively to give Cooper the lead 25-21.
A stop deep near their goal line kept Cooper in front, but midway through the fourth quarter it looked like the Pirates might retake the lead. Tanner's intended receiver slipped, allowing defensive back Kellogg to step in for an interception. Kellogg raced 102 yards for a game-changing touchdown return.
Cooper added one more score to turn back a big challenge from Park Center.
The Hawks (7-2) now face St. Anthony in the section semifinals Saturday night at Cooper.
Jason Melillo, reporting
October 24, 2012